“You don’t ask too much from God, you ask too little,” the silver-haired, Dr. Margarett Schlientz scolded her audience during a talk last fall at the Thirst Conference in Bismarck, ND. She spoke with confidence, infusing her audience with the certainty of the Gospels and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Schlientz has the authority of one with three masters degrees—in theology, spirituality, and psychiatric nursing—as well as a doctorate in psychiatric nursing, and many years as an administrator and teacher at Marquette University. But it is her no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase style that gets an audience’s attention.
Schlientz knows of what she speaks. She has been involved in the deliverance ministry for many years and is the assistant director at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University where she teaches and ministers to seminarians in an intensive ten-week spiritual renewal program each summer.
“The Jesus of the Bible is still the Jesus of today,” she said. “He did miracles then and he will still do them for us today but we need to have faith and ask.”
Schlientz explained that in Scripture, Jesus healed everyone who came to him. She pointed to the sacrament of Confession as a powerful means to open up a flood of healing graces. Then, she talked about the power of the Eucharist.
Schlientz asked, “Do you really trust what God wants to do in your heart or is it automatic?” She explained that the Eucharist should be taken very seriously because it has the power of grace to transform everything in your life.
“You’ve got the richest father in the world, who is waiting to pour out graces,” she said. Schlientz referred to Luke 11 where Jesus says, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11-13).
“He is doing that in the Eucharist every time you receive it,” Schlientz said. “Every time you have the opportunity to receive God in the Eucharist, don’t negate it,” she said. For those not going to Mass daily, Schlientz challenged them. “How late do you watch television? That’s not going to get you to heaven; the Eucharist will.”
Schlientz said that she believes that if we had greater faith and asked God, we would see far more healings. “God really wants to bring people to wholeness,” she said. “Jesus is a physician of love with absolute power. His work of healing and salvation continues.”
She strongly encouraged people to pray with faith and to evangelize by praying with and for others. “Every baptized Christian should be praying with people and those in the medical field should ask for the gift of healing,” she said. “Pray for the gift of miracles. They are not dead. They are dormant because we don’t ask enough.”
Schlientz explained that there are people in her prayer group that received the gift after asking. “The expression of Pentecost needs to live within our own prayer lives every day in our own experience,” she said. She encouraged people to set aside time for God but to also pray throughout the day, using every opportunity such as being stuck in traffic.
Speaking to parents, Schlientz told them they have tremendous power. “I don’t care what your kids have done, you lay them in the heart of Jesus every day. Do you realize how vulnerable God is to parents?”
The holy sacrament of matrimony holds the power of great graces according to her. “Hold each other every day and renew your marriage vows and ask the Lord to release the power he gave you in that sacrament,” she said. “I renew my baptism every day whenever I put my hand in the holy water font, I say. ‘Lord, renew the power of my baptism, explode the power of baptism in me and the power of confirmation.”
Schlientz reminded the audience of the healing of the blind man Bartamaus in Matthew 10. He heard Jesus walking by and shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, Have mercy on me.”
Then Jesus called to him and asked, “ “What do you want of me?”
“It is the same question Jesus asks of us every day in the Eucharist,” said Schlientz, —“What do you want of me?”
She advised everyone to “go for broke” and ask for everything God wants to give us and for every kind of healing that we need. Schlientz closed by sharing a story at her own church of a blind woman who was healed. “Ladies and gentlemen, that is not unusual,” she said. “I could tell you a thousand stories like this.”
“Jesus never gave anyone false expectations,” she said. “He healed anyone who came to him and he continues to do so.”
Copyright 2014 Patti Maguire Armstrong