Editor’s Pick: Power of the Holy Spirit by Deacon Antonio SandovalAugust 3, 2012 No Comments
August 3, 2012 / MariaNews.com
Power of the Holy Spirit
By Deacon Antonio Sandoval
I have always been impressed by the dramatic transformation experienced by the Apostles with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Peter had denied Jesus, even though at the Last Supper he had said to Jesus, “Even if I should have to die with you, I will never deny you, and all the disciples spoke likewise” (Mt 26:35). But when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all his disciples fled (Mt. 26:56). Peter followed those who had arrested Jesus to the courtyard of the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, where he was identified three times as being one who was with Jesus. Peter denied it all three times, and the final time, Scripture says that Peter began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man” (Mt. 26: 74).
But when the Holy Spirit came, the disciples of Jesus were instantly healed of their fear. Christianity began with an explosive energy never before experienced in the history of the world. The Christian faith began its relentless march to all the corners of the earth as Jesus had instructed: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, until the end of the age”.
Nothing or no one would ever again intimidate the disciples of Jesus. When ordered by Jewish authorities not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18), the response of Peter and John was: “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). This was an open and public declaration that they would obey God, rather than any other authority, regardless of the consequences.
Jesus himself remained with his new born Church in a different way of being, not only in his sacramental presence in the Eucharist, but also by incorporating his followers into his own Mystical Body. When Jesus confronted Saul on the road to Damascus where Saul intended to arrest the followers of Jesus and bring them in chains to Jerusalem, Jesus said to him: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? Since Saul was persecuting the Church, Jesus was in effect saying, I am one with the Church. Centuries later a heroic young girl named Joan of Arc expressed the same truth when questioned about Christ and the Church by her judges before her execution saying, “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter (CCC #795, Acts of the Trial of Joan of Arc).
There has never been a time when the Church hasn’t been under attack. It isn’t any different today, than it was 2,000 years ago. The teachings of the Church are not negotiable, and we should be firm in our decision to obey God, rather than any other authority when that authority wants us to act contrary to our Church’s teachings. First and foremost, we must pray each day for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit to dispel the darkness of fear from every Catholic heart and give us a loyalty to Christ that is firm and immovable as a rock.
There is no conflict between being a good Catholic and a good American. In fact following the teachings of the Church concerning morality strengthens our country and promotes an elevated civic status for all. On the other hand, the Culture of Death is promoting a moral decline that threatens the freedom, well-being, and the very existence of our generation and future generations of Americans.
Read more by Deacon Antonio here
Antonio is a retired deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver. Last September his wife, Maud, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. They were told that she didn’t have long to live. Since she is 83 years old, they decided to refuse the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Last October they were sent to Hospice. They have now been there for 8 months. Antonio’s wife is not experiencing the symptoms of multiple myeloma other than the fact that she cannot move and has to stay in bed all the time. She is also in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You prayers will be appreciated. Antonio spends the entire day with his wife.
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