Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 9, 2003
Spirit heals our selfishness
Conversion blocked by self-centredness, priest tells conference
By RENATO GANDIA
The Holy Spirit "Is the first gift for those who believe - given to us to convert us from our sins."
- Fr. Francis Donnelly
This means having a genuine relationship with each other founded on self-sacrifice and love, treating others as more important than oneself, in order for people to live in communion with each other.
Living in communion is a great challenge for the Church, "because we're a bunch of sinners, self-centred, self-oriented. And we haven't dealt with the fundamental issue of selfishness that hinders conversion."
"We have to overcome selfishness otherwise we won't be able to live in communion, whether in marriage, prayer group or even in a parish."
What is comforting is that "the Holy Spirit was given to us to deal with that stuff. He's the first gift for those who believe - given to us to convert us from our sins."
"The Holy Spirit doing the work of Jesus in us - is doing a supernatural work manifested in the gifts we receive, especially healing."
Within the charismatic community, healing service is vital.
"In doing the healing service, one of the things we have to do is to help the people actualize their faith in the presence and power of Jesus," explained Donnelly.
Healing is the restoration of the normal and healthy condition of human beings. And because we are created in the image and likeness of God, only in God can people find real healing.
"In healing, Jesus is restoring what has been messed up that is also the work of salvation. Salvation is a restoring."
People from Beaumont, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and other communities in the area, attended the conference, organized annually by Catholic Renewal Services of the archdiocese.
Joe Charbonneau, one of the organizers from St. Theresa Parish, said, "Personally what I've learned is to be awake and aware of how much the Holy Spirit has touched our lives and we need to live in that gift."
In our life we have to realize that God is the centre and the reason for our being, he said.
"Your work should not be the centre of your life but must be a way to share your gifts with others," said Charbonneau, who has been involved in the renewal since 1972.
St. John Bosco's Ingrid Harvie was thankful she attended the conference.
"What is being re-enforced to me was that we need to seek God and that we need to love one another."
Such a message is not new but she takes joy in hearing it again because it helps her put things into perspective.
"We need to live in Christ at all times. It is a struggle to do that especially when we are not surrounded by people who will re-enforce that in us."
"And if you try to do in it on your own it's difficult. You got to do it in Christ."
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