Published in kath.net October 4, 2007. http://www.kath.net/detail.php?id=17899
An Octoberfest in the Holy Spirit
- Day III
October 4, 2007. "Stop
crying crocodile tears over the Third World!"
By Michail Rassool
Foto: (c) Klemens Hrovath
Father James Manjackal M.S.F.S. is conducting a retreat in Munich from
October 1 to 4. Franziskus v. Ritter-Groenesteyn gives his report of the
Munich (www.kath.net) The Indian priest Father James Manjackal M.S.F.S.
is giving a retreat from October 1st to 4th in Munich. Franziskus v. Ritter-Groenesteyn
is attending and will be writing a daily summary of each day of the retreat
October 4, 2007.
The third day—“Stop shedding crocodile tears over the Third
It’s the third day. The third day has always been a special day in the
counting of the Bible. On this special day the streets are wet, the skies
are grey. It’s the Day of German Unity. In Berlin Juli is singing “I love
this day” at the Brandenburg Gate. Here in Munich they are living this
day. The number of participants taking part in Father James Manjackal’s
retreat has doubled compared to yesterday. Roughly 1,200 persons will fill
the church in the afternoon.
The organizer Hahn, an employer, is enthusiastic. “From the first day
on people came to me and thanked me”, he says. “Many say they’ve been waiting
for this opportunity for a long time.”
The priests are also enthusiastic. “They are deeply moved by the many
confessions made by the people here. Today we have twelve priests here,
hearing confessions in six languages and see for yourself – they don’t
even have a chance to leave the confessionals anymore!”
It’s true, the line-up in front of the confessionals is twice as long
today, young and old are standing in line. Jeane, a young lady from Brazil
is radiant as she leaves the confessional. I ask her why she looks so radiant.
“Because I felt the reconciliation with Jesus so deeply. He doesn’t judge
me, he understands me and forgives me.”
Ulrike from Munich came because she heard about it yesterday from a
girl-friend. “ I’m curious”, she says. She is waiting to be let in at the
entrance. No ticket. Later on I will meet her in the church again. “I’m
expecting to get new strength for my faith here.”
Yesterday I wanted to go to confession. For a long time I observed the
African priest, waiting there, sunken in prayer. A butterfly flies
through the church. If it sat on my white pants, I would go, I promised.
I waited in vain.
Instead, a picture was formed in my mind: a black suitcase, some time
ago I took it to the cellar. But I didn’t want to give it up completely.
Back home, I take some ethyl alcohol out of the kitchen cupboard, pour
it over the contents and watch them being devoured by the flames.
A short time later ugly, black clouds of smoke rise to the sky in the
inner court of a building in Munich. Surely a strange sight for curious
neighbours. I don’t see any, though.
Now a ray of sunlight points the way to the father confessor. He is
an elderly priest who came all the way from Thuringia to do this service.
What made him do it? “The Holy Spirit”, he says, shortly and firmly. It
was a good, honest confession. I can’t say what, but something has changed.
“We probably won’t meet again in this life”, he says with certainty.
We part as friends. I ask for a new heart and his blessing. Later on, during
the healing prayer, Father James will promise me exactly that.
Today, Father James talks about two kingdoms – the kingdom of light
and the kingdom of darkness. The latter one receives its power from the
hidden. Occultism means “not revealed”, something that takes place in secret.
The kingdom of darkness also has a hierarchy. There are also bishops and
priests there; adoration is also wanted there. “Synagogues of Satan already
existed at the time of Jesus’ life. Today there are 5,600 such temples
in Germany alone. They like to hide themselves behind registered associations.
Many influential people in politics, business and science belong to them.”
At a youth retreat a young man came to him and admitted, “Father I have
been betraying Jesus for 7 years. I took consecrated hosts and sold them
to Satanists for 500 Euros each.”
During his ten years of preaching in Germany, he has met 257 persons
who did this. “They defile hosts, break crosses and burn them. Some of
the things they do are so horrifying that I don’t even want to speak about
them, but I must. They abort children, then they roast the fetus and eat
Father James laments that here in Europe many people belong to occultism,
New Age or esotericism or Far Eastern Gurus, like Sai Baba. Even many priests,
complete monasteries, parish council members are ignorantly practising
Far Eastern practices.
“Satan likes to disguise himself as an angel of light, he performs
miracles. Reiki and Chakra come from India or China. I am an Indian. Only
two percent of the people there are Christians. You must know where these
powers come from: they do not come from God.”
Father James has warmed up while speaking. He takes off his red woollen
sweater. “Krishna and Yoga can’t get you to heaven,” he cries. “There is
only one God!” He criticizes that the European Constitution denies its
Christian roots, although these are known to the whole world.
“In India we say: Go to Europe, they are Christian there! But your
government doesn’t want to admit that.” Moreover, “Many of you Europeans
lament the disregard of human rights in the so-called Third World. Some
of you have engaged yourselves in this regard. Stop shedding crocodile
tears over the Third World, think about the millions of violations against
human rights committed in your own countries.”
“Every child in the mother’s womb has a right to life. You even make
laws which undermine this right. The blood of millions of children is crying
out to God. At this very second, 275 children are dying!”
One of those who works for the life of the unborn is standing at the
entrance. He is helping with this retreat. The qualified tinsmith is dressed
in leather, around his neck he wears a rosary. “I know Father James since
1999.” Since then he helps with retreats. And there it is again: this short
but certain answer to the question why? – “The Holy Spirit!”
I admit: Some of the things Father James says are hard to take. Yet
I feel it: they’re not empty words. Here is one who proclaims the Gospel
with the same authority. Why? The message is accompanied by signs and miracles.
Father James dismisses us for the lunch break. Organizer Hahn: Father
James is fasting, he eats very little during these days. During the break
he prays for people who are seriously ill, laying his hands on them.”
Later on I meet Leo, a young student, he has a limp from a “very
serious skiing accident”. He tells me, he took part in ski races. I ask
him, if he has experienced healing yet, or if he knows anyone who has.
Excitedly he points to himself. “I have, I did! I was in a wheelchair,
skull trauma, coma, my whole left side was paralysed, epileptic fits. Three
years ago, at the retreat in Garmisch, Father James said, three people
will be healed of epilepsy, and I knew, that’s me. Cool, he means me. Since
then it’s gone.”
Why is he here now, I ask. “Because we need places like this to get
the strength to cope with everyday life,” he says. I couldn’t have said
it better. Filling up on strength, something that is definitely taking
Adrian, a manager is standing beside him. I ask why he’s here. “There
was call from Switzerland and there was the kath.net article about
Father James. And now I’m here.” I’m a bit embarrassed, but glad that I
followed the right impulse.
In the afternoon, Father James talks about the danger of cursing. “The
word has power”, he emphasizes. “Jesus cursed a fig tree with his words
and it withered. And with his words he cured the paralysed.”
Then he tell the story of a Croatian child that was paralysed: What
we generally consider to be just scolding, could be a curse, he warns.
The pain in the heart is sufficient. The mother-in-law was neglected, for
three years she received no visits. She cursed the child in the mother’s
After her death the child’s parents prayed for the mother-in-law, had
Masses said, fasted. One and a half years later the child was healed. “You
can read about it on the website”, Fr. James says.
My place is now occupied by a young family. One of the two boys is playing
with a model plane between the pews. His brother sings loudly “Jesus”.
Not far from her, at the Oktoberfest, they are already dancing on the
tables. Here in the church the people are crowded on extra benches that
have been set up, they are singing and swaying back and forth, holding
hands, singing hymns. “Praise the Lord, my soul, praise the Lord!”
Now for the highlight, the Holy Mass of the Precious Blood. Father James
preaches about a young German, who gets on the plane with him. He was carrying
a snake and a mouse, gifts from a Guru, his gods which he wanted to adore.
Father James was on the way to the Gulf He prays for the young man, receives
knowledge in the Holy Spirit, gives the young man the love he had been
looking for all his life, addressing him as “my son”.
The youth is so touched that he throws his gods in the garbage bin
and today he is Father James’ right hand in Riad. Since then, 32,000 Moslems
have found Jesus. Father James truly became a “Dad” for him.
Father James speaks the Eucharistic Prayer in German. It becomes adoration.
“Venite adoremus Dominem”. God’s presence is perceptible.
Father James sees a cloud of pure white smoke above us. Across the
isles the rows join to become one for the Our Father. “Et unum sint”, comes
to life here.
The healing prayer which follows lasts more than an hour. The group
waiting to pray the rosary is pressing to get in. There is no time to proclaim
the healings. “Tomorrow is the last day of the retreat. Tomorrow I will
lay hands on each one of you. Please come, sleep well, good night!”
Ulrike, who came out of curiosity wants to be here tomorrow. So do I.
On the way home I see a Zeppelin circling about the Theresienwiese.
A different spirit is circling over me. “Alleluja!”