MISSIONARIES of God’s Love founder Fr Ken Barker has released a new book, Alive in the Spirit, which highlights the need to rely on the Holy Spirit in approaching the new evangelisation.
The moderator of the MGLs, who will step aside to make room for a new leader next year, felt convicted that the Church needs to draw more on the Holy Spirit to move forward in the new evangelisation.
“Our efforts to try and change the Church, and especially the efforts to bring about conversion in the hearts of people, will all fall limp unless we really rely upon the action of the Holy Spirit to move through us,” Fr Barker said.
“It’s the Holy Spirit that changes hearts, and we have to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.”
In writing Alive in the Spirit, Fr Barker said he was convicted the New Evangelisation would go nowhere unless all works were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
“It’s all done under the grace of the new Pentecost, because the conversions needed for today’s world is not going to happen without the Holy Spirit coming and bringing about that depth and change in the heart that needs to happen,” he said.
“A whole heap of things
come when the truth convicts us of who God is and who Jesus is, and what we’re meant to be about as human beings.”
While there are new ways of approaching evangelisation, such as new media, World Youth Days and other major events, Fr Barker said the Church needed to learn to improve on one-on-one evangelising.
“What we might call friendship group, is what we need to learn to do a lot more, I think,” he said.
“I really believe friendship evangelisation is really a key.
“That’s the best gift you can give to anyone, my love for Jesus, because He’s the centre of the universe, the centre of our hearts, and He’s the only one who can give the greatest hope to our lives.
“If I share that with another person, I’ve given them the greatest gift I can give them you know.”
The MGLs have always relied on the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in their order, which finds its roots and charism in the charismatic renewal.
Fr Barker said the charismatic expression of the MGLs, which included prayer and worship in tongues, would “alone not be enough”.
“If you were just praising the Lord in a vocal fashion, if that was the only way we were praying, it would not be enough,” he said.
“What sustains me in the journey is that quiet contemplative prayer, going deeply into the heart of Jesus in that quiet time.”
Fr Barker said Eucharistic adoration was an important aspect in every MGL’s prayer life.
“I might go through some days without ever praying in tongues and those sorts of things, but I will never go a day without praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament,” he said.