I've got a short post this week for the linkup that Wanda hosts over at her blog, Reinventing Mother, for
That's because I'm going to do some longer posts on our trip down the Transpeninsular highway, which started before this past weekend and ended on Saturday in the late afternoon. So the only thing I'm going to mention here is that on Sunday when we got to church we found out that the Grupo de Renovacion (the group we are involved in) had been having a special gathering all morning to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its creation in our parish. So, a quincenera! After the mass the celebration continued with lunch and a cake made by one of the members of the group, who is the pastry chef for the Hotel California. Unfortunately I only got one photo before the battery on my camera died, and this is it:
These are the members of the first group to go through the course in our parish to learn about the activity of the Holy Spirit in the charismatic movement within the Catholic Church. The "grupo de Renovacion" (charismatic group) is very strong in our entire diocese, and the largest of the various programs and groups within parishes here. It is our parish's grupo de Renovacion that is responsible for the music group that plays at masses, for the intercession team, for the team that ministers to the small communities around our town, and for several other significant services in the life of our parish. BTW, the man on the far left is the head of our grupo de Renovacion, and the older man in the middle is his father.
Our priest (who has only been here 2 years) has been doing an excellent job of guiding the group away from the excesses that are often present in charismatic groups as a result of poor catechesis and lack of mature leadership. He has redirected the group toward spiritual maturity without eliminating the joy that is so typical of the charismatic renewal. The Pirate and I have been involved in the charismatic movement for over 40 years and have seen the excesses as well as experiencing what an ideally ordered charismatic approach is like. Our priest has strengthened the leadership structure and instituted elements to guide the group toward a greater understanding of the purpose of the power of God at work in their lives.
I have read some of the posts on various Catholic blogs that are dismissive of the charismatic movement or reject it as inappropriate because it doesn't focus on the awe and respect for God that some think is the only proper approach to worship. As with ANY approach of people to their God, there is plenty of room for imperfection, but those who have no personal experience in the charismatic renewal shouldn't be quick to reject the joy of salvation that is so characteristic of this movement. And I can say from experience that the rightly ordered charismatic perspective can be perfectly integrated into a high church approach.
So, that's it for what happened this past weekend, and I'll be putting up my posts about our journey home during the rest of the week. While you all are waiting with much anticipation (I know, I know, my blog is SO exciting) for those posts, we could use some prayers for this week. We've got several VERY significant things that have to be dealt with before the end of the year and life here isn't suited to hard deadlines. Thanks y'all!