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Department of Evangelisation
Diocese of Johannesburg
South Africa

Why 
       Jesus ?
Step 1

I want to learn more about Jesus Christ and Christian beliefs.

I believe I am a Christian, but how can I be sure?

I want to commit my life to Jesus ... for the first time!

I want to rededicate my life to Jesus.

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

What do I do now?

How can I tell others about Jesus?

Being a witness for Jesus

I am a lay person, what role can I play in telling others about Jesus?

I still have other questions, where can I find answers?

Step 4

 

 

To be filled with the Holy Spirit

St Cyril of Jerusalem: "The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to counsel, to strengthen and console."

Pope John Paul II : "Do not be afraid.. Let His power of truth and love enliven every aspect of your existence"

What does Scripture say about ...

St Paul tells us to continue being filled with the Spirit.

Scripture: John 14:23-29

23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all  that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.

Scripture: John 15:26-16:4

26 But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; 27 and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 16) 1 "I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.  "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was  with you.

Scripture: John 16:5-11

5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, `Where are you going?' 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Scripture: John 16:12-15

12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Scripture: John 20:19-31

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came  and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place  my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." 26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." 28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Romans 5:5 "Whatever happens we can walk with our heads held high because we know that God loves us, he has poured His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit."

What does the Church say about ...

Pope Paul VI "When the Holy Spirit comes he grants gifts. We already know of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, but he also gives other gifts.. called charisms.. These kinds of charismatic gifts are gratuitous gifts… The Lord wishes to make the Church richer.. We cannot but desire that these gifts come - and may God grant it - with abundance" ( 1974 Synod of Bishops)

Pope John Paul II at Pentecost 1998: " At Vatican II, the Church rediscovered the charismatic dimension as being essential to Her identity. The Institutional and charismatic aspects are almost co-essential to the configuration of the Church.. Today to all of you and to all Christians, I want to cry out "Be open and docile to the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Accept with gratitude and obedience the charisms that the Spirit never ceases to bestow!.. Come Holy Spirit and make the charisms you have bestowed evermore fruitful!"

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa: "There can be no renewal in the Church without the Holy Spirit. There can be a spiritual experience which looks like renewal - improvements in the Liturgy, revision in the way nuns dress, but these are small aspects. There is no real deep renewal in our lives unless we open ourselves and let the spirit come into our lives. He wants to. He waits for us to open the door. I hope this day many of you will open the door to the Holy Spirit." (Preacher to the Papal Household)

"All are called to use the Gifts (charisms) they have been given by the Holy Spirit, to become active participants in the Life of the Church". Pope John Paul II

The Second Vatican Council speaks of the ministries and charisms as the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are given for the building up of the Body of Christ and for its mission of salvation in the world(64). Indeed, the Church is directed and guided by the Holy Spirit, who lavishes diverse hierarchical and charismatic gifts on all the baptized, calling them to be, each in an individual way, active and co-responsible.

Pope Paul VI " I earnestly exhort you to generously open your minds and heart to receive a large outpouring of divine gift, the Holy Spirit. May a new Pentecost descend on you so you will be spiritually renewed and continue on a new road to evangelical witness". (Evangelisation in the Modern World)

Pope Paul VI " Evangelisation will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit" (Evangelisation in the Modern World)

Renewal in the Spirit movement

The Work of the Holy Spirit

From the Treatise On the Holy Spirit by Basis the Great, 4th century  

The titles given to the Holy Spirit must surely stir the soul of anyone who hears them, and make him realize that they speak of nothing less than the supreme Being.  Is he not called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, the steadfast Spirit, the guiding Spirit?  But his principal and most personal title is the Holy Spirit.

To the Spirit all creatures turn in their need for sanctification; all living things seek him according to their ability. His breath empowers each to achieve its own natural end.

The Spirit is the source of holiness, a spiritual light, and he offers his own light to every mind to help it in its search for truth. By nature the Spirit is beyond the reach of our mind, but we can know him by his goodness. The power of the Spirit fills the whole universe, but he gives himself only to those who are worthy, acting in each according to the measure of his faith.
Simple in himself, the Spirit is manifold in his mighty works. The whole of his being is present to each individual; the whole of his being is present everywhere. Though shared in by many, he remains unchanged; his self-giving is no los's to himself. Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth his grace in full measure, sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive him. To all creatures that share in him he gives a delight limited only by their own nature, not by his ability to give.

The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with himself.
As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others.
From the Spirit comes foreknowledge of the future, under- standing of the mysteries of faith, insight into the hidden mean- ing of Scripture, and other special gifts. Through the Spirit we become citizens of heaven, we are admitted to the company of the angels, we enter into eternal happiness and abide in God. Through the Spirit we acquire a likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime aspirations-we become God.

How can I be filled with  and receive the Gifts of the Spirit?

Ask for and pray earnestly to the Father to receive His Spirit. You may want to pray the prayer below.

What are the purpose of the Gifts (Charisms)?

The Holy Spirit, while bestowing diverse ministries in Church communion, enriches it still further with particular gifts or promptings of grace, called charisms. These can take a great variety of forms, both as a manifestation of the absolute freedom of the Spirit who abundantly supplies them, and as a response to the varied needs of the Church in history. The description and the classification given to these gifts in the New Testament are an indication of their rich variety. "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues" (1 Cor 12:7-10; cf. 1 Cor 12:4-6, 28-31; Rom 12:6-8; 1 Pt 4:10-11). Christifideles Laici

What happens when I am filled with the Spirit?

Each person experiences God's loving presence in a unique and personal way. Some may be filled with joy, others may experience a great sense of relief. And still others may immediately demonstrate the Gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues. Whatever may be your experience, one thing is certain, you will enter into (perhaps for the fist time) or renew your relationship with Jesus Christ.

St. Philip Neri living in 16th Century Rome "who brought the joy of the Lord to an entire city, a much sort after confessor of rich and poor alike and who miraculously healed the sick. A priest who by following the Spirit's promptings spawned a religious revival and established a new religious congregation…. On the night before Pentecost 1544 Philip experienced an extraordinary visitation from God's Spirit; as he was absorbed in prayer, he saw a ball of fire enter his mouth and travel down to his heart. The sensation of intense heat - that all consuming fire of God's love - was so great that he threw himself on the ground to cool himself, pleading 'enough Lord enough, I can't take any more!' as a result he was drawn to others, he began to spend time on the streets of Rome, casually striking up conversations with people, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel"

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa "When prayed over for the infilling of the Holy Spirit in 1975, "my perception was that I was simply renewing my baptism.. nothing spectacular happened at that point but there was a prophecy "You will experience a new joy in proclaiming my word", at that time I was more a professor than a preacher..but now I can tell you it has come true…. later in Italy I had an experience vaguely like speaking in tongues, a very deep communication with God, I felt a call to leave my work and evangelise"...now preacher to the Papal household!!

By a logic which looks to the divine source of this giving [of the Gifts of the Spirit], as the Council recalls (80), the gifts of the Spirit demand that those who have received them exercise them for the growth of the whole Church.

What are the Fruits of the Spirit?

Prayer for the infilling of the Holy Spirit

Prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit

Heavenly Father, I want to have all the experiences in my life that You have provided for me in Jesus. I am sorry for my pride of knowledge that may have kept me from experiencing any part of the gift You have so graciously provided. I do repent of this pride, Father, and I ask You, Lord Jesus, to bring me ever deeper into my experience of life and reveal Your life and love to me. I will receive the gift of Your love in Your death for me, and all that it means. I want You to take over the guidance of my life and be my Lord. Even though I don't know all that this means now, I trust You to teach me. Lord Jesus, I ask You to baptize me in Your Holy Spirit with all that it means to You to do so. I want all You have suffered so much to give me to be a part of my life and experience. O, Lord Jesus, I empty myself of all that I thought I knew if it stands in Your way of teaching me more about Yourself. Teach me Your love - may Your Holy Spirit now be my ability to love, to speak and to live a life worthy of Your name. I thank You Father; I do now receive all of Jesus; I thank You Jesus, I do now receive all of Your Holy Spirit; I thank you Holy Spirit that You have made all this possible by Your faithful love. In Holiness, teach me, and in Your grace I shall learn. In Jesus' name, I pray in thanksgiving. Amen.

Learn more about ...

Here is a selected list of more material for study or discussion in your faith sharing groups. We recommend that you attend an Alpha Seminar in your Parish or local community. If Alpha is not being run in your Parish, contact us to find out where one is being run. The Alpha course ....

Church Documents
Audio Visual
Online Resources
  • Gospel Of The Holy Spirit Hosted by Fr. Mcbride: Discover your call to be a missionary and evangelizer for Christ with Fr. Alfred McBride.
Online Reading Material
Writings of the church fathers  Prayers  Meditations