December 29,

The Spirit blows on the Church

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord …. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” Lk 2,22-32

In the late sixties, after that the Holy Spirit powerfully had blown over the bishops of the Vatican II, it began to blow over the whole Church. There was a great flowering of movements, associations and spiritual currents which, in a short time, spread all over the world, as the fire pushed by the wind of the bush. Everywhere prayer groups and spiritual gatherings sprang up, which infused new life in many people, whose faith was a bit atrophied. There was a general awakening which recalled the relive of the dry bones in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel: “The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he led me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with bones…. it came into them; they came alive and stood upright” (Ez 37,1-10). In that new spring time of the Church,  a group of the Charismatic Renewal was born in Milan, in which a good number of people met to pray and praise the Lord in a free, more spontaneous and joyful manner than the old habits. Father Thomas Beck, a Jesuit, lived in Milan by that time who, becoming aware of those meetings, led by the Spirit, went to see what was going on. The meeting of father Thomas with that new spiritual reality had an extraordinary success: it was as they were searching for each other since long time. It happened that the Charismatic Renewal of Milan found his spiritual leader and that priest met the Church of which he had always dreamed. The Spirit who had suggested to father Thomas to go in that prayer group was the same who, two thousand years before,  had suggested to the old Simeon to go to the temple, at the same time when Joseph and Mary brought in the child Jesus to be circumcised. The elderly priest, enlightened by the Spirit, recognized the Messiah in that child and his heart full of joy broke out the wonderful song of the Dimittis: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation”.

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