One God, One Hunger A Catholic seminarian’s reflections from Onething 2016
Father, we are so hungry for more. Thank you for what you're doing in the Church and throughout the entire Christian Faith. I pray that the Holy Spirit of unity would fall upon anyone who is reading this post. Thank you Lord, in Jesus’ name.
Wow. There is so much to say about the Onething conference that International House of Prayer hosted this year. I had just ended my first semester of seminary and was very ready for a mighty move of God. If I had one word to describe my first semester, it would be this: revealing. God revealed so much about myself, especially my imperfections. Through every revelation of my own weakness, I hungered for the Lord even more. Upon hearing about the Onething conference and seeing who would be speaking (in particular, Todd White and Bill Johnson), I was very intrigued. However, I had no idea what to expect.
Along came the journey down to Missouri. I was in a car with two of my friends that I worked with over the summer. As soon as the trip began, we were praying. God made his presence very clearly known to us and we were very ready for whatever we would encounter. However, I still had no idea what to expect. We arrived late that night. We went to Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and afterwards went to lunch with a newly ordained priest from LA. It was incredible to see people from all around sharing in the same hunger.
As Catholics, we had our own “Catholic Track” that was separate from the main conference. The first thing we did was listen to two men (a priest and a youth minister) talk about the gifting so of God and how to walk like Jesus. Then we all exercised the gift of the word of knowledge along with healing. Upon being asked how many of us had prayed for supernatural healing before, almost all (if not all) hands were rose. We were told that our Catholic presence at this conference was meant to begin a cross pollination of the multiple Christian churches. We had praise/prayer ministry afterward that involved praying for the impartation of spiritual gifts.
Afterwards, we went to a restaurant to grab some dinner. Along the way, we met a fellow Christian brother. We struck up a conversation about the Lord and how he was working in our lives. I began to tell this man about how the Spirit was moving in the Archdiocese of Detroit (through our recent synod) as well as within the seminary. We explained some of the fundamental truths about the Charismatic Renewal (now in its 50th year anniversary) in the Catholic Church. I know the Lord was working that night because I began to talk about philosophy and the search for truth, and then began to talk about the love Jesus was giving to us on the night of the last supper (or the night in which the holy Eucharist was instituted). He exclaimed, “Man! I've never met Catholics like you guys before!” He's never met Catholics like us most likely because we don't reach out to our Protestant brothers and sisters. When praying with him (and a few others we met) I received an image of a charging lion. I believe the Lord was revealing is that it's time to set aside our differences and charge into battle with Christ who is our leader. I didn't try to “convert” my friend that night, all I did was love him and share some truth.
Throughout the entire conference, I began to notice how so many people are hungry for more of God, and many are open to the truth. Lord, please release a hunger and thirst for your Eucharist that goes even beyond the physical boundaries of the Church. Draw all people into your sacrifice of love. Todd White often talks about how arguing is no longer working for us. He says that he is done with debating. We need to physically manifest God’s love and draw people home to the Catholic Church. People are not hungry for our doctrine, they are hungry for Christ, and I want to live a life that is Eucharistic. I want to receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament every day and have my life declare the truth about his true presence.
By: Theodore, a Catholic Seminarian