Participants in the 5th Convention of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Dubai Participants in the 5th Convention of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Dubai 

Catholic Charismatic Renewal meeting underway in UAE

Catholics from Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates gather in Dubai for the 5th Convention of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

By Joseph Tulloch

Some 3,000 Catholics from various countries are in Dubai for the 5th Convention of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Dubai.

The meeting, which will run from 1 to 3 December and is organised by CHARIS, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service, will host participants from Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE itself.

Also involved in organising the Convention were Bishops Paolo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, and Aldo Berardi, Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia.

“Be holy, for I am holy”

The Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, sent a message to mark the occasion.

In it, he reflected on a quotation from the First Letter of Peter –  “Be Holy, for I am Holy!” (1Pt 1,16) – and identified four ways in which Christians are called to holiness.

The first of these, he said, stems from God’s transcendence. God’s “total separation from evil and from every imperfection," he suggested, “gives way above all to a moral exhortation: that of being ‘holy’, in other words, separate from sin.”

Secondly, he said, God’s holiness means not only transcendence but also relation—God is the “Holy One of Israel.”

“God elected an insignificant people,” Cardinal Farrell wrote, “and made them the recipients of care, fatherly and motherly attention... This is an invitation addressed to each person to become neighbors to their brothers and sisters, to enter into a relationship of closeness, of care, and of love with others, especially with those who are suffering.”

A third facet of God’s holiness, the Cardinal continued, is that it is Trinitarian. Imitating God’s Trinitarian holiness, he suggested, means “striving to relive the mystery of unity in diversity, of perfect communion of spirit, intent and desires, while fully affirming one's own personality in every aspect of life.”

Finally, Cardinal Farrell noted that “the Old Testament reveals to us that God's holiness is fully manifested in His love for sinners: ‘I will not give vent to my blazing anger... For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you’ (Ho 11:9).”

The exhortation to be “holy as I am holy”, thus, means that “we too are called to become capable of compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation.”

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01 December 2023, 13:29