The Sweetness of God’s Spirit
Great song for Church worship. Spiritual with full band arrangement. / CLICK HERE to learn more!
While I was in high school, I had gotten involved with the Charismatic Prayer meetings sweeping through the Catholic church back in those days. My first exposure happened during one of our ethics courses taught by Brother August, who was a Holy Cross Brother teaching at Notre Dame. Brother August was also a certified psychologist in his ethics teaching. The whole thing had started in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spread through the Church. It finally reached our school when some of the guys had attended the growing prayer meeting at Loyola University where I eventually attended to get my degrees.
I was a pretty withdrawn guy having gone through a miserable childhood. My mother had been an abusive mother where I was constantly getting beatings every 6 to 8 weeks by her for the first 10 years of my life. The first one started in my crib. Also the kids at All Souls School in Alhambra where I lived were pretty cruel for the most part. I was a born asthmatic and suffered poor eye sight having been through two surgeries on both eyes. I also had my tonsils removed by age 5 and my appendix busted by age 10 requiring more surgery. I also had the more than normal dose of childhood diseases. I was always picked last on the teams, as a result and had to stay indoors during most recesses, because of the smog affecting my asthma. There is more, but I won’t go into it.
Anyway, I was close to the state of committing suicide at age 14. I wanted music and the performing arts all my life, but my home life was pathetic for the most part. My parents had divorced when I was age 10, after a three year separation. We were with my mother for a year and then I accidentally lit our Christmas tree on fire which burned us out of our apartment. My mother finally had to sign custody of me and my brother over to my dad. My father moved us to the San Fernando Valley where I attended 8th grade at St. Elizabeth’s grade school in Van Nuys, California. He later endured two heart attacks and then the new open heart surgery done by a fellow named Dr. May in those days. I had finished making an animated Super 8 film entitled “The Moon Trip” which won an honorable mention in the Teenage Movie Award contest while I was a freshman in high school. This lead to Brother Alfonso Comeau, C.S.C., the principle of the school, asking me to do a film on the school after he read about me in the local paper which the school helped to pay for. I had to find other ways to raise the other resources over a two year shooting schedule as I did a documtary on the school with tons of gags through out it which was first shown before a 200 member parent audience who could not stop laughing at the gags we did with my team of guys I put together.
That teenage movie award also caught the attention of a casting agency named World Wide Talent Search Inc, who wrote me a letter to my parents, asking I come and sign up with them saying I may have the necessary qualifications for the commercial advertising media of the day. Once my dad fell to the open heart surgery, I knew I could not tell my dad if I went, but once he had his open heart surgery, I knew I could not go, yet I wanted to. Still, I debated it, thinking I might be able to justify the bold move to him, saying that if he died or was laid up for a long time, it would be a great way to bring money in while I got tutored and did what I knew I wanted to do with my life. I was already friends with Sean Michael Kelly and his parents. Sean was a child star at that time, who became Stuttering Bob in his sophomore year at Notre Dame, in the John Wayne movie “The Cowboys”. Sean was gone that whole year while they filmed at several locations. So I knew Sean could help show me the ropes, if I got casted in television or a movie or two. I knew I was born for show business and had the talents too, but I made a bad choice. I should have gone and I live to this day to regret my other decision. For those of you who think you’ve had it rough, be grateful you weren’t me; gifted, talented and beaten by age 14, by a family who should have supported me, but was working hard to kill me.BUY NOW
While growing up, I could count on any really good days I had for my mother to tear me down when I came in through the door from school or playing outside. She even threatened to kill me, if I ever told anyone she was beating me. So, after hearing these guys who had come back from the Loyola Prayer meeting and what they were experiencing, I asked my dad one night, if I could attend one of the prayer meetings they planned to have in room one of the Riverside building on campus one night. I had to work on my dad for a few hours to get him to give his permission too.
I did go and I met the guys who had shared with us earlier, in the classroom, what they had experienced at Loyola. Brother August was supervising the meeting that night as well. There was only about a dozen of us that night attending. I was in constant heartache most of my childhood and was ready to take the next step to take my own life, if something didn’t happen to let me know someone truly loved me and accepted me as I was. As the guys prayed, each started to have something happen to them I had never seen before. Each started to talk in a language they had never been taught before. What ever the force was, it started with one guy and started to move in both directions around the circle. The whole thing finally stopped at me. Nothing happened. I thought; “Oh great! Figures: I want to know if this thing is real or not?” So I whispered a prayer gently and sheepishly at age 14 and said; “Holy Spirit? Are you to come to everyone here but me?” At that moment, it felt like someone was pouring hot oil through me, not over me, from the top of my head through my entire body. Then waves of intense heat and love indescribable started to pour into me like an ocean. Suddenly all the hurt and hate was drained out of me and still the waves kept flowing through me, until I was in the state of a rag doll with no inhibitions. I was full of love indescribable. God knew my need in that moment and filled me with his love.
The experience that night warranted I attend the Loyola Prayer meeting the following Thursday. I got permission from my dad and went. We were taken by one of the parents in his pick up truck: A fellow by the name of Bob Hansen. After the prayer meeting, we attended mass which was like heaven on Earth. Out of all the Catholic Church masses, I grew up being bored to tears with, this one was filled with love I’d never seen in people before.
At the end of the mass, they made an alter call for those who needed prayer. I was shy and scared, but told Mr. Hansen I wanted to go, but only if he would take me. He smiled and agreed. As I knelt at the altar, a friend of mine named Bob Pompa told me to pray to God for anything I wanted and God would give it to me. I was going to pray for the gift of wisdom, but I felt I could never meet up to that climb. I got it anyway over the course of a 40 year wilderness I got thrown into before my current age as I learned about the world. That’s another story. So I asked for the gift of understanding instead, given I knew little about the world nor understood our Lord’s book all that well. I then asked for the gift of tongues, so I could talk to him better. Many put their hands on me and as they touched me, incredible heat, not related to body heat, was passing into me off of each person who had laid hands on me. My will was diminishing and so were all my defenses, as they kept praying. Finally, Bob Pompa told me to say anything and the Spirit of God would do the rest. I finally did and out of me came this language I had never spoken before and as it did the heat intensified on me and so did peace indescribable.
They finally left me there kneeling on a solid marble floor, speaking in a loud voice praising God in a language I had never spoken before. I couldn’t stop either. The more I praised God, the more the love flowed into me. Finally, the place was closing up and they said we had to go, but I couldn’t move. I had been kneeling on a solid marble floor which felt like a cloud to me. Finally Bob Hansen and Bob Pompa picked me up draping me over each of their shoulder while they carried me out. I was acting like a little child telling everyone how much I loved everyone. I felt like I was drunk, but had never taken alcohol in my life. I was blowing everyone away with all the love pouring out of me toward everyone: Something I always wanted to do, since I was a boy and be all my life.
As we got to the doors of the Church, a gal I had never known, but who I guess was from one of the local girl schools said; “You too!” I nodded with a sheepish little smile on my face full of love and no pain anymore. I had no more desire to kill myself, because I knew God truly loved me. The interesting thing about this experience is that when I had my first NDE at age 25, as I faced our Lord in death, I felt the same heat, peace and love I felt in that experience some 11 years earlier. You can hear this experience on my YouTube channel: TheAstroboy9 channel.BUY NOW
My First Death Encounter (Part 1 of 2) – Off the Operating Table
My First Death Encounter (Part 2 of 2) – A Heavenly Visit
My Second Death Encounter – A Trip to Heaven
I realized in that NDE, that our Lord was indeed in that room that night and knew my real need. I just needed to know I was loved. So he took away the barrier that keeps us from feeling his Holy Spirit which is all around us at all times, so I could know God was always loving me at all times. My love was making Mr. Hansen cry as they drove me home, because he watched this shy, broken young teenager transform right before him filled with love and peace. It changed Bob Pompa too and we were friends after that. For the first time I didn’t feel so invisible to the others guys around me. I still had much to work through that would take me the next 40 years of my life to work through and life did not get easier for me either, but harder. Still I pushed forward through it all.
Notre Dame was an all male school back in those days and we were surrounded by three other all girl schools; just so you know when I say the other guys. Still, I was so withdrawn from life, I felt I was on the outside looking in all the time on life.
Eventually, I was attending the prayer meetings at St. Francis in North Hollywood when the meetings stopped at Notre Dame. That’s another long story. I teamed up with a gal named Helen Wilhide, who offered her services on the guitar for the music ministry. I loved music and wanted to compose one day. One day, I wrote some lyrics to capture my experience with the first two prayer meetings and she put the chords to my melody and lyrics. I could not play the guitar yet, but that was coming. Everyone loved my little song. I lost track of Helen eventually when I left to go to college in 1974 at age 17. My 18th birthday was October of that year.
I was finally learning the guitar on my own and was teaching myself, given there was never any money in my life to pay for lessons or voice coaching. Nothing in this life has been easy for me or handed to me. I’ve had to work hard for it all, but still there is always grace coming from God when things get too hard.
Finally, after graduating from Loyola University and getting nearly a second major in music, I went to work to score “Sweetness” with a decent band arrangement, in my fledgling studio, as I sang the lyrics of that real live event that happened to me in Notre Dame High School some 10 years previous. Feel free to sing with me when you buy the song and see if God won’t pour out a blessing you can not hold, as you feel his love pour into you while you sing.
I later did a full instrumental version of this song on the EnergyXT2.5 program which is available on my Bursting the Bubble I album as of 2009. I sometimes envision those in heaven dancing to this work while clapping their hands before our Lord in praise for all he’s done for this world. It’s just a fantasy I have while everyone is singing and dancing around the throne of God.BUY NOW
© Kevin F. Montague – Bluefire Music Enterprises 1975 – 2012
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