A spiritual journey to remember

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Joe Caruana, former government minister in 1969 and brother of our late Catholic Bishop Charles Caruana, is also an acclaimed author with six books to his credit. Born in 1937, he is now a jovial octogenarian and describes himself as a man of many facets. That’s it and he’s also a talented artist who has sold many paintings exhibiting them in the marinas of Costa where I have seen him on several occasions. I have already reviewed three of his books, all as different as each other. ‘When the Hangman Came’, ‘The Iron Knight of Malta’ and ‘Eyes Set on Heaven’ which he wrote about his brother the Bishop and dare I say, his beloved late mentor.

Being of Maltese descent with strong roots in the Catholic faith, it was always intended that he would also embark on a spiritual journey at some point in his life and in this final book which I am about to describe he traces this long journey as a legacy to his Christian faith. Now, in the sunset of his years, his hopes are that the story of the journey he has undertaken may encourage those whose faith may have grown lukewarm and inspire them to return to worship and persist in the faith. that they once had. He is as excited as he is wary about his latest book because, as we well know, religion and politics tend to polarize opinion.

“The Power of Pentecost – The Power in the Hands” is the double-barreled title of its latest offering and there’s nothing to be afraid of delving into its 150 pages, well-illustrated with photographs and abundantly backed up with biblical quotes like we can expect it. I can do no less than reprint the author’s synopsis here to help familiarize the potential reader with the contents of the book before adding my own assessment.

“My spiritual journey
Although still a sinner, my spiritual experiences have strengthened my faith.
In the ‘Power of Pentecost’, I witness to the power of the Holy Spirit.
The book traces the rich and sad history of the many attempts to destroy Christianity.
Christianity would not have survived if there had not been zealous defenders of the apostolic faith.
Separating the literature, authenticated from the unauthenticated, would not have produced the current correct Bible which is known as the Bible canon.
The chapter on heresies highlights the many denigrating problems facing the early Christian church.
As many as two million Christians have been cruelly martyred for clinging to their Christian beliefs.
We touch on other important topics of today such as the Eucharist and the “Real Presence within it” which still holds there today.
The Last Supper and the mystery of the Holy Eucharist and its appearance are analyzed from the original Greek text.
We explore the power of hands from the “laying on of hands” when praying for healings. The laying on of hands when empowering someone with authority within the church. The use of hands in prayer. All are spiritual gifts from above.
I hope this book will encourage those who may be lukewarm towards their church to come back and persist in the faith they once had.
I have no shame in proclaiming my faith since I believe that God is relevant to all of our lives. Therefore, I stand up for my Christian faith to remind Christian believers of their roots.
Perhaps this book will ignite the glowing embers into a raging flame in the hearts of the faithful.

The above synopsis adorns the glossy back cover of the semi-hardback square format edition which is published by ‘authorHouse’. The first thing that stands out is that this book was written in 1984 when the author was living in Canada. That doesn’t make it an old story. It provides the starting point for a journey to a time when Joe Caruana was a successful businessman going through a separation that led to divorce. These life-changing events usually lead to self-assessment, which in this case saw the author being taken back to his Christian roots, then finding a desire and discovering a flair for pastoral work which saw him immersed fully in the movement of charismatic renewal. First in Canada then beyond and finally to return to the Rock where he finally took up residence.

The story is told in a simple and honest way that is enriched by many photographs and thanks to those who helped and influenced the efforts and the vision of the author, who at one time even wanted to become a priest and at another Moment spearheaded the Camp Emmanuel Project in nearby Los Barrios, which saw him help drug addicts and encourage young people through religious retreats and volunteer work. Drug addicts who came to Camp Emmanuel for treatment followed a detox program based on the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) 12-step program and a few hours of hands-on work.

Through seven chapters, the book moves quickly and effortlessly through Joe’s personal experiences and journey with biblical references that extol the “power of Penetcost” and “the laying on of hands.” It is a well known documented fact that in Hinduism this ‘laying on of hands’ is called pranic healing and in my own experience of being prayed to, I can attest to the obvious transference of energy, which is felt as heat, even if no touch takes place at any time of the “prayer on”. Whether the intended reader believes it or not, the varied content of this book will depend on whether or not they accept the strongly held universal view that there is a higher power.

We are not alone in our universe and as an Alaskan fishing skipper once said when faced with rough seas: “When you have a fifty foot wave coming your way, everyone believes in something. thing !” Indeed we are genetically programmed to believe and even in the deepest jungles of history tribal peoples have been guided in their actions by the belief in a higher power that must be appeased by offering sacrifice and many forms of prayer.

Joe Caruana’s book “The Power of the Pentecost – The Power in Hands” can be purchased at the following outlets: Heritage Bookshop, Cornerstone Bookshop, Petrol Station shop Queensway, Parody Tours Town Range, Eroski Rotunda airfield.

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