Bob Valiante of the Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese of Scranton challenged participants in the "Let God Arise" Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference to a deeper understanding of Church teaching during the Year of Faith. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)
Bob Valiante of the Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese of Scranton challenged participants in the “Let God Arise” Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference to a deeper understanding of Church teaching during the Year of Faith. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)
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Fr. Bill Halbing challenged participants to trust in God and leave their worry behind. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)

Worry is a sin and it demonstrates a lack of trust in God, Fr. Bill Halbing said Feb. 8 at the Phoenix Convention Center during the “Let God Arise” Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference.

“Let me tell you, life is who you know and eternal life is who you know,” he said during the Friday evening talk, explaining that two things — Jesus and his sense of humor — have gotten him through tough times.

“Worry is a failure to understand God’s care for you,” Fr. Halbing said, expounding on Luke 12:27: “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”

“You know why you’re suffering? Because you don’t know how to pray in the Holy Spirit,” he said, calling hundreds of participants to a greater relationship with Jesus and His Church. “Years ago, we used to go on vacation and make sure there was a Catholic church around. Now we don’t do that anymore.”

Families can suffer hard times — sometimes parents don’t get along with their children, Fr. Halbing said. Sometimes anxiety about money and debt can exacerbate existing rifts.

“But when I stand in front of God, I have nothing to pay,” he said. “When you worry, you fail to understand God’s paternity. When I stop worrying, I’m in the kingdom.”

Bob Valiante of the Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese of Scranton also spoke, challenging participants to a deeper understanding of Church teaching during the Year of Faith.

“There are no illegals in God’s kingdom,” he said, calling for a renewal in living out Catholic social teaching. Bad catechesis has led some of the faithful to live an incomplete faith, and some have fallen away to other churches.

“People are leaving the Church for crackers and grape juice,” Valiente said, referring to non-denominational communities. Coming to know the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and knowing the Lord in the Precious Blood is transformative.

Simply practicing the Golden Rule for a week can lead to great change, he said.

Jojo Concepcion and Maria Vadia also spoke during the two-day, Spirit-filled conference.

J.D. Long-Garcia is the former editor of The Catholic Sun. He joined the staff in 2004. J.D., a lay Dominican, studied journalism and psychology at Arizona State University, philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, and theology at the Graduate Theological Union. He's taught classes at the Kino Institute, worked as an outreach intern at All Saints Catholic Newman Center, led a deanery confirmation program in Berkeley, Calif., and served as a catechist for children of various ages. He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

1 COMMENT

  1. Worry is an interesting word. I know people that worry about nothing. Their lives are falling apart but they’re happy. But isn’t being apathetic or insouciant also a sin? I ‘worry’ primarily about my kids and grandkids but I have to keep my ‘worry’ in check. As worry can be an irrational fear, Catholics need to have “Concern”. Our human instincts can deliver to us uncertainty, apprehension, and matters for consideration. Are those not Christian duties? i.e. I’m ‘concerned’ about the oil pipeline. Or, I’m ‘concerned’ that only 20% of Catholics in the U.S. go to Mass. Or, I’m concerned that my granddaughter is shacking up with her boyfriend and might lose her soul if she dies.

    I agree with Fr. Bill that ‘worry’ can be a sin but I think most Catholics are committing the bigger sin of just being “Passive”.

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