The 31st Annual Catholic Charismatic Convention

The 31st Annual Catholic Charismatic Convention in Santa Clara, CA, May 25-27, 2018 Friday, May 25th, the opening day of the Charismatic Convention, Our Lady said the following words to Marija, a visionary in Medjugorje: "....Open your hearts to the gifts which He desires to give you..." Yes, our hearts where opened and many gifts were received at this awesome, spirit-filled convention! Words of knowledge during the masses echoed Our Lady's message! The Lord wanted to fill us with His gifts and blessings through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.

The event began with a pleasant miracle. We arrived at the Hyatt Regency around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The parking lots were jammed, what with Great America next door, Memorial Day weekend, graduation events, and the Charismatic Renewal Convention.. There were long lines waiting to get into the underground and overhead garage. Suddenly, after not knowing what to do and saying a short prayer, someone backed their car out of a parking space directly across from the lobby!

Father Jaya-Babu Nuthulapati, C.PP.S., was the first speaker in the main arena. I told my friends at lunch the following day that I knew Fr. Jaya-Babu before he was famous. I heard him offer up a prayer at a regional Legion of Mary meeting at St. Edward's, when he was the new parochial vicar. I asked him to bless me or pray over me. The rest is history. Now, he is the Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for the Diocese of Oakland, appointed by the bishop in 2014. In 2015, we was appointed pastor of St. Edward's parish in Newark, CA. He was appointed as a "Missionary of Mercy" by Pope Francis in the Year of Mercy.

The title of Father Jaya-Babu's talk was "How do we Know the Will of God?" He said that God has made a covenant with man, based on faith. God has written His love in our hearts. God has written an indivisible mark on our hearts at the time of our baptism. "You are my people; I am your God." We are to become priests, prophets, and kings. Our sins will be forgiven and He will not remember them!

Then, Father Jaya-Babu quoted Pope Francis saying, "Receive the Eternal Spring", ( the Eternal Primavera.) God's mercy will never end! "Go into the whole world ……those who believe will be saved." We receive the Holy Spirit. What is the will of God? God said to Jacob, I am going to make you a New Israel. We must have the courage to rise and shine. God can make me strong like Jacob and Peter. The Prodical Son looked into himself, i.e. introspection. He said, Forgive me Father, I have sinned against you, the Father.

Pope Francis sent this e-mail to Fr. Jaya-Babu: "Mercy never ends." We need to listen to the Master's voice…….without electronic gagets! Open your heart to the Lord every time you open your aps. An obstacle to know the will of God is our material goods. "Do not store up treasures on earth." Simplicity leads to humility. Note the example of St. Padre Pio and St. Francis. Jesus goes up to the mountain or out to the desert to hear the will of God. We need to practice introspection to discern the will of God. Avoid distractions like t.v. and smart phones. Empty yourself for ten minutes each morning.

In eighth grade, Fr. Jaya-Babu felt God's call. Father Jay said that he can still feel the call of God. For eight years, Father Jaya-Babu outstretched his arms in full prostration every day praying, "Thy will be done." Then, in one day, he was accepted into the seminary, and he went to Bangalore. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I am in God's hands.

The next speaker was Sr. Linda Koontz, SNJM, who lives in El Paso, Texas where she ministers to the poor in Juarez, Mexico. She called down the Holy Spirit in a moving speech, urging us to be open to His gifts and to share them.

The next speaker that I heard was Rev. Gary Thomas, the pastor of Sacred Heart Church and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose. He spoke of the Seven Deadly Sins. The first deadly sin is pride, which involves undue self-esteem setting us in competition with God. Pride is a case of entitlement, blindness, and a lack of humility. Pride does not create community nor bring harmony. Instead of pride, think about what one says and how one acts. "Follow the way of love…." Eph 4. The perfume is mercy and forgiveness comes down from the cross when we go to confession. Humility is the antidote of pride.

The second deadly sin is greed, an excessive desire to want more than is your share. (Fr. Gary Thomas grew up at All Souls in South San Francisco.) The difference between needs and wants is how we recognize greed. The antidote for greed is charity.

The third deadly sin is envy, the resentment of another's good fortune. You can admire someone's good fortune. That's okay. After Satan rebelled, one third of all the angels fell. Christmas is really the rebirth of the human race. The Cross of Jesus makes it possible for us to attain heaven.

The fourth deadly sin is anger, rath, rage. It is the unbrittled emotion directed at another person. Our emotions can cloud over our reason. "Never hate your enemy; it clouds your reason," as Fr. Gary Thomas quoted the God Father speaking to his nephew in a film. Cordelioni was quoting scripture!

The fifth deadly sin is lust, the appetite for sex. It creates an obsession. Lust for power, attention, to be the center of attention. We should desire a relationship, not just about sex. Lust is an appetite that depersonalizes another human being. We manipulate another person.

The sixth deadly sin is gluttony. Gluttony is the over-indulgence of food, of drink, or of work. It includes addictions, work-a-holic, internet, video games, texting, I-phones, etc. Sin is a disorder. God created order. Disorder was created by Adam and Eve metaphorically. Gluttony of seeking pleasure, always traveling for pleasure, and all excessiveness. "May God who has done the good work in you bring it to a conclusion." Fr. Gary Thomas always prays this when someone comes up to communin with his arms crossed, (apparently not a member of the Roman Catholic Church). Confession keeps us honest. Scrupilocity is an over reation to sin and guilt. Guilt is a rudder that helps to steer the boat. Guilt is a by-product of our conscience.

The seventh deadly sin is sloth, or laziness. Sloth is a lack of appropriate ambition with goals and direction in life. A professional uses his gifts to the highest possible degree. Strive to be the very best one can be. (In my notes I wrote, "This man is brilliant!") Sloth creates a disrespect of the needs of other people. It is carelessness and a lack of care. Mass is the practice of our faith. It is like the Golden Warriors shooting baskets at practice. We have to show up (at mass on Sundays!)

In summary, Fr. Gary Thomas reviewed the seven deadly sins and their corresponding antidotes. Then, he added an eighth deadly sin, i.e. paganism. Paganism puts other things ahead of God. Idols are put ahead of God in paganism. The occult and the New Age are perversions of a relationship with God. Occult practices are about knowledge and power. They are portals to evil influence. They alert the demonic world. The occult rejects the Cross and the Ressurrection. "I am God", said Jesus. "I am God", mimics Satan, the occult, and the New Age. Prayer is the antidote to paganism. Faith is so important. The antidote is based on free will.

Bishop Sam Jacobs, Bishop Emeritus of Houmma-Thibodaux, presided at the Holy Mass at 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The powerfully anointed mass was followed by the healing service. Relics from both St. John Paul II and St. Padre Pio were present, along with praying over by teams of prayer warriors.

Sunday morning, Fr. Jaya Babu Nathulapati, C.PP.S., spoke at 9:00 a.m. on "Growth and Transformation Through the Holy Spirit". Sunday was Trinity Sunday. Mark 1:1 There is only one Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are four evangalist. The goal is to save humanity through God the Father, God, the Son and Redeemer, and God the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier. John 3. " God so loved the world that He gave His only Son," to save us. God the Father is the Blazing Sun. God the Son is the Light. God the Holy Spirit is the Fire, the substance. You are in a relationship with a significant other! You are in relationship with the Trinity, with God. "Remain in My love." If you keep the commandments, We will come to you. The mission is invisable. It is made visable through us as His instruments for salvation.

John F. Kennedy was known as the best and the brightest. That was also true of Saul. He became jealous of Jesus. He wanted to kill Steven. We are the Body of Christ. Acts. 8. Jesus responded to the persecution of His body. Thus, He responded to Saul. He is the bright Light! "My Lord and my God!" St. Thomas said. Jesus goes to Ananeus and says, "Lay your hands on Saul."

Have a retreat. Listen to Him. He listens to your heart. Your Wi-fi is Jesus! He'll contact you in your heart. Go to a priest if you are sick. Ask him, "Can you pray over me?" Go on a retreat once a year. For ten minutes, keep silent! Connect wi-fi with the Holy Spirit! That's my secret! Ten minutes to reboot. To make him, (Paul), the Apostle of the Gentiles. We need to be obedient and ssurrender to the Holy Spirit. Paul means small and humble. There are 1.8 billion Catholics.

The Kingdom of God is peace, joy, and truth. John 15. My word will sanctify you. Pray for your family. They do not listen to you but to the Holy Spirit. Surrender your children to the Lord. Have patience in the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Sam Jacobs spoke at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning on "The Role of Charismatic Laity". He is the former chairman of the National Service Committee for Charismatic Renewal and is now Bishop Emeritus of Houma-Thibodaux. In 1967, at the retreat house outside Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, there was a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis said that each person needs to see oneself as a current of grace for the Church and in the Church, i.e. the grace of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This current is for all the Church. We are all servants of this current of the Church. Listen to the Holy Spirit where it blows. It is your duty to share it. This is your identity. A current is a continued flow as long as it is connected with the source. You are the switch! The power sosurce is the Holy Spirit. To be a current of grace, you need to be a current, an on-going growth, increasing your relationship with Jesus.

Continually renew your original myth-moment, i.e. the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We started the journey of love with Jesus. Return to your first love. Do not interrupt the work you have done. Christ will complete what He has begun. "Always carry the Word of God with you. ….always," Pope Francis said. You have a call to grow in holiness. We must evangelize. Evangelization is the heart of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those who have been evangelized need to evangelize. 160 million Catholics have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. You need to make known to others your joy in the faith. "I pray that they may be one." Be a witness to all Christians. This is spiritual ecuminism. Only the Spirit of God can give us unity. Only in the Holy Spirit can we understand the Gospel. We need to look at their hearts as we work with other Christians. Seek unity within the renewal. No in-fighting for power. That is not of the Lord, where ever division occurs." Unity does not mean identical. Unity in diversity. Do not be afraid of differences," Pope Francis. Become a part of the life of the Church. Be a leven to the parish. There was once a parish with no life and boring homilies. Thirty minutes before the masses, a group of people sat in various places within the pews praying silently the gift of tongues. It transformed the so called "dead" parish to an enlivened one. Be close to the poor. Please draw near to them. These were words of Pope Francis at the 50th anniversary in 2017 in Rome of the Charismatic Renewal. "It's the Light of the Church!"

Music Ministry

Prior to lunch on Sunday, The Lord's Flock, the music ministry from Daly City, California, directed by Richie Almendrala, gave an over-the-top praise and worship service. Richie led the Youth/Teen Ministry at the Convention. The music, singing, dancing, and prayers sung and played by this young group was so anointed, I danced in my chair, not unlike days of yore, (1976-77), while on retreat high in the French Alps, when I danced standing, not sitting, outside the tent on the high elevation of Chamonix overlooking Mt. Blanc!

All the music ministries were terrific, including Children of God, Holy Spirit Music Ministry, Godsent Music Ministry, Great Harvest, Misericordia De Dios, Our God Reigns, Siloam, and The Lord's Flock. May God bless them and continue to anoint them!

A Tribute to Msgr. James T. Tarantino

On Sunday at 1:45 p.m., Fr. Ray Reyes, the Archbishop's Liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, gave a tribute in honor of Msgr. James T. Tarantino, who died on April 25, 2018. Later, after the closing mass on Sunday, Msgr. Jame's sister, Mary Tarantino, gave a moving tribute in honor and memory of her brother. May he rest in peace and may perpetual Light shine upon him.

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity Mass

The truly anointed and spirit-filled convention closed with the Sacrifice of the Mass on Trinity Sunday. Bishop Mylo, D.D. presided at the closing mass. He was ordained at the Manila Cathedral in 1990. Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija in 2005. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Pasig in 2011. He was installed in 2011 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pasig City, Philippines. This young and down-to-earth Bishop gave a homily on "How to Discern God's Will".

First, one needs to desire to discern the will of God. Secondly, one needs to have an openess to God. Abraham, for example, was 75 years old when he was sent on his mission. Thirdly, one needs to have a knowledge of God through the study of the Scriptures. The final three words of Christ were: GO – BAPTIZE – KNOW! Go home as an instrument of forgiveness. Make possible reconciliation. "Know I am with you." Be filled with hope and faith. "Know that I am with you until the end."

May the good Lord protect and bless all those who worked so hard to make this beautiful convention yet another holy and anointed success. May God finish what He has started in this Charismatic Renewal. May His Holy Spirit fall down upon us as we look toward to the 32nd Annual Catholic Charismatic Convention on May 25, 26, and 27, 2019 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, USA.

- Susanna Ax, reprinted from her blog Ax's Acres