Father Wilmer L. Todd
St. Joseph Church in Chauvin recently had an Advent Mission conducted by Paul Koleske, a Catholic Lay Missionary from Milwaukee, Wisc.
Through his use of music and reflections on being a Christian in the world today, he challenged everyone to be a real Christian, not just a cultural Christian.
Paul had a conversion experience in his journey as a “lukewarm” Catholic Christian.
When he asked a special favor of God, he got a bit more than he expected. He said, “I saw Mary, Jesus and Joseph all in bronze about 35 feet tall with Jesus elevated between Mary and Joseph.
They totally amazed me. I talked to no one for several minutes. I just kept looking up into the sky.”
He went on to say, “About 30 minutes later I was standing around the crucifix on the Holy Hill in Conyers, Ga. A woman had fallen into my back and lay motionless on the ground, I panicked and said we need to help her. Instead, everyone joined hands around her and prayed.
People said that the Holy Spirit was at work.
A few minutes later she got up looking very much at peace, brushed off the dirt, and hugged her family and friends.
“I walked closer to the crucifix. I was overcome with a feeling of unexplainable peace and happiness and I began to sob like a baby, the entire front of my coat was wet.
I just couldn’t stop crying! Finally, my weeping ceased and it was the best cry I ever had. I was so refreshed, and obviously touched by the Holy Spirit. This became the beginning of my ministry.”
When it comes to our faith, we can possess much head knowledge. Yet, if we do not put our faith into everyday action, and use that knowledge for building Christ’s Church, we are not being real Christians. Paul left us with a desire to increase our inner spiritual growth so we can be the best stewards possible.
Paul also pointed out why many people are missing the “spirit” required to move mountains in their lives and the Church.
These people don’t fully believe and therefore they have a timid spirit that is not attractive and does not inspire others or even themselves. They lack faith in themselves and their ability to proclaim the inspired words of God.
Christians must also understand the role that the mind-body function plays in their everyday life. We have messages that we keep in our brains, both positive and negative. “I am someone of worth and value because God loves me” is an example of positive association. “I am no good because of all the things I did in my past” is an example of a negative message.
Every day we should look at the positive messages that shape our spiritual life.
The power of the spoken word can break the mental cycles of anxiety, fear, doubt, worry and guilt.
When we have God as the “Source” of our lives, our possibilities in life are endless.
The God who dwells in each of us has endowed us with incredible power to achieve great things.
Paul gave us some new insight into how we can increase the awareness in the Presence of the Holy Spirit within us and use these diving gifts for the greater good.
Many people think that religion is doing good “things” to get right with God.
Yet Jesus calls us to a personal relationship with the Almighty. There is a great chasm between these two notions.
It is imperative that Christians learn how to be more aware, understand, and experience the Power of the Risen Christ in their daily lives.
When we connect with the Christ within ourselves, we will experience the true meaning of Christmas. May Christ be in your Christmas and throughout the New Year.