CCR Sweden Newsletter Dec 2023
by Bengt Malmgren.
CALLED , TRANSFORMED, SENT
On the CHARIS website there is information from the big international meeting CALLED, TRANSFORMED, SENT in Rome Nov 2-4, including the Pope's full speech to the 3000 participants. [Link here].
From Pope Francis' speech:
"Attentive to recent developments of that ‘current of grace’ which is the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, CHARIS is called to accompany and guide all charismatic communities, in communion, on the path ahead. CHARIS is in some sense a 'window' on the vast and varied world of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Those involved in its work have an extraordinary opportunity to look out this window, to peer into the distance, beyond local experiences, and to appreciate the rich gifts that the Holy Spirit is bestowing in cultural, social and ecclesial contexts very different from their own. By discerning this awareness and sharing these manifold experiences, CHARIS, in carrying out its service, can assist individual groups to move beyond certain limited horizons and offer them a broader charismatic and ecclesial perspective.
One goal that you are proposing, and which I myself have encouraged, is to expand the “Life in the Spirit Seminars” in all places and for everyone. These are truly kerygmatic moments, opportunities for the “initial proclamation” of the Gospel. They make it possible for people to encounter the living Jesus, in his word and his Spirit, and at the same time to experience his Church as a welcoming environment, a place of grace, reconciliation and rebirth. That is why I have encouraged you to make these Seminars more widely available. Today I would ask you: are the Life in the Spirit Seminars being offered in a variety of ecclesial contexts, in small and remote places, and among the poor and on the peripheries? One obstacle to this might be the idea that these Seminars can only be held in large venues and with well-known leaders, whereas in reality even small parish groups and local leaders can organize them and present them to people in their area.
The Life in the Spirit Seminars are often an engaging and transformative experience that becomes a turning point in people’s lives. Nonetheless, they are only a beginning, like a fire that burns very intensely but risks dying out unless it is continually fed. Precisely for this reason, the Seminars need to be followed up by suitable methods of continuing formation that can fan into flame the graces received and encourage ongoing growth in faith and prayer, the moral and sacramental life, the practice of charity and cooperation in the Church’s mission. Here I would mention two elements present in the CHARIS Statutes.
First: the importance of ‘promoting the exercise of charisms not only in Catholic Charismatic Renewal but also in the whole Church’ (Art. 3 §b). The particular service CHARIS can perform is that of promoting charisms and encouraging them to be put at the service of the whole Church. This is especially the case for charisms that serve evangelization and missionary activity aimed above all at those who do not yet know Christ.
Second: ‘encouraging the spiritual deepening and holiness of people who live the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit’ (Art. 3 §c). It should not be taken for granted that once someone has received baptism in the Spirit that he or she is already fully Christian. The path to holiness always involves growth in personal conversion and in the generous gift of oneself to Christ and to others, not merely in a sense of individual spiritual consolation."
Commentary: Pope Francis speaks of the mission of CHARIS to walk with and guide the CCR. Through its global overview, CHARIS has an opportunity to help local groups look beyond the local and adopt a broader charismatic and ecclesiastical perspective on what they do. He also emphasizes that the charisms are for the whole Church, not just for the Charismatic Renewal, and asks CHARIS to help implementing them for the whole Church. He also mentions the Life in the Spirit seminars as a good way to promote the full life of the Spirit and the reception of the spiritual graces throughout the Church.
Life in the Spirit seminars in Sweden
Life in the Spirit seminars have been held in 2023 by the prayer group Siloe in Maria in Rosengård's parish in Malmö and in the Holy Trinity parish in Järfälla. In the spring of 2024, we plan to continue our tradition of seminars in ecumenical collaboration with St. Clara's Church (Swedish protestant church). It is clear, especially since Pope Francis has also emphasized this, that Life in the Spirit seminars are a key point in the outreach activities we should be part of the Charismatic Renewal in Sweden, and I hope many prayer groups will take up this. To help you, I am now putting the finishing touches on a compendium for team leaders that I expect to have ready by early next year.
CHARIS is the structure established by Pope Francis to promote and guide the Charismatic Renewal and its many groups and communities worldwide. CHARIS does invaluable work in serving as a communication channel and promoting the maturity and development of the Renewal, for example through international conferences and study programs such as the CHARIS Integral Formation Program. The moderator of CHARIS, Pino Scafuro writes in a letter to us that CHARIS' finances need additional funding to be able to continue to carry out its mission, voluntary donations have significantly decreased after the pandemic. If you think it is important with charismatic renewal in the church and want to support CHARIS' mission to promote it, please make a contribution via the following link: [Contribution to CHARIS]
Here is a list of some books I recommend that are either provided by me or can be ordered through the CHARIS bookstore:
Nytt liv i Anden - Participant booklet for the Life in the Spirit seminars. 50 kr Can be ordered via Bengt Malmgren
Lillemor Hallin: Gud Kallar vanliga människor till att bygga upp hans rike - Om den andliga förnyelsen i Danderyd och Täby 1970 - 1990-tal. Encouraging book that describes a living local ecumenism in the power of the Holy Spirit. 150 kr. Rekvireras via Bengt Malmgren
By Lillemor Hallin, we also recommend: Strömmar av liv - Om den helige Andes verk i vår tid (Libris), Se Herrens Härlighet (Kornets förlag) These two are out of print but you can get hold of them antiquarian. Bengt Malmgren has a few copies left to order.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit - International Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Comission. Theological aspects and pastoral perspectives on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A good knowledge base for those who want to know more about the fundamentals of Charismatic Renewal. Ordered via the CHARIS book service.
Guideline on Prayers for Healing - International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Comission. Review of the theological basis of prayer for healing and pastoral ecclesiastical aspects, both when integrated into the worship life of the church or when it is done privately within prayer groups. Ordered via the CHARIS book service.
Deliverance Ministry - International Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Comission. This is not about exorcism that takes place in cases of possession, that is unusual and can only be performed by an authorized person within the church, but about the type of deliverance service that is normally part of the life and evangelization of the church, for example in connection with the renewal of baptismal vows. Good review that gives a healthy perspective on an otherwise often controversial subject. Can be ordered via Bengt Malmgren (150 SEK) or directly via the CHARIS book service.
CHARIS book service: https://www.charis.international/en/bookstore/
Order from Bengt Malmgren: Via e-post email@example.com , enter your name, address and books you want to order.
Charismatic Renewal—An Stream of Grace for the Whole Church
Finally, I would like to recommend this text by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa: [The Catholic Charismatic Renewal: A Current of Grace for the whole Church]. It first addresses the concept of renewal and then explains what the term "charismatic" means. The Church has both a hierarchical and a charismatic dimension, both of which are equally important and complement each other.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
God's light does not cease to shine in the darkness even in difficult times.
Let us pray for the light and power of the Holy Spirit tenfold in the coming year.
God has no hands other than ours here on earth Let us serve him.