Pope Francis in his Wednesday General audience of June 19, 2013 said, “We must try to bring about unity. I will tell you something: today, before leaving home, I spent forty minutes, more or less, half an hour, with an evangelical pastor and we prayed together and sought unity. Because we have to pray together as Catholics and also with other Christians, pray that the Lord gives us the gift of unity, unity among us. But how will we have unity among Christians if we are not capable of it among ourselves as Catholics?”
How beautiful Pope Francis and this evangelical pastor praying together for an out pouring of the Holy Spirit and Unity.
When I read this quote it reminded me of my early day as a priest. I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit two days after my ordination. When I received it I didn’t know what happened to me. I had never meet anyone who had this experience, and could explain it to me. For a couple of months I was visiting protestant prayer group seeing if anyone could explain what happened to me. At the time I didn’t even have a name for the experience.
On this particular evening in 1996, I was visiting Word of Life Church in Annandale Va, The pastor was praying over people and I said to myself, “Would it be OK for this pastor to pray over me? I am a Catholic Priest.” I asked the Lord in prayer, “Jesus if you want Pastor Wendel to pray over me you have to give me a sign.” I opened up the bible at random to Mark 9:38. “The apostles went to Jesus and said we say a man casting out demons in your name who is not of our company and we tried to stop him, Jesus said, ‘do not try to stop him because no one can work a miracle in my name and at the same time speak ill of me.”
I took this scripture as confirmation. I asked the pastor to pray for me for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When he prayed for me I felt the Holt Spirit flow through me from my head to my toes.
On the drive home to St Michael at 10 pm. I opened my mouth and I began to sing in tongues.
This helped me to learn that the Holy Spirit blows were He will. I always remember that I received the gift of tongues from this protestant minister.
Come Holy Spirit and fill the Hearts of your Faithful and renew the face of the earth.