CCR Sweden, Newsletter December 2021
Advent is a time of reflection and penance. The basis for receiving the baptism of the Spirit and working in the gifts of grace is repentance to Christ and purification, and it is something that applies to us both as individuals and as a collective, said deacon Pancho Chin A Loi at a prayer evening in Södertälje December 1 (more about this below). For us charismatics, it is important to consider that we are not a church in the church, but we are incorporated into the local church community and that is the foundation we have to build on.
Charismatic prayer evening in Södertälje December 1:th.
About 50 Catholics from the Stockholm region were gathered in St. Ansgar's parish in Södertälje on December 1 for an evening of praise, worship and intercession invited by the charismatic community. The host was St. Ansgar's parish and Firas Daykh from the Syrian Catholic parish. Deacon Pancho Chin A Loi from Järfälla preached.
In his sermon, Deacon Pancho addressed the baptism of the Spirit and the spiritual gifts of grace that all Catholics are open to and pray for. He mentioned the basic constitution of the Second Vatican Council on the Church, Lumen gentium p.12, which clearly states this.
We can do nothing of our own accord to help the Church in her deep crisis other than repent and pray. But in the power of the Holy Spirit we can work, therefore we should seek the baptism of the Spirit and the spiritual gifts of grace. Those who have authority in the Church should encourage believers to do so and should not extinguish the Spirit. The gifts are not for ourselves, but for the church and its structure. To receive the gifts, we must be wholehearted. Our enthusiasm must not cool down. Too much is at stake. We can not afford to be mediocre. Give yourself completely to the Lord. To apply the gifts, Love is fundamental. Without love, gifts do not work, Deacon Pancho said at last.
The sermon was followed by praise and worship, and the service ended with people receiving personal intercession. Many wanted intercession for healing, but also to receive the baptism and liberation of the Spirit to be able to work in the gifts of grace the Lord has given us.
How do we develop the CHARIS community in Sweden?
The people who traveled to CHARIS 'European meeting in Hungary, together with officials in our prayer groups, have continued to reflect on this. A document is being prepared that we want to anchor in all currently active groups in Sweden who define themselves as charismatic. A list of functionaries, prayer group leaders and contact persons can be found [see this link]. The list is under development and is supplemented. It would be good to have people in more places who can take on a responsibility as contact persons.
The desire for regional and national charismatic meetings.
As I interpret the situation today, there is a desire for more national and regional charismatic meetings and conferences. We hope that it will be possible now that the latest wave of Covid will hopefully ebb out in the spring. Offering Life in the Spirit seminars in the congregations is something that would further the purpose of Charismatic Renewal, to promote the reception of the Spirit's baptism throughout the Church. In order for this to be possible, a collaboration between the center and the periphery is needed. In order for it to be meaningful and effective to invite someone from outside to come to a local congregation, it is important that there is an organized reception on site, a contact person, preferably with some people around you who can arrange the practicalities, and of course that is rooted in the pastor.
I also remind you of the synodal path. Collaborate with what is happening in the parishes, and you can also, if you want as individuals or as charismatic groups, answer the questions. Take a look at the information on the diocese's website: https://www.katolskakyrkan.se/biskopssynoden-2023
With this, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.