From Fr. Lawrence
Two weeks ago I invited parishioners in this column to let us know about their experience with the new free parish resource for all parishioners named Formed. Formed is a web-based resource of outstanding Catholic movies, books, audio talks, and faith formation programs free for St. Raymond parishioners. It’s just great. I encouraged you to write in and let us know your experience, and the first person I personally asked recently sent in the following. Some of you know her; she’s Gaye Hyde (she gave me permission to use her name). Read on!
Evangelization (Study of Acts of the Apostles)
I started with the program Evangelization (a Study of Acts of the Apostles). It could be called “everything you wanted to know about the Holy Spirit but were afraid to ask”. The teaching is so thorough and solid. It shows that the Holy Spirit who taught, guided, and empowered the early Church to evangelize is the very same Holy Spirit empowering us today. Dr. Healy explains terms that are sometimes misunderstood such as the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the baptism in the Holy Spirit. She traces them from the first century church to today and shows how they were given to be a NORMAL part of a Christian’s life.
Dr. Healy backs up everything she teaches by combining a study of the Acts of the Apostles with other relevant scriptures, writings of saints and doctors of the church, quotes from popes, from Vatican II documents, and from the Catechism, all to present a SOLID teaching on the action of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church and our mission of evangelization today.
The Wild Goose
This program was like having a series of visits with Fr. Dave and his friends. It is all about the Holy Spirit, up close and personal. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the “something more” that many Catholics are looking for today, a new Pentecost experience that is life-changing and is for every believer. The Holy Spirit generously gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to enable us to evangelize and to build up the Body of Christ. After all, why would someone want to do the work of the Holy Spirit without the power of the Holy Spirit? I like Father’s analogy: “we are not containers of the Holy Spirit, but conduits”.
Every session is an invitation to go deeper. As Fr. Dave says, the Holy Spirit is not rationed out, but generously poured out. He describes the many roles the Holy Spirit plays in our day to day, life-long conversion process. The catch is: are we docile enough to the Holy Spirit to let him have his way?
Spending time with the Lord in prayer gets us used to recognizing the voice of the Holy Spirit within so that we can more readily hear and obey. This program elicits a personal response to release control to the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Gaye, for sharing your comments with us. I hope they inspire many of you to utilize Formed for your own growth in the faith. If you don’t yet have access to Formed just text the word “gifts” to the number 84576 and follow the prompt to register. Or go directly to Formed.org and enter our parish code: XHKVDD. Keep your comments coming please!