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POPE FRANCIS ON CHARISMS

GIFT OF HEALING
by Bob Canton

The Holy Mass is a Passion Show
by Ramon Mescallado

Living the Eucharist
by Ramon Mescallado

The Roles of the Holy Spirit in Our Life
by Bob Canton

The Holy Spirit Empowers Us to be Servants
by Bob Canton

New Evangelization and Healing
by Bob Canton

Unwavering Trust
by Jackie Temple




Awesome Power from On High
by Robert "Bob" Canton

BOOK REVIEW by Dr. Narciso Albarracin, Jr.

Reading Bob Canton's new book, Awesome Power from On High, reminds me of something I read about a native being evangelized by Catholic priests, who said, "God the Father, I understand; God the Son, I understand; but God the Bird, I do not understand." Turns out that many Catholics don't either -- especially those not involved in the Charismatic Renewal. Bob Canton himself has made this observation based on his extensive international ministry (51 countries!): "Many are not conversant, familiar, or even aware of the nine charismatic gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12." My wife, herself a cradle and pre-Vatican-II Catholic, had no idea what the nine charismatic gifts were, until we both got exposed and involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (and Bob Canton's healing ministry) in 1989.

Enter Bob Canton's second book, aptly titled, "Awesome Power from On High." Written with breath-taking speed and efficiency from January to March of 2019 (that's a period of 3 months!), especially considering his super-busy and travel demanding-ministry, I have no doubt that the "awesome power from on high" was operative and that Bob had high-level docility to the dictates of the Holy Spirit.

This book's laser-focus is on 1 Cor 12: 8-10. I am glad that Bob covered briefly Galatians 5:22-23 ("fruit of the Spirit") and I am delighted that he used the singular "fruit." The book opens with an insightful Foreword by Bishop Oscar Solis, now Bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah. The first chapter focuses on the Holy Spirit - who He is and what roles He plays in our lives. The second chapter is a comprehensive teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, bringing together the perspectives of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church), the Bible, the Church Fathers, and Bob's own insights and experiences. The rest of the book deals with the nine charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, grouped into three - intellectual gifts, power gifts, and word gifts. There is a "wrap-up" chapter on "how to receive and use the awesome power from on high." The book concludes with three prayers recommended for daily recitation - healing and keeping prayer, prayer of empowerment, and spiritual warfare prayer.

I have read books and listened to talks about the Holy Spirit and the charismatic gifts but somehow these intellectual encounters slip off my mind like water on feather. This book by Bob Canton is different - it is interesting, engaging, and grabs your attention because of the author's three-pronged approach. Each of the nine gifts is linked to (1) illustrative Bible stories, (2) Bob's own insights and ministry experiences, and (3) the experiences of actual people via personal testimonies. And there are a lot of these testimonies coming from a spectrum of people and places, some non-Christian.

One such amazing testimony is that of Valentine Lim from Malaysia. Seemingly possessed by demonic spirits he approached Bob with the intent to harm or even kill him, but the Holy Spirit as Bob's "paracletus" of the moment, stopped him in his track, made him immobile despite obvious struggle. Bob prayed over him and later gave him counsel. Fast forward, Mr. Lim, a buddhist and spiritist, not only converted to the Roman Catholic Church but years later was voted "most outstanding Catholic" in the Archdiocese of Kuching, Malaysa. (I'd suggest to Bob that one function of a "paracletus" is to be a "bodyguard" based on this story).

Another unique feature of this book is the inclusion of "how to" sections - "how to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our life" and "how to receive and use the awesome power from on high." Each discussion of a charismatic gift is concluded with a prayer, such as "prayer for receiving and using the gift of the word of wisdom."

Awesome Power from On High is only partly didactic and informational; it is, in my opinion, mostly practical, giving the reader the sense of a workshop and a manual. The desired, hoped-for, and most likely, outcome of reading this book on the nine charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit is to be - gifted. Like Bob Canton is gifted. As mentioned in the Preface, before Bob embarked on writing this book, the message he received from the Lord was - "My son, I want you to write a book on the gifts of my Holy Spirit. I want my children to be more equipped to do the works that I want them to do through the power of my Holy Spirit to further my Father's Kingdom."

Although one can read this book in one sitting (there are 251 pages) with the enticement of the many interesting personal testimonies, it is best to read it in small doses, a charismatic gift being one dose. I strongly recommend that this book be given to "graduates" of Life in the Spirit Seminars and recipients of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This book certainly is a good companion book to Bob's first book, "Miracles Never Ending."