In the Catholic community many forms of praise and worship exist. Of those that I am very familiar with is the Charismatic style of worship. Charismatics live the reality of all the spiritual gifts mentioned in 2 Corinthians. There is no denying the blessings and enthusiasm that the Charismatics bring to the Church. Even John Paul II gave them personal recognition and a conference for Catholic Charismatics met in Rome just this year. Did you know that the current preacher to the papal household is a Catholic Charismatic? In the Charismatic Style, members of the community may receive a word from the Spirit that everyone calls “prophecy”. As the bible teaches the last true prophet was John the Baptist. But these modern day words of encouragement either reinforce the teachings of Jesus and/or offer encouragement to the community at large. In this post-crucifixion age, true prophecy does not supply predictions, dates or intuitions, it’s not supposed to. This beautiful prophetic word is “almost poetry” and leaves us with plenty to think about…….which is the purpose of prophecy in the first place.
St. Vincent Ferrer Chapel
Once there was a time before time. God beheld a black void. The universe that was to be was not yet. On His Heart was the vast sea of humanity that He had yet to will into existence. In that sea was a single special soul. It was a single, but very special star in space. A single spark of light among billions. It was a tiny speck that would shine for a short time among men and then be gone.
“You will be My special one,” He said to the soul who could not yet hear Him. “You will be born and live in a world of great stress and chaos. You will know love and loss. Illness and recovery. Hate and injustice. Rejection, failure, hunger, heat, and cold. The world will see you as a thing of no value and they will say they can go on without you; for your life had no purpose, direction, or hope.”
But God saw that tiny speck from far off and said again: “You will be My special one for I will call you to Myself. My Grace will be upon you even from eternity. You will know Me and My Word will shape and form your heart. Although the world will bring stress, I will bring peace. The world will attack and bring destruction, but I will bring life. The world teaches hate, but I will teach love. The world brings despair, but I will bring hope. What the world teaches as failure are the platforms for My Victory. The seeds planted in one heart, by the Grace of God, will bear fruit in many. Through My chosen one, the world which is committed to its own destruction will behold the Glory of God.”
In the author’s own words we get a glimpse of his quick wit:
My name is Lawrence Edward Strawn. I was born at a very young age in Cincinnati, Ohio during WWII the son of my father and mother. In grade school people began noticing that I seemed to have a bit of a literary gift although no one seemed to know where it came from. Many years later I came across some letters and other items from my ancestry and found out for the first time that my grandmother was an amateur poet and my great-grandmother was a published poet. My apparently inherited literary gift never developed into the professional realm, but upon entering the Catholic Charismatic Renewal this became a gift I cherished as I began to use it for the Lord’s service.