‘To make obvious or clear to the eye of one’s heart’ (Gr. epiphany).
True desires of the heart may languish until someone manifests what we most value. Jesus drew the searching Magi like a magnet; returning to a people dwelling in darkness, the trio manifested Jesus to every longing heart.
Who surfaced subterranean desires in you? I refer not to idols that enslaved but icons who liberated us. Whose face manifested the Savior in such a way that your ‘ache’ found a satisfying end? Who called you out of despair into the Divine?
Name them. Praise God for them. Counter post-Christmas blues with the truth of them. Rejoice. Jesus is alive and well on this fallen planet.
Ever grateful to Annette for summoning my manhood, I am particularly grateful at onset of ’22 for these three ‘manifestations.’
Father Paul Check: Currently pastor/director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin, Paul and I met shortly after he took over Courage International at the passing of founder Fr. John Harvey. I was on brink of becoming Catholic, and Fr. Paul shepherded me wisely. He guided me while still honoring what I had accomplished in the evangelical world (Desert Stream started the same year as Courage, 1980). That’s not easy to do! How do you love a neophyte with respect? Paul did and he never stopped. I love him more today than yesterday because he still sheds the steady light of truth after a decade of personal gaps. He persists in encouraging this illiterate Catholic! (I’m now barely literate and hope to die semi-literate.) Thanks for manifesting Jesus, Father Paul.
Christopher West. No-one conveys Pope St. John Paul II better in my book (however unreadable) than this ageless advocate. (How old? 25-55? Unknowable!) No-one manifests the transforming truth of Theology of the Body better than Christopher. Face it: bright, well-versed Catholic teachers aren’t known for their candor. But West nails the ‘personalist’ philosophy of Pope St. JP II by disclosing personal ruts and how Jesus (through His papal servant) reveals what is most authentic and noble beneath it all. Christopher blazed a path for me to give truthful witness in Catholic settings. He also makes me want to read TOB again and get saved. Again.
I had an epiphany, honestly, during the Intl. TOB Congress in Philly, 2014. West asked me to speak a bit there and the Spirit made clear to me that these were my people, the best setting for Living Waters in the Catholic world: a homecoming, of sorts. At the end of this month, we fulfill a 15-year-longing to do just that with our Living Waters Training—aka ‘Integration’ course--at West’s TOB Institute. Christopher, thanks for your brilliant, humble witness and invitation.
Cheryl Allen. I love this woman. I’ve known her for years as gracious pioneer (the bride wears boots) of the Pasadena House of Prayer. She had laid a good base for this prayer furnace when we moved away from CA to the House of Prayer in Kansas City. She has since mothered a beautiful 24/7 ‘home’ where Christians of all stripes gather to burn bright for Jesus. She combines the best of a bright, stylish, embracing California ‘spirit’ with a call to holiness and moral transformation that is uncompromising. I am in awe of her leadership: a willingness to discipline wayward sheep while prioritizing space for the willing weak to become strong in Jesus.
She invited us last year to dig a deep well of ‘Living Waters’ at PIHOP and we are digging it! Our Living Waters Training in April, near Pasadena, is a result of her ‘yes’ to heal the unclean and divided. Cheryl, you shine bright for us. Thanks.
Each day, remember the ones who manifest Jesus to you, full of grace and truth. Give thanks for each one. It breaks heaviness and invites joy.