Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

5/19/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ecclesial movements are the providential response of the Holy Spirit to critical challenges of the new millennium, the divine finger pointing out where these challenges exist and ways in which to meet them. The Church was founded for the very purpose of spreading the kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God.

The Holy Spirit 'breathes where He wills' (John 3:8).

The Holy Spirit "breathes where He wills" (John 3:8).

Highlights

By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/19/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Vocations


NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - "Suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:2-3).

In the Old Testament, Pentecost was the feast of the first fruits of the harvest, always held fifty days after the Passover sacrifice. In the New Testament, it was at Pentecost that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the earth, fifty days after the Paschal sacrifice of Christ, through the disciples gathered and waiting in the Upper Room.

It was the Holy Spirit that burst forth upon the earth through wind and fire and carried Christ's disciples to the very ends of the earth. They, and their work, were the first fruits of the Holy Spirit's harvest of souls.  

The Church was founded that Pentecost for the very purpose of spreading the kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God, to enable all humanity to share in redemption, and to gather the whole world, both the spiritual and temporal orders, into a relationship with Christ. The relationship of everything in and to Christ renews all of creation, initially on earth and completely on the last day. It is the special work of the Holy Spirit.

The Hands and Feet of Christ

All the activities of the Mystical Body directed to this renewal of creation are missionary; they are called the apostolate. The Christian vocation by its very nature is necessarily a vocation to the apostolate, so that no part of the structure of the living Mystical Body can be passive.

Each part has a share in the function as well as life of the body, which, "joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love" (Eph. 4:16).

"Indeed, the organic union in this body and the structure of the members are so compact that the member who fails to make his proper contribution to the development of the Church must be said to be useful neither to the Church nor to himself (Apostolicam Acuositatem, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Pope Paul VI).

For the exercise of ministry, the Holy Spirit sanctifies the people of God through sacrament and apostolate and gives us special gifts (1 Cor. 12:7), "allotting them to everyone according as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11). Incorporated into Christ's Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, each of us is assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself.

There arises for each believer, then, the right and duty to use these special gifts in the Church and in the world for the good of men and the building up of the Church, in the freedom of the Holy Spirit who "breathes where He wills" (John 3:8).

Renewing the Face of the Earth

"With the Second Vatican Council, the Comforter recently gave the Church, which according to the Fathers is the place 'where the Spirit flourishes' (CCC 749), a renewed Pentecost, instilling a new and unforeseen dynamism" (Speech for the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements, John Paul II). 

As in the first New Testament Pentecost, there remains an element of surprise in the Holy Spirit's movement, and a diversity of ministry in the oneness of the mission of the Church. It is from this providential rediscovery of the Church's charismatic dimension that, before and after the Council, a remarkable pattern of growth was established for ecclesial movements and new communities.

The Church, herself renewed and refreshed, penetrates and perfects the temporal order through the fresh wind and fire of the Holy Spirit, renewing and refreshing the earth with the Gospel she carries forth.

Having stepped firmly into the third millennium, we can see in hindsight of Vatican II that the Holy Spirit was again "allotting his gifts according as he wills (cf. 1 Cor 12:11), and not just his gifts. "[The Holy Spirit] also distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank.... He makes them fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church" (Lumen Gentium, n. 12).

It was and is these special graces, distributed afresh after the breath of the Council, that inspired and empower ecclesial movements and their particular charisms. These movements, under the sanction and direction of the Church, advance the kingdom of God and reform and improve the temporal order in a Christian spirit. They are the providential response of the Holy Spirit to critical challenges of this new millennium, and highlight, in fact, where they exist and ways in which to meet them. 

The laity who have followed their vocation and become members of one of the movements or associations approved by the Church faithfully adopt the special characteristics of the spiritual life which are proper to them, not separating union with Christ from their own lives, but rather performing their work according to God's and therefore growing in that union.

Come Holy Spirit

Ecclesial movements contribute diversely to the life, renewal and sanctification of God's people. Their institutional and charismatic aspects are therefore essential to the Church's constitution. Through these movements, "there are innumerable opportunities open to the laity for the exercise of their apostolate of evangelization and sanctification" (Apostolicam Acuositatem, Pope Paul VI).

We pray then, with John Paul II, "Come, Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth! Come with your seven gifts! Come, Spirit of Life, Spirit of Communion and Love! The Church and the world need you. Come, Holy Spirit, and make ever more fruitful the charisms you have bestowed on us.

"Give new strength and missionary zeal to these sons and of daughters of yours who have gathered...Open their hearts; renew their Christian commitment in the world. Make them courageous messengers of the Gospel, witnesses to the risen Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of man. Strengthen their love and their fidelity to the Church" (Speech for the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements, John Paul II). 

-----

Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker, Scripture teacher and study author, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. She is available to speak on the New Feminism, current events and your preferred theme. Visit her at www.pursuingthesummit.com for information and sample videos, or www.pursuingthesummit.blogspot.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Vocations

Leadership Conference of Women Religious taken to task by Vatican for honoring controversial theologian Watch

Image of Conscious evolution is a set of ideas developed in the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who addressed the LCWR annual assembly in 2012

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Using blunt language, the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office Cardinal Gerhard Müller rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR for honoring a Catholic theologian judged "seriously inadequate" and for promoting ideas he ... continue reading


A Website for Women to Imagine What a Nun's Life is Like

Image of What's it like? Take a virtual journey as a sister on this new, unique website featuring some of the amazing religious women who provide help to those in need everyday.

By Jennifer Murphy, Communications Specialist, Sisters of Bon Secours

The Sisters of Bon Secours, an international religious congregation of Catholic sisters based in Marriottsville, Md., announce the launch of a unique website, www.LifeAsASister.org. 'Imagine a Sister's Life' allows single Catholic women to imagine what it's like ... continue reading


Trappist monks' spirituality hailed as key to business success

Image of Trappist Monks combine business acumen with spiritual devotion to provide superior workmanship and value to clients.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A spiritual focus on generous service and community is the key to success for the Trappist monks, not only in their business ventures but in all of their pursuits, said a businessman closely acquainted with the order. WASHINGTON D.C., February 26 (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Archbishop José H. Gomez on Praying for Priests and Promoting Vocations

Image of Fathers Manuel Bravo, Chan Woo Lee, Eben MacDonald and Nabor Rios turn to the assembly gathered for their ordination to the priesthood June 2. VICTOR ALEMAN

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

Every priest is a sacrament - a sign and instrument that brings men and women to the encounter with the living God. So in this Year of Faith, we need to refocus ourselves, especially in our families, on helping men to hear this beautiful and noble calling from Jesus. ... continue reading


COL EXCLUSIVE: Fr. Pontifex - See what this priest does to deliver his powerful message Watch

Image of Fr. Pontifex during a recent recording session for

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

He is a growing personality in the Catholic world and represents a new movement to engage the youth and reconvert the lost. Is he the Pope? A new bishop? A pop star? Well, he's not any of these things - yet. However, Fr. Pontifex, may eventually be all three, God ... continue reading


Sisters of Bon Secours Host Project Good Help to Assist Underserved in Baltimore

Image of Volunteers work side-by-side with the Sisters of Bon Secours to assist the poor of innercity Baltimore by serving in a soup kitchen, women's resource center, a community garden and within senior housing.

By Jennifer Murphy, Communications Associate

The Sisters of Bon Secours, an international community of Catholic women religious (sisters) with ministries in healthcare, human and social services, education and spiritual retreats, is welcoming volunteers to participate in Project Good Help®. This annual ... continue reading


Benedictine Monks from Oklahoma Move to Ireland's Stamullen Priory Watch

Image of Stamullen Priory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

They seek to bring healing to a wounded Irish Church. I believe they are a first fruit of her restoration and a sign of her future contribution in a new missionary age. God has not abandoned the Church in Ireland. The Purification of the Church always precedes her ... continue reading


Benedictine Monks from Oklahoma Become Missionaries to the Irish Church Watch

Image of Our Lady of the Cenacle Icon of the Monastic community

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, and the brothers gathered with him, represent the best of the monastic life.  They are moving their entire community to Ireland, a land which once gave the world monks, missionaries, and martyrs. They are doing so in order to help bring ... continue reading


Knights of the Holy Eucharist Announce Facebook Page Watch

Image of Brother David with Mother Angelica

By Knights of the Holy Eucharist

Young men 18 and older interested in our community are welcome to visit for up to two weeks. This way they can participate in our work and prayer and make a pilgrimage to this Shrine.Knights of the Holy Eucharist Announce Facebook Page HANCEVILLE, AL (Knights of ... continue reading


Child Casket Fund: Trappist Monks of New Melleray Practice the Corporal Works of Mercy Watch

Image of Caskets lovingly crafted by the Monks of New Melleray Abbey

By Deacon Keith Fournier

 New Melleray is a Cistercian (Trappist) monastery located in the beautiful rolling farmland south of Dubuque, Iowa. Thirty monks live in community - praying and working for the salvation of the whole world. Crafting childrens caskets is an act of love and a ... continue reading


All Vocations News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter