CCR: Going Deeper And Reaching Further
Michelle Moran, President of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal, reflects on the way forward in the 50th anniversary year of CCR.
From 17 to 19 February 2017, I was privileged to be at the Ark and the Dove retreat centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was the venue of the Duquesne University weekend that marked the beginning of Catholic Charismatic Renewal. We were gathered 50 years later in the original chapel, on the exact same dates.
During a weekend of many highlights, one prophetic word stands out for me. The word was spoken with an exaltation that the Lord wants to take us deeper in the life of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 7:11: 'In the 600th year of Noah's life, in the second month and on the 17th day of that month, that very day all the springs of the great deep broke through and the sluices of heaven opened. It rained on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights'.
These "springs" were the water of purification. In 1967, we saw the water, the life-giving water of the Holy Spirit flowing into the Catholic Church in the slipstream of the second Vatican Council. This life-giving water rapidly spread across the globe. Today there are more than 120 million people who would testify to a life changing experience in the power of the Holy Spirit through Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Certainly the Lord continues to pour out his life-giving water. Indeed, Pope Francis has asked the Charismatic Renewal to 'share with all in the Church the grace of the baptism in the Holy Spirit'.
The Golden Jubilee also ushers in a new season of spring rain. The scriptures speak of the autumn and spring rain. In biblical times, crops were planted in the autumn. The initial or early rain that fell in autumn enabled the crops to take root and become established. However, it is the spring rain that yields the harvest.
At Pentecost, the Holy Father has invited the worldwide Catholic Charismatic Renewal to Rome. During our celebrations, he will pray for a new Pentecost in the Church and in the world. This will send us forth in the new season with a new empowerment for evangelisation.
We need to take this missionary mandate seriously, so that a movement which began in 1967 with a handful of university students will grow into a strong worldwide current of grace, yielding a harvest that is beyond our imagination.