From Ice To Fire
by Anne Feaster
This is my story, how I went from a bored nominal Catholic to a Catholic on fire for Jesus Christ and my Catholic Faith.
I was born a cradle Catholic and attended Catholic schools from grades 1 - 12. The nuns taught us our faith very well. However, all those years God was to me a very distant God and I had no personal relationship with him. Although the nuns taught us prayers, I did not ever pray on my own except for the grace at supper time. I was a cultural Catholic just going through the motions. This continued on until I got married and had two children. My husband was the same, and we went to Church on Sunday with the obligation mentality and threw a $1.00 bill into the collection basket. Most of the Catholics I knew seemed to be the same as me- obligation Catholics.
When I was 30, I began to feel an emptiness in my life and wondered if God was real at all. I began to question all the things I learned in Catholic school, if they was really true. I became sort of an agnostic for awhile although no one really knew what I was thinking.
One day crossing the railroad track, I told God that if he was real, to make himself known to me. I did not know at the time how powerful that prayer was. Shortly afterwards, I met a neighbor named Gerri, a mother of two. She was very joyful and enthusiastic about her faith, and God. I have never met anyone like this before in my life. I wanted what she had! She took me to share groups where people were actually talking about the Lord and their prayer life, and prayers being answered. One of these groups was the Ultreya which is part of the Cursillo Movement. This group met once a month to pray and discuss their walk with the Lord- prayer, study, and apostolic action. I sensed something very different about this group, their love for the Lord and each other. We attended this group for about six months. Our desire for this relationship with the Lord grew and grew with both of us. My husband then went on the Cursillo weekend, a weekend designed to renew one's faith and discover the personal relationship with Jesus. He came back a different person, talking about the Lord, reading scripture, developing a prayer life. He now had a personal relationship with Jesus. I wanted what he had, and my Cursillo weekend was scheduled two months away. I could not wait that long! I wanted Jesus now. So Gerri took me to a Charismatic Prayer Meeting. I had never heard of it, even though it was spreading like a fire all over the country. I thought it was different, and I had never heard tongues before. However, I was impressed with their love for God and I was interested in it. Gerri explained it to me, and invited me back to a second meeting. I went. It was Sept. 14, 1977. At the end of the meeting, I asked Gerri when could I receive "the release of the Holy Spirit" that the others had received. I told her I wanted it now, could not wait. She called over the leaders of the group who lived nearby. They surrounded me and had me repeat the sinner's prayer, which was a surrender of my life to Jesus Christ. After the prayer was over, I felt very peaceful. My two children were still in the house, so I felt that it was time to leave. However, the leader said , "No, I don't think the Lord is finished with Anne yet". I listened to her words, and remained there for a few minutes. Then Gerri said, "Let's go into this room and pray". We went into the living room which was empty and quiet. She began to pray in tongues. I opened my mouth to pray. While I was praying, my face was on fire with what felt like an electrical current! In other words, the Lord had answered my prayer said on the railroad tracks. He had shown me that He was truly alive and He had reached down and touched me in a supernatural way! Gerri and the others were quite excited, and Gerri gave me an audio tape of praise music to play at home. I played it every day and I praised God all day every day, and experienced the greatest joy I had ever experienced in my life.
From that day on, my life changed. When I read the scriptures, they came alive, just as if the Lord was talking straight to me. I learned about expectant faith, and many prayers were answered. All I wanted to do was to think about Him, talk about Him, and read about Him and praise Him. I tried to be more careful of sin and wanted to do His will for the first time in my life.
I went on to my Cursillo weekend and it was another wonderful encounter with the Lord, with much instruction on how to follow Him and make Him number one. The Holy Spirit touched my heart in a gentle way throughout the weekend. I cried through almost every talk.
I had a third child in 1978. Shortly afterward, my husband I made a Marriage Encounter which greatly enriched our marriage. About the same time, we realized that our second child, Suzanne, was not progressing normally in the area of language and attention span. We had her tested and did not receive a correct diagnosis. It was a very difficult year, but with my new relationship with the Lord, I just prayed for her and praised him continually which brought me joy in the midst of difficulty. My husband also relied on the Lord and that gave us both strength.
Years later, when she was 8, around 1983, we discovered she was autistic, and we received a lot of help from the school system. One day when I was anxious about her situation, I was able to turn it all over to the Lord and I asked him to take the burden of worry off of me. When I did, I felt like a ton a bricks had been lifted off of me, and I felt a great peace. That has lasted until this day, 2006.
I cannot cover 29 years, but I will share some highlights of my walk with Jesus.
Through the years, the Lord healed me of many fears, one after another, and He taught me the importance of forgiving. (I used to hold grudges) In one situation, when I was having trouble forgiving someone, I asked His help, and I felt a wave of love coming over me, a sudden feeling of love for that person. It has lasted until this day.
He also miraculously healed me of endimetriosis in 1987 after teaching me the lesson of surrendering to His will in the situation, not mine. In the late 90's, he healed my daughter, Suzanne of a serious stomach problem, which was caused her continuous pain and indigestion and caused her to lose l5 lbs. The doctors had done many tests, and were unable to come up with a diagnosis. After prayer from my Charismatic prayer group, all symptoms stopped the following day and she regained the l5 lbs in the coming months. The Lord healed her instantly because of His great mercy and love.
As the years have gone by, I have stayed with the Charismatic prayer group, and have enjoyed the sense of community, of sharing with others, and have learned more about this journey through various teachings on the spiritual life.
In the late 80's and early 90's, I re-studied my Catholic faith, after hearing about the messages of Medjugorie. I developed a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was the first Charismatic, and who is also the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. This has enriched my faith , and given me a spiritual Mother and advocate to pray for me and help me along this earthly journey. In 1988, I made the Consecration to Jesus through Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort. (This is the deepest surrender that a person can make. All of your works and prayers, sufferings, exterior goods and interior goods are offered to the Blessed Mother to be given to Jesus for the conversion of souls. It involves a three week preparation.) I also have a stronger sacramental life which strengthens me. Frequent attendance at Mass gives me spiritual strength and many graces. Monthly Confession keep me on the straight track, and helps me to be more aware of the sins I commit. I have learned the importance of being faithful to the Pope and the Magisterial teachings or dogmas of the Church. (These teachings come straight from Jesus and the Apostles and have never been changed) I have also learned the importance of doing penance, fasting, and offering my chronic aliments to the Lord for the conversion of souls. Several years ago, I joined the Lay Carmelites. The focus of this group is to try to follow the road of holiness by becoming detached from the world while being in it.
In the 90's, I began to get interested in the problem of the New Age Movement. I read many books, collected numerous articles on the subject, listened to many audio tapes, and attended several conferences. The Lord then put on my heart to put a presentation together to help people to become more informed this important subject. I gave some presentations to small groups, off and on for about ten years. Then in 2004, in the middle of the rosary, the Lord put on my heart start a ministry exposing the New Age called Sword of Light and Truth, and He gave me the courage to do it!
I thank the Lord for all He has done for me in my life, for giving me new direction, for delivering me from of all my fears, for physical healings, for teaching me to forgive, for giving me enthusiasm and zeal for Him and for His Church, for taking me from "ice" to "fire". Praise be the name of Jesus, Christ, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
If you would like to surrender your heart to Jesus, and if this prayer is deeply sincere, it will change your life. "Lord Jesus, I believe You died for me and that You are alive and listening to me now. I repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness. Come and take control of my life. From this moment on, I decide to live for You and no longer for myself, to do your will and not mine. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Show me the way to the Father. Now fill me with Your Holy Spirit, Who will teach me how to live for you and tell the world You are my Savior and Lord. I love You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit."