My conversion to the Holy Spirit

Frank Becker

I am Frank Becker, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bettendorf for 22 years. That is when I moved from Davenport.
Prior to 2009, my intercessor (and helper) was the Blessed Virgin Mary. When I needed assistance, I would pray to Mary to ask God to help me. This began when I was in grade school and my family would gather and pray the rosary. I was a rosary man! This was true all my life until May 2009 when I participated in a Called and Gifted program in Bettendorf at St. John Vianney Parish. That is when I learned all about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But I also still say the rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After all, she is the Mother of God!
We are united into the Christian community through the sacraments of initiation: baptism, Eu­charist and confirmation. In these sacraments we receive grace; we are called by God to live the life of Christ.
We are called to go forth to serve and love others! (Matthew 28:19) This call will challenge you every day as you journey with Christ. How do you respond? What do you do with this call? Is it more than you can handle?
The gifts of the Holy Spirit will assist you in your work as a disciple. You call upon the Holy Spirit to assist you with your challenge. God said “Go and do.” He did not say, “Go and be a success.”
We all have these gifts, which are also referred to as charisms. A gift may be given for a single time only, while some seem to be given on a permanent basis. For example, a Christian without a gift of healing may be used by God to heal in a particular situation. All Christians are given one or more long-term gifts, which God makes use of throughout our lives. Many Christians have the gift of service to others. These gifts can also be deliberately developed (1 Cor. 12-14).
As a sign of being in right-relationship, we receive the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit. This manifests itself as an inner peace, joy and happiness.
I had the opportunity in June 2010 to participate as a general helper in Dr. Joe Lohmuller’s annual medical mission to Peru. The group has a teen team that visits schools, orphanages and facilities for children with handicaps. My grandson, Michael Becker, was part of the teen team.
On the first morning, during a devotion service over breakfast, a team member read a selection from the Bible and then briefly discussed it. I could see that Michael and his friends knew what they were going to do and they all appeared happy, excited and comfortable. I looked around the room and saw all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel and began to become uncomfortable and asked myself, “What am I doing here?!” As I began to get sick to my stomach, the devotion leader began talking about the intervention of the Holy Spirit in times of trouble and obstacles. But I just wasn’t getting it.
As morning devotions ended, I was assigned to the Medical Clinic Bus. I had no idea where I was going or what I would be doing. When we arrived in one of the poor sections of Arequipa, Peru, Dr. Ann Polumbo asked me to help her set up the pharmacy for the medical clinic. “Pay attention,” she said. “I’ll show you how it works.”
I realized then that the Holy Spirit had touched me and I had one of the most fulfilling days of my life. I felt close to Jesus all day. On the bus trip back to the hotel I felt an inner peace, joy and happiness.
Since my experience in Peru, I have had many incidences in which the Holy Spirit intervened and assisted me. I have found that the Holy Spirit is many things; Intercessor, Counselor, Advocate and Helper and a Source of Power (through the gift of grace). This is the same Spirit God sent to earth through Jesus, his only begotten Son, to teach and spread God’s Word.
(For information about beginning a Called and Gifted program in your parish, please contact Nikki Gartner at jngartner@aol.com or call (563) 370-3360.)

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