HOW DID IT START?
One of my neighbors, Gisselle, had just completed a spiritual retreat, and invited my mother and me to her home to give testimony of that experience, accompanied by the preacher who led the retreat.
I went to the meeting, Gisselle and her husband received us warmly and she told us about her experience at the retreat of Catholic Charismatics. Giselle told us how she had gone to meet Jesus, somehow incredulous that she could really feel his presence. However between the praises given by the preacher and the prayer to the Holy Spirit, she fainted and felt that presence of Jesus with an indescribable love.. and now she wanted to share it with everyone.
I was very impressed by Gisselle’s bright face when telling here story, and all that just coincided with my search of a soul healing. So I decided going with her to the next retreat.
THE FIRST DAY
The retreat was also a training for new preachers, led by the lay preacher Juan Rodriguez. A Catholic man who had devoted his life to impart the word of God and make known the charisms of the Holy Spirit.
Attendees were brothers who had already experienced that conversion and came back to reaffirm their faith. All people was so loving and open to share.
The first day, we listened the testimonies of preachers about God’s power. It was very enriching for my Christian faith (which recently walked out of use). Those men and women of faith with lives even more defective than mine or yours, had been transformed into good/loving people by opening their hearts to the Holy Spirit.
I must confess I couldn’t open my heart the first day of the retreat, although I grew up in the Catholic faith, it was very hard for me to put my heart humble. I was just standing there, watching everyone around experiencing something that was still unknown for me.
THE SECOND DAY
One of the attendees, Helena, told us a testimony that solved all my doubts and completely threw my lack of faith on the ground.
She told us that at the beginning of her marriage, she had a terrible relationship with her husband. He mistreated her, and she feeling powerless to do something, also mistreated her little children to unburden herself. With tears in the eyes she told us that she saw herself as a monster who did not deserve happiness. Some years later, Helena got a disease in joints of the legs, which made her become unable to walk, having to use a wheelchair.
One of his sons had started a Christian life and began to convince her to go to the prayer groups and retreats of their community. After his insistence, she agreed and She told us that from that day she realized her lack of love for their children and even her husband, as she recognized that she also had responsibility for their unhappiness.
She apologized to everyone and prayed a lot to God to modify her character.
Little time later, she assisted to one retreat and she could visualize a trauma of her childhood, She had been sexually touched by his uncle and this horrible event had become an internal knot that kept her from giving love to herself and others.
Moved by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the prayer she decided to forgive his uncle and as she did so, she broke into tears and began to scream in pain releasing all that bitterness she was carrying inside herself. After that intense moment, she experienced a deep peace and love overflowing inside her, and then entered into a stillness state as if she was resting. This is known as “the rest in the Holy Spirit”.
Her experience does not end here, a few days after that retreat. Helena traveled to her hometown to meet her uncle. When meeting him, she gave him a hug and told him that she forgave him for everything. The man, who was already very old and sick, began to cry and asked forgiveness.
After that touching experience, she says that Jesus Christ changed her, from her face that now looked brighter, to her legs that gradually regained mobility and healthiness.
The message of Helena at the end of her testimony was this:
“Brothers… never hold grudges.
You have to forgive completely, because if you don’t forgive, you stop being good and loving as you should be, and you also start getting sick. In the extent that you don’t forgive, you gradually get sicker, and it even leads to your children going through those same experiences, as It sadly happened with my mother and my daughter…who also were sexually assaulted…
By the forgiveness I gave, not only did I recover my peace, but also I’m sure I cut with this chain of sorrow in my family line….
That’s why I tell you this with security.
Sometimes it is difficult to know what’s inside us, what is the reason of our torments, the trauma that has left us wounded and acting in a pitiful way .. But for that reason we have Christ; He died on the cross to free us from the concequences of our sins… and I say that the root of our sins is unforgiveness. Now that you know this, ask the Lord to reveal those emotional knots that you have, and that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, release you from them”.
Her touching testimony made me understand everything that I was investigating, about the emotional origin of diseases and our own destructive behavior. I also reminded a reflection of Zen philosophy that says “when someone hurts you for no reason, he is not hurting you, but someone who hurt him in the past”.
THE THIRD DAY
The last day of the retreat, having heard the different testimonies of faith, my heart felt extremely humble, open to experience its hidden pain and very willing to forgive and receive the Lord’s healing.
After a cheerful praise with songs and dances, the preacher invited us in front the altar to receive the “Outpouring of the Spirit”.
He told me “You must be very humble, just pray and call the Holly Spirit.”
I closed my eyes, focused in my heart till I felt it very sincere. Then I asked forgiveness for all my faults, and willing to make amends I began to pray:
“Please come Holy Spirit, I have prepared my heart for you, I receive you with humility because I want to be transformed by you” ..
A few seconds later, I saw a golden light that was growing fast while coming to me, until it filled the entire space of my vision. Then I could see face to face, shaped in golden rays of light, the face of the dove of the Holy Spirit, and at that moment I fell to the floor in tears…
There.. I felt like a very cool electricity through my body, I was crying and shaking as I was praying. Then some minutes later, the crying stopped and I felt calm. Still with my eyes closed, I sat, The preacher had left a small cross of Christ on my chest. I hugged the cross and began to thank God for sending his Spirit to me and free me. Then, I felt clearly the presence of someone in front of me, I felt his fingers drawing a cross on my forehead. It was a presence that was so familiar and it moved me. I was sure it was the presence of Jesus.
I opened my eyes and there was nobody near me, but I knew what I had felt it and still had the fresh feel of his fingers on my forehead…
Before this day you could tell me that I believed without seeing. But now I do believe, because I’ve seen. God allowed me to see and freed me from those bonds that restrained my soul. Therefore as Gisselle, I also had to testify my own experience to the world.
If you trust my testimony, and you also want to receive the healing of the Holy Spirit in your heart, in your home or somewhere quiet, I invite you to pray as follows:
“Dear Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, you who loved with all your soul to God Father and Jesus Christ your son, please help me to experience that great love in my heart.
Dear Jesus, I forgive from the bottom of my heart … (name all the persons whom hurt you, including yourself) and I regret all the harm I did (remember the evil deeds and feel genuine repentance) and I ask pardon.
Holy Spirit, I open my heart to you, I leave it humble for you to come to transform me now. Father..Thy will be done, I love you with all my heart. ”
I recommend putting soft music dedicated to the Holy Spirit in low volume to allow you to meditate this sentence with depth. Don’t fear crying, or remembering painful events. Crying is a sign of an exposed humble heart, you must repent wholeheartedly and forgive all people to achieve peace ..