A classmate once gave a homily on prayer in which he spoke about growing up Catholic, later becoming Episcopalian, and yet later he returned to the Catholic Church.  As he told his story, he said it was in the Episcopalian Church that he first really learned to pray.  When he said these words, I thought about my own experience; in Pinckneyville, I worked for the late Fr. Dean Braun and his mother.  Fr. Dean was a charismatic priest filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and it was through him that I learned about the Charismatic renewal.  It has been the Charismatic Catholics and my Pentecostal friends that taught me the most about prayer.  So often we think these ‘holy rollers’ are out there in their own world, but I am privileged to be enriched with their traditions. 

I say this because an excellent book recently came out entitled Pentecostal Sacraments: Encountering God at the Altar.  The author, Daniel Tomberlin, examines the writings of the Church Fathers and challenges Pentecostals to reclaim the ancient heritage of sacraments as a means to encounter God.  While we may not always agree with Tomberlin’s conclusions, the book helps us to appreciate how much Christians can hold in common.  As Catholics, we can take our sacramental tradition for granted and sometimes fail to give enough attention to Scripture.  If a Pentecostal can write such a scholarly, spiritual, and pastoral book on sacraments, maybe we need to write the book Catholic Scriptures: Encountering God at the Ambo.

 
 


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