Serving The Lord Jesus Christ   *   Serving The Roman Catholic Church   *   Serving The Bishop Of The Diocese Of Rockford, Illinois

Other Useful Information

Resting In The Spirit

(Formerly called “Slain in the Spirit)

It is the power of the Holy Spirit so filling a person with a heightened inner awareness that the body’s energy fades away until it cannot stand. It is not fainting. The person keeps consciousness but is under the healing power of the Holy Spirit.

Is This Experience Found In The Bible?
In the tenth chapter of The Acts of The Apostles, St. Luke speaks about St. Peter falling into a trance; in the description of Gethsemane, we read about the soldiers falling backward when Jesus spoke to them; and St. Paul fell to the ground during his conversion experience. All of these experiences seem to have been similar to the experience that some have called “being slain by the Holy Spirit,” and we are calling Resting in the Holy Spirit.

What Is The Purpose Of Resting In The Spirit?
Many people who experienced Resting in the Holy Spirit experience not just the rest and peace, but God Himself in some way. While under the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus wants to release the person from the bondage of sin and heal some area of the inner person. The Holy Spirit is free to do many spiritual actions in the person’s mind, will, imagination, memory, and emotions when one completely rests and relaxes in His love.

What Should I Do Before The Experience?
Do no make anything happen and do not prevent His power from coming upon you by being frightened about where you will fall, and how you will look, and what people will think about you. Release yourself from any of these fears. Relax in His love and gently praise Him for loving you. Release yourself from all guilt feelings about not being worthy, it is for those who need release, inner healing and infilling.

What Should I Do During The Experience?
During the experience relax in His love. Surrender to His love. Trust that something is happening in you even though you do not feel it emotionally. Stay in the position of relaxation as long as you feel you should.

What Should I Do After The Experience?
When returning to the normal level of mind-consciousness, still inside of you any thoughts of self-condemnation, self-analysis, what will people think, disappointments that you didn’t feel anything. Remaining in the resting experience for 5 minutes or for 5 hours is not a sign of greater sinfulness or greater holiness. Words of love and worship to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit from your sincere heart keep the healing flowing in the heart continuously. Be open to living in God’s will every day. This experience of Resting in the Holy Spirit is only a beginning. The Lord will continue His work throughout the hours to come in the remaining week, month, and maybe even years. That He would want to love us and let His Precious Blood cleanse us this way is indeed a great joy. No one praying with us or touching us has healing power. Jesus is the Healer and His Holy Spirit effects the healing because the Father wants it at this moment in your life.
(author unknown)

How To Get Rid Of Blocks To Healing

1) Unforgiven Sin
Since much of our sickness begins in our mind or spirit, that is where our healing needs to begin. PRAY: “Lord, forgive me. I place my resentment, hate, bitterness, envy, (whatever needs forgiveness or deliverance) under the power of your Precious Blood. Thank you for forgiving me.”

2) Unforgiveness
“Lord, you have removed my sins from me as far as the East is from the West. I want to forgive with your forgiveness. I forgive myself as you do. God, I forgive you for taking (a spouse, parent, child, friend, etc.) from me.”

3) Wrong Relationships
Things or people in place of God equals spiritual adultery. “Lord, I totally submit myself to your Word, to your Will, to your plan for my life.”

4) Root Infidelity or Ambiguity In Serving Jesus (Two-Kingdom Living)
“Lord, show me and take from my life anything that is rooted in the satanic – jewelry, books, records, tapes, artifacts, etc.

5) Unbelief
Expect Jesus to touch you with His love. God will not force anything on us. Put your faith not just in your faith but in His unconditional Love.

6) Demanding On Your Own Terms
“Jesus, you said: `They will lay their hands’ and you said through James `Confess your sins…’ Help me to do what you ask that I may be healed.” To say `If God wants me well He can just heal me’ is to ignore His terms.

7) False Value Attached To Suffering
There is such a thing as redemptive suffering but not in the beatitudes. There is such a thing as psychological attachment to suffering. PRAY: “Jesus, your glory is in my wholeness. You bore my infirmity. You have healed my sickness. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same power that healed the leper, the blind, the lame IS AT WORK IN ME and I thank you for it” Leave the timing up to God, and the how of your healing to Him as well.

8) Insufficient Instruction
St. Paul says: “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Read God’s Word especially the Gospel of Luke, and highlight the healings so that you can read them again and again with a prayer like the above.

9) Praying In The Wrong Way Or For The Wrong Reason
There are no best words or recipes for praying except to come before God each time praying: “Lord, show me how to pray and purify my reason for wanting this healing.” The greatest reason for the healing is the Father’s Glory and because He has mercy upon us. “They Shall Lay Hands Upon The Sick And They Shall Recover” (Mark 16:18)

(Before laying hands on the sick)
Remember Jesus works through people. He doesn’t give anyone a perfect, sure-thing gift of healing. We always need to pray with faith in His love and His mercy. Leave the results to Him. Read as much as you can about healing. Pray and fast if you can. Ask the person to pray imagining Jesus touching him and healing. Try to give his some literature in advance.

(Laying On Hands)
Imagine Jesus healing the person as you pray. Tell the Lord that you believe in what the Scripture says that He will heal. Pray from Scriptures. Thank the Lord for the healing that is taking place. Believe that the healing has begun. Do not fret if the person feels nothing; healing depends on believing not feeling. (Some of the greatest healings have had so immediate evidence.)

(After Laying On Hands)
Exhort the person to continue to thank as in #7 above freely using Scriptures to grow in his faith in God’s love for him. Always imagine the person as well when praying for him.
(author unknown)

Tongues: What People Say vs. What God Says

People Say: “I forbid you to speak in tongues”.
God Says: “Do not forbid those who speak in tongues.” 1 Corinthians 14:39

People Say: “Speaking in tongues is a sign of over-emotionalism.
God Says: It is a sign of a BELIEVER. “Signs like these will accompany those who have professed their faith… they will speak entirely new languages.” Mark 16:17

People Say: “Speaking in tongues means the ability to learn many foreign languages.
God Says: “A man who speaks in a tongue is talking not to men but to God. No one understands him, because he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 14:2

People Say: ” I am embarrassed and ashamed to speak in tongues.”
God Says: “If a man is ashamed of me and my doctrine, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory.” Luke 9:26

People Say: “When they speak in tongues they are full of the devil.”
God Says: “All were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them.” Acts 2:4

People Say: “They magnify themselves by speaking in tongues.”
God Says: “Whom they could hear speaking in tongues and glorifying God.” Acts 10:46

People Say: “Tongues were just for the Day of Pentecost.”
God Says: TEN YEARS AFTER Acts 10:46, TWENTY YEARS AFTER the Day of Pentecost they were STILL speaking in tongues. Acts 19:1-6

People Say: “Tongues ceased with the apostles.”
God Says: “These things SHALL NOT CEASE until knowledge vanishes; until that which is perfect is come and we know as we are known.” 1 Corinthians 13:8-12

People Say: ” Speaking in tongues does no good.”
God Says: “He that speaks in an unknown tongue builds up himself…GLORIFIES GOD…BUILDS UP The Church… A SIGN…to them that do not believe.” 1 Corinthians 14

People Say: “I hope none of the people in our church speak in tongues.”
God Says: “I should like it if all of you spoke in tongues.” 1 Corinthians 14:5

People Say: “People in my church would look down on me if I spoke in tongues.”
God Says: “For they loved the PRAISE OF MEN more than the PRAISE OF GOD.” Matthew 6:1-4

(author unknown)

Welcome To Our Charismatic Mass

The following information is made available for those who are attending a charismatic Mass for the first time.

Whether you are a newcomer to Catholic Charismatic Masses or you have been regularly attending them, it is our sincere hope that you are aware of all that God, our Father, desires to do for us. This is sometimes difficult to do when we are ill-at-ease or uncertain about the manner in which God chooses to move. This is written with the intention of explaining briefly some of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit and vehicles of worship utilized during Mass so that all who attend will be comfortable and will welcome God’s touch for them on whatever level of their beings He desires to touch; physical, emotional, or spiritual. As we trust Him, good will come to us.

The Mass
A Charismatic Mass is totally Catholic, celebrated in accordance with, and under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Our celebrant is a Roman Catholic Priest approved by, and under the authority of the Bishop of this Diocese.

The Eucharist
According to the teaching discipline of the Roman Catholic Church, reception of the Eucharist is open only to those who believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist, and who are in union with the Pastors of the Church, in particular with the Pope. Therefore, we ask Brothers and Sisters in the Lord who are not Roman Catholics not to receive Communion during Mass.

Each Mass is begun with a time of praise and worship in which we focus on God and His love for all. It is a time when we leave behind the cares of the day and look only to God. Music is a vehicle with which we unite as one body as we join to offer praise to God for all that He is.

Raising Of Hands
Raising of hands often occurs during the worship as a sign of freely opening ourselves to God to receive His blessings and offering ourselves to be used by Him in whatever way He wishes. “Thus will I bless you while I live; I will lift up my hands in your name.” (Psalms 63:4)

Clapping also naturally results as an expression of the joy we experience in God’s presence. “Come everyone, and clap for joy! Shout triumphant praises to the Lord!” (Psalms 47:1)

Holding Hands
Holding hands with those next to us is a sign that we are “all in this together. “As a family of believers, we join to lift one another in God’s presence. As we bless one another, we are blessed. We generally hold hands during the “Our Father” as a sign of our unity while we pray as we were taught by Jesus.

Word Gifts
A time is usually set aside following Holy Communion to reflect on what the Lord has done for us, and to listen for His word spoken through someone in the assembly. Often a person will receive a thought or an “inspiration” he or she senses the Lord wants the assembly to hear. This may also be sensed in the form of a scripture verse. This work is often first shared with a ‘word gift group’ who has gathered prior to the Mass for prayer and discernment. Those who feel they have received a word to be shared are asked to submit that message to the prayerful discernment of the word gift group before speaking it to the people.

Speaking Or Praying In Tongues
We experience this form of prayer as we reach a level in prayer in which our spirits commune with the Spirit of God. In this natural form of prayer, our spirits intercede for us and beautiful, usually unknown languages are heard either being sung or being spoken. (Mark 16:17)

We would like to note that we encourage all in attendance to seek after God, the Giver, and not after the gifts. As we develop our relationship with Him the rest will come naturally. We ask you to relax, focus on God, and remain open to what God is doing in your life and in the lives of those around you. He is truly wonderful!! Absorb the blessings He will give during this time of community celebration around His altar.

Tongues: A Gift of Roses

Father Tom Forrest

(Reprinted from New Covenant’s Article “Tongues: A Gift of Roses”)

If some evening a loving husband comes home with a gift of an expensive ring and a beautiful rose, both gifts are expressions of love, though the difference in cost is great. This doesn’t make one of the gifts valuable and the other without value. The wife receives both with appreciation. She doesn’t keep the ring and throw away the rose. That’s the way it is with the gift of tongues. Paul doesn’t call it the most valuable of the gifts, but that doesn’t make it valueless. It remains a gift from God, a gift of love which should be sought, treasured, used, and as Paul teaches us, kept in its right place. While he points out that some of the Corinthians do not understand its place among the other gifts and have abused it, he also makes clear that he does not disdain this or any gift that comes from God: “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all.” He tells us not to “forbid speaking in tongues” (1 Cor. 14:18, 39, 5). He certainly is not throwing away the rose, even though he is making it clear that it is not the diamond ring, the greatest of the gifts. Because tongues is a gift from God, it should be appreciated. There are also other reasons. It Is Humiliating If somebody says to me, “That tongues business is stupid,” I usually say, “You’re right, humanly speaking.” That is one of its values. No matter how strange or silly it seems, it remains the will of a God whose ways are not our ways. To be prudent, humanly, I have to control my speech. I impress people by my clear, logical choice of words. But when I speak in tongues, all of that is surrendered to God. If the Spirit moves me to speak what to others may seem like foolish sounds or “with sighs too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26), then I am willing to be jumble and foolish for Christ’s sake – the same Christ who, for my sake, became man and suffered the foolishness of the cross. To pray in tongues is to step out in faith. Unless I believed in a living God, unless I believed in his Son, in the Spirit, and in the gifts that the Spirit brings, how could I possibly utter such strange sounds? I pray in tongues because God calls me to, even though it conflicts with all human wisdom. It Is A Gift Of Prayer The Holy Spirit gives me a hunger for praising God. I want to shout His goodness from the housetops. I look for words of praise and begin to say that God is sweet, wonderful, splendid, magnificent, divine, and all the other words I can think of. Yet, God’s Spirit flooding my heart calls me to go beyond these weak human words that do not come near expressing the mystery that is God. I surrender myself, my thoughts and words, to the Spirit. Through the gift of tongues mysterious words come that aren’t mine, words decided upon and formulated by the Holy Spirit, giving to Jesus the praise He deserves, of which I by myself am incapable.

The Holy Spirit in me praises Jesus, and as He does, I am freed from the need to develop the thoughts and to formulate their expression in words. There is a bubbling or humming of spontaneous sounds that I know are giving glory to Christ. Because they do not need my direction, I am free to know the nearness of Jesus and the reality of God’s action within me. It Is A Community Blessing When a people joyfully praises their Lord in tongues, the Holy Spirit unites those people and their voices are joined in a single prayer. There is the joy of all sharing the same divine action, the freedom from fears of what others think, and a love for each other as all express their love for God. The thousands who come together each year a charismatic renewal conferences on the campus of Notre Dame or in regional conferences around the world and treasure the memory of these moments of oneness. During one international conference at Notre Dame we had several international liturgies, as well as a bilingual presentation on Saturday. But each time we began praising in tongues, we found we were praising in a common language. It was like the tower of Babel in reverse. The gift of tongues washed away all the differences of language among us and made us one people of praise, one voice with a common language, the language of the Holy Spirit David calls praise the gateway to God’s presence. The gift of tongues leads us through that gate quickly and easily. No matter where you are along the pathway of prayer, the gift of tongues can still add a new dimension. This gift is like a starting motor for those who have great trouble getting underway in their prayer. But it is also a way to get further along no matter how well your motor is running. Some argue that this gift isn’t for everyone, despite Paul’s words that “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Cor. 14:4) Prophecy, like all spiritual gifts except tongues come only to him who speaks in tongues (unless it is a message in tongues). If you have the gift of prophecy, you can bring me God’s message, and I don’t have to manifest that gift personally. If you have the gift of healing, I don’t need it because you can use it to bring me to health. But the gift of praising in tongues helps only the one who prays. If I don’t have the gift, my prayer isn’t made better because you do. I need the gift myself. Those people in a prayer group who don’t receive the gift of tongues suffer as a result. To tell these people that the gift of tongues isn’t for everyone, convincing them that they’ll never receive it, is no help. These people feel the lack of this gift, and the inability to participate in a common prayer of tongues. They wonder why God would give this special sign of His Holy Spirit so lavishly to millions but make them an exception. The community itself yearns in love to see them enjoying this wonderful gift and being part of the Spirit-filled prayer. Better than saying tongues isn’t for everyone is to teach them how they can open themselves to receiving this gift

Receiving The Gift

When we see God act in a certain way, we often conclude that this is how He always acts. In regard to the gifts of the Holy Spirit we often conclude that our personal experience is a law for God Himself, showing how the Spirit must move. We do this even though Paul himself tells us “there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit who inspires them all in everyone” (1 Cor. 12:4, 6). God has two basic ways of working, not one. He acts directly, manifesting His presence and power in actions that are evidently divine. He also acts through His creatures, using them as the agents of His goodness. For example, He heals us either by simply willing it or by using medicine and a doctor. Some people form their own understanding of the gift of tongues and decide that it could only come to them through a direct and surprising action of God. God sometimes does it that way. But just as being baptized in the Spirit often comes through the laying on of hands, God often wills to bless us with the gift of tongues through a human agent, a brother or sister in Christ. In practice, then, the first requisite for receiving the gift of tongues is to be open to it. This means:

1.) Not deciding that it isn’t a gift for me because I don’t have the personality. I leave the deciding up to God.

2.) I believe that it is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, something of value, if for no other reason (and there are other reasons) than that God wants to give it to me and appears to use it as His favorite sign of our being baptized in His Holy Spirit.

3.) I desire to have this gift, and show that desire in asking for it. I do this by beginning to praise God and letting the Spirit decide and formulate the words. In this I am imitating the apostles who “began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). He didn’t force them to begin speaking, and He never does. The person who sits forever with a closed mouth waiting for some overpowering force to produce the sounds will never speak in tongues. We have to obey the inspiration to praise, and while we are praising we give the Spirit full freedom to direct that praise. The recipient of tongues is no more forced to praise God in new sounds than a prophet is forced mechanically to write God’s word. The Lord made us free and He never takes that freedom away.

4.) When I am unable to overcome the obstacles to receiving this gift, I seek the strength of fellow Christians who love me. They believe with me that God wants me to have this gift. They praise Christ for the sending of His Spirit and they do so in tongues. Now it is easier for the one who seeks the gift. All he has to do is join with them, and let himself be led by them as Christ uses them. He need not fear being fooled. Once I say that I believe in this gift and that this gift is something that God wants me to have, and once I ask God for it, then I should also believe that what I receive will be the gift I am seeking. If I begin speaking in tongues with only a few basic sounds, at least I have begun, and the Spirit is free to develop His gift in me. When we speak in tongues we admit that God is beyond the limits of human words and thoughts. Yet we can be with Him enjoying and knowing Him as the Spirit within us joyfully sings hymns of love to His greatness.

The gift of tongues is like a precious rose, making us “the aroma of Christ to God spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of him” (2 Cor. 15, 14). In 1974, when New Covenant published “Tongues: A Gift of Roses”, Fr. Tom Forrest was pastor of the church of the Three Kings in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. Aguas Buenas itself has been one of the most exciting developments in the charismatic renewal. For several years the town was the scene of what Fr. Forrest called a “charismatic explosion”; thousands of people in the town and the surrounding mountain areas were baptized in the Spirit within a very short time. The parish quickly became a center for the charismatic renewal in Puerto Rico and much of Latin America. An article in the January 1980 New Covenant reported on more recent developments in Aguas Buenas, where the parish continues to develop as a renewed Christian community. Fr. Forrest, however, was asked in 1979 to give to Brussels, Belgium and work with the International Communication Office. The ICO provides assistance to the Catholic charismatic renewal throughout the world through leaders’ meetings, communications, contact with church hierarchy, and financial aid. Fr. Forrest appears frequently as a speaker at renewal conferences.