Burning Bush Initiative - Characteristics

The Burning Bush Initiative is a rediscovery of that which the Holy Spirit has already deposited in the heart of the Church through Pope Leo XIII at the encouragement of Blessed Sr. Elena Guerra. It is a call to a renewed life of prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit through entering the grace of Pentecost. It is an invitation to the rediscovery of the gifts of the Spirit, whose original source is Pentecost. Its purpose is to love and make known the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life. It is to allow the fire of the Sprit to transform our hearts into Burning Bushes. It is a response to Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, “As the 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 of prayer.”

The basic characteristics of the Burning Bush Initiative are:

A return to the Upper Room:
It is an invitation to all the faithful to return anew to the Upper Room, united in contemplation of the Eucharistic Mystery. The Church must continually come back to the Cenacle/Upper Room, to be enlightened again and again and burn like a Burning Bush. To experience a Pentecost not only of a moment or a day, but a permanent Pentecost, according to the intuition of the Blessed Elena Guerra who, at the end of the nineteenth century, urged Pope Leo XIII to lead the Church back to the Cenacle of Jerusalem. It is the fullness of the Upper Room experience that the Holy Spirit wants to deepen in us, not only that of Pentecost but also of the Last Supper; always remembering that first the Upper Room was where Jesus established the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood. We are called to docility to the Holy Spirit, as we learn from the fiat of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit to wait in the Cenacle united in contemplation of the Eucharistic Mystery.

As Blessed Elena proclaimed :
“Holy Father, call the faithful to the Cenacle without delay! Imitating Saint Peter who goes ahead to make ready the Upper Room. Let us all go into the Cenacle! Lets us turn to the Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit may turn to us ” (Prophecy and Renewal op.cit.,p101).... call in the faithful, multiply the prayers and the Holy Spirit will come ... He will come and convert the sinners and sanctify the faithful, and the face of the earth will be joyfully renewed. Holy Father, for the love of God and of men’s souls, one more step: to open the Universal Cenacle”(op.cit.,p 103)

In Adoration
It is an incessant adoration, day and night (where possible).
Here are three modalities:
- through worship and praise in song
- through praying the scriptures of adoration. (i.e. Psalms and Revelation ch.4-5)
- before the Blessed Sacrament

„Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is creature before his creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us (Psalm 95, 1-6) and the almighty power of the Saviour who sets us free from evil ...“ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2628)

In Intercession
It is intercession in the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, where we may intercede by means of the Spirit with great fervor, as our primary focus for the Renewal of the Church, the Unity of Christianity and Renewal of Society, thereby “a renewal of the face of the earth”, encompassing the call to new evangelization and the conversion of all sinners, as well as other special intentions.

It incorporates prayers of intercession, petition, thanksgiving and blessing in charismatic prayer of the Spirit, always knowing:

“The Holy Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls to her all that Jesus said also instructs her in the life of prayer, inspiring new expressions.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2644)

Who is called
The call of the Return to the Upper Room is a call beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal; it is a call to the whole Church, to all Christianity.

All Christianity needs to cry out in a united voice for a continuous “new outpouring of the Holy Spirit” for every individual and the Church of Jesus Christ and the world in these times. We all should unite ourselves with the apostles and Mary, the mother of Jesus gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem in the expectation of the Lord sending us the “power from above” to change this world.

The Burning Bush Initiative can be experienced in a variety of expressions

- Pentecost Prayer - night and day, in incessant adoration, praying to the Holy Spirit for the intention of the Unity of Christianity given by Leo XIII in his decree for a perpetual Prayer (Ascension to Pentecost). In addition adding the other major intentions of Blessed Elena Guerra, which are the Renewal of the Church (beginning with renewal of the Heart) and the Renewal of Society, “thereby the renewal of the face of the earth” - (new evangelisation and conversion of sinners)

- Pentecost Triduum: three days of prayer to the Holy Spirit, night and day, preceding Pentecost, for those not able to do the full time of the Novena

- Pentecost Vigil: a prayer vigil on the eve of Pentecost (throughout the night where possible)

- Weekends, days, vigils: these events of varying length can happen any time of the year involving groups, parishes, movements, communities as well as other Christian gatherings praying for the intentions of the Burning Bush Initiative.

- Tents of Prayer – day and night prayer event during seminars and conferences

- Houses of prayer - centers of incessant adoration – night and day

- Schools of prayer - in various forms - days, weekends, weeks and months

These I shall lead to my holy mountain and I will make them joyful in my house of prayer, their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Is 56, 7)

Kim Catherine-Marie Kollins
( © 2003)



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