The Burning Bush:
an Initiative in Charismatic Renewal for the Church

The spirituality of Pentecost belongs to the whole church. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal exemplifies this spirituality in it life and expressions. Pope John Paul II further confirmed this at the, Solemn Vespers of Pentecost 2004 in his homily to all the church, “Thanks to the Charismatic Movement, many Christians, men and women, youths and adults, have rediscovered Pentecost as a living and present reality in their daily life. I desire that the spirituality of Pentecost be spread in the Church, as a renewed thrust of prayer, holiness, communion and proclamation In this regard, I encourage the initiative known as "Burning Bush", promoted by Renewal in the Spirit. This involves incessant adoration, day and night, before the Blessed Sacrament; it is an invitation to the faithful to "return to the Upper Room", so that, united in contemplation of the Eucharistic Mystery, they may intercede for full Christian unity and for the conversion of sinners. I warmly hope that this initiative will lead many to rediscover the gifts of the Spirit, whose original source is Pentecost”. (see ICCRS newsletter, special issue July/August 2004).

The Burning Bush Initiative affords the chance to respond to the call of New Evangelization, enabling the Church to encounter anew an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, thereby helping the “culture of Pentecost” to take shape. The first well-spring of renewing action is prayer, which connects us with the Spirit of Christ who is “He who renews the face of the earth”. (Blessed Elena Guerra)

The Burning Bush Initiative desires to help the people of God experience a Pentecost not only of a moment or a day, but a permanent Pentecost, according to the intuition of Blessed Elena Guerra who, at the end of the nineteenth century, urged Pope Leo XIII to lead the Church back to the Cenacle/Upper Room of Jerusalem, for the Church to be enlightened again and again and burn like a Burning Bush. In the first of Elena’s twelve confidential letters to Pope Leo the XIII she wrote :

“Holy Father, the world is evil, the spirit of Satan triumphs in our perverted society and tears away from the Heart of Jesus a multitude of souls; and in this dreadful state of things Christians lend no thought to addressing unanimous supplications to He Who can “renew the face of the earth”. People recommend all sorts of devotions, but they are silent about that one devotion which, according to the Holy Spirit of the Church, should be first and foremost. People recite so many Novenas, but that one Novena, which by order of Our Savior in person, was recited even by the most Holy Mary and by all the Apostles, is now almost forgotten. Preachers praise all the Saints, but when do we ever hear a sermon in honor of the Holy Spirit, He who shapes the Saints? …Therefore, oh Holy Father, you alone can make Christians return to the Holy Spirit, so that the Holy Spirit may return to us; defeat the evil reign of the devil, and grant us the long sought renewal of the face of the earth ” (April 17th, 1895, Elena Guerra (1835-1914) was beatified by John XXIII under the title of “apostle of the devotion to the Holy Spirit”)

The Burning Bush Initiative is a response to Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, “Our Christian communities must become genuine “schools” of Prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, comtemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the hearer truly “falls in love”…It was Peter who spoke the word of faith: “At your word I will let down the nets” As this millennium begins, allow the successor of Peter to invite the whole Church to make this act of faith, which expresses itself in a renewed commitment to prayer. “Duc in Altum” (Lk5.4). Furthermore to the CCR, the Holy Father said, “put out into the deep of prayer” in order to “put out into the deep of mission.”
In the last century, hundreds of millions in every part of Christianity have encountered God in an Upper Room experience of a personal Pentecost, “baptism in the Spirit”; a concrete experience of the “grace of Pentecost” in which the working of the Holy Spirit has become an experienced reality in our lives and in the faith community. The Burning Bush Initiative helps to continue to fan the flame of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the service of the Church. We are in a time where God is calling his people to return anew to the Upper Room not in nostalgia, not looking for the beginning experiences of the renewal but with a servant’s heart, a heart of knowing what it is to experience the power of God and His gifts in prayer.
Let each of us be ambassadors of the Holy Spirit and of the spirituality of Pentecost. Let us live out of the wellspring of prayer in adoration and intercession for the whole Church according to the grace we have received in our personal Pentecost experience.

(ICCRS newsletter, May/June 2005, see

Kim Catherine-Marie Kollins
( ©
Holy Week 2005 )



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