The Flame: September/October 2018
Dear Readers of The Flame,
Dear Readers of the Flame,
Liberty is one of the hallmarks of being a child of God. One of our
conference speakers this year, David Van Vickle, put it very succinctly:
God wants children, not slaves. This makes perfect sense. If God wanted
slaves, he would have left his people in bondage in Egypt. Instead, with
signs and wonders, the Lord set these captives free.
However, the rest of the books of Exodus and Numbers show us that it is
a lot easier to take the people out of Egypt, than to take Egypt out of the
people! God’s “liberated people” had internal bondages. They complained
about lacking drink and food (Exodus 16:3). Before they left Mt. Sinai, they
created a molten calf and worshipped it. (Exodus 32) Aaron and Miriam
were jealous of Moses. (Numbers 12) The Israelites yielded to fear and
would not take the land God promised them. (Numbers 13) They rebelled
against Moses and Aaron and wanted to return to Egypt. (Numbers 14)
You get the picture.
Their lack of trust in the Lord and their lack of love for each other were
apparent. Though they were no longer dominated by the Egyptians, they
were dominated by their own fears, passions, cravings and ignorance.
Who would set them free from those things?
Both the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel describe what the future would
The days are coming…when I will make a new covenant with the
house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the
covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to
lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant
and I had to show myself their master, says the Lord…this is the
covenant which I will make with the house of Israel…I will place my
law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and
they shall be my people…I will forgive their evildoing and remember
their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Ezekiel puts it this way:
I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your
impurities and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a
new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies
your stony hearts and giving your natural hearts. I will put my spirit
within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my
decrees. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
These promises have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, He not only brings us
forgiveness, Jesus Christ gives us a new heart. He writes God’s law on it.
He gives us a new spirit - the Holy Spirit. We are transformed into new
creatures (II Corinthians 5:17), with a new liberty and a new purpose.
However, the saving graces of Jesus Christ do not always instantly
transform us. Jesus teaches us that our hearts and minds are like a field.
His seeds of truth fall on the path, rocky ground, thorny ground and the
good ground. (Matthew 13:3-9) Jesus is telling us that there are things
that impede His message from taking full root in us and bearing fruit. An
internal purification that makes our souls like fruitful soil takes work:
prayer, penance, sacramental graces and healing.
Early next month, there will be two special opportunities to encounter the
liberating graces of the Lord. CRM is sponsoring Mr. John Kazanjian at the
Center for Pastoral Leadership on Friday, October 5. CRM has brought John
in before. He taught at length Mr. Neal Lozano’s Unbound method of prayer.
This evening on October 5 will be an evening of healing prayer, as he leads
participants through the five keys to liberty: repentance, forgiveness of
others, renunciation, authority and blessing.
The second opportunity will be eight days later, Saturday, October 13. A
healing ministry named Peter’s Shadow Healing Ministry (see Acts 5:15) will
host a one day Unbound Freedom in Christ Conference at Immaculate Heart
of Mary Parish, 1905 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls 44223 from 8:00 am to
4:00 pm. This day will also focus on Neal Lozano’s Unbound method of
prayer and the five keys to obtain the freedom that Jesus Christ promised.
Details for both of these events can be found in the calendar section of
crmweb.org, the website for Catholic Renewal Ministries.
Jesus Christ has come to set the captive free. (see Luke 4:18). We are to live
in the glorious freedom of God’s children (see Romans 8:15, 21), free to
serve others in love. (Galatians 5:13). Let us pursue our inheritance!
Fr. Bob Franco
Bishop’s Delegate to Catholic Renewal Ministries
P.S. All are welcome to journey with us, at my parish, St. Peter Catholic
Church, in North Ridgeville, as we embark on a mission led by Fr. Dave
Pivonka TOR. All evenings begin at 7:00 p.m. starting Sunday, September
23rd - Tuesday, September 26th. Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, is a renown
evangelist who speaks at conferences, retreats and parish missions worldwide
. For twenty years, Fr. Dave has been leading pilgrimages around the
world to some of the holiest and most important sites in Christianity. He
spends much of his time helping others come to know God’s love for them
through his preaching, teaching, writings, CDs, DVDs and other spiritual
outreaches. For more information please see www.crmweb.org.