Catholic Answers Forums

Catholic Answers Forums (http://forums.catholic.com/index.php)
-   Spirituality (http://forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=19)
-   -   What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean? (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=708265)

Ohana Sep 4, '12 12:18 am

What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Just thought we might have a discussion about this as I think it is often misunderstood, and frankly, I am not so sure abour my own understanding. One explanation I have heard is that we actually receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our Baptism as infants, or later, and in our confirmation. Often it is later that these gift are manifiested our of our spiritual maturity and/or experiences. This pr ocess is more properly called the "release of the Holy Spirit". What are your ideas and understanding of this.

Hokomai Sep 4, '12 3:01 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
It is a biblical term used by John the Baptist in reference to what Jesus would do, and in Acts as I recall. Like most biblical terms, it remains undefined and subject to a wide range of interpretation. I do not think it can be said to mean only one thing. It means different things to different people. You should maybe ask: what does the Church teach it is? or what do the assemblies of God say it is? etc.

Dorothy Sep 4, '12 5:10 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohana (Post 9730307)
Just thought we might have a discussion about this as I think it is often misunderstood, and frankly, I am not so sure abour my own understanding. One explanation I have heard is that we actually receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our Baptism as infants, or later, and in our confirmation. Often it is later that these gift are manifiested our of our spiritual maturity and/or experiences. This pr ocess is more properly called the "release of the Holy Spirit". What are your ideas and understanding of this.

I see it as an "awakening" and "renewal" of the Holy Spirit gifts in us that we received at Baptism. It is not a one time event, and the Lord is always desiring to awaken us further!

It is good to be aware that the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Understanding, Fortitude, etc.) are given to us as individuals.

The charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us for others, to enable us to build up the Body of Christ. These are written about in the Catechism as well.

Baptism and Confirmation are Sacraments.

The term "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" is like a sacramental. It leads us further into the Sacraments.

What you wrote above is on target!

anruari Sep 4, '12 5:29 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
I am a Charismatic Catholic.

To me the term "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" is a term used by Catholic and other Charasmatics, and members of pentecostal and "Born Again" denominations to refer to an experience based period of prayer with a person for a release of the Holy Spirit into their life, and an outpouring of the "Gifts of the Holy Spirit", (Isaiah 11) the "Fruits of the Holy Spirit", (Gal 5)and the "Spiritual Gifts" (aka Charisms or Charismatic Gifts) (1 Cor 11).
There is often a strong emphasis in these groups on this third category: The "Charismatic Gifts" as described in 1 Cor. chapters 12 - 14.


I believe it is miss-named in that use. From a theological point of view: It is not a sacrament. it is praying for God to enter a persons life and bring them closer to God, but the power of the Holy Spirit. It is praying for Graces of the Holy spirit to manifest themselves to aid that deepening relationship, both for the person being prayed for, and (in the case of the Charismata) for the community around them.
It is an article of faith that "I believe in One baptism for the forgiveness of sins"
This prayer for outpouring of the spirit is not a baptism in a sacramental sense, and should not be called "baptism" to avoid confusion.

It is not the first time a person recieves the Holy Spirit. the Bible, and our Faith teaches us that we are cleansed of original sin, and marked with the seal of the Holy spirit when we are Baptised in Water. This is an action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus makes it quite Clear that we must be "Baptised by water and by Spirit" to have eternal life. but this is refering to sacramental baptism as is typified by the telling of Jesus own baptism, where the Spirit descends upon Him visibly.

Due to the use of Infant baptism, we have seperated out the Sacrament of Confirmation as a standard order of the Sacraments. It is in the sacrament of Confirmation that we "Receive the Holy Spirit" - Just as those in Samaria did in the telling in Acts.
rituals (lower case r) surrounding "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" may resemble on a superficial level the experience and manifestation of the Spirit as one might expect from this telling, however it is vital to realise that any such manifestations are the result of the release in a persons life of the Grace and Power of the Holy spirit which they already have inside them by virtue of those two previous sacraments.

another big differece: Baptism can only be recieved once. ditto with Confirmation. Being prayed with for a fresh outpouring of the Holy spirit in this manner is something a person can receive many times. It can become a part of periodical renewal. (However some people stop referring to subsequent events as baptism in the Holy Spirit)

That deals with what it is not let's deal with what I believe it is:

this is an outpouring of the power and grace of the Holy spirit. It is often a very "experiential" event. It is often linked to low-class mystical experiences: a tangible awareness of the presence and power of God, A sense of peace or release, manifestations of the Charismata etc... but this is not everyone's experience.

Another important point: In no way is this particular experience essential to our salvation. it is one form of spirituality among many (and a controversial one at that). Some people find it helpful in their journey towards God, others find the whole idea to be a big, Hyper-emotional turn off.
We charismatics must respect this and not try to ram our version of spirituality down the throats of those to whom God chooses to draw into other forms of spirituality. This is a key part of why our church is called "Catholic". that word means "Universal".


May I ask all posters to remain charitable in their responses to this topic. We don't want it banned in here as well (as it already is an many other parts of CAF).

There are many people who view the whole issue of the Charasmatic Renewal with grave suspicion (at best), or consider it to be inherently heretical and not the work of the Holy Spirit at all. I would simply point out that our Magisterium has not ruled in such a direction, and conversely has shown a strong level of unofficial support, including the approval of the constitutions of a large number of Lay Ecclesial Organisations which reference the charismatic renewal in their constitutions, and even approved new religious orders which are charismatic in their identities (one example would be the CFR). The Preacher to the Papal Household of Blessed Pope John Paul II was openly Charismatic, and is a leader of the movement... and our current pope took the highly unusual step of keeping him in the same position when he succeeded to the position. He has also praised charismatic movements publicly on a number of occasions.

All that said: Yes there are some prayer groups and communities that have gone off the rails, and not listened to the teachings of the church.... but the Charismatic movement is by no means unique in that.
_____________
Disclaimer: I have Checked the Stickies on this forum and it's parent forum and cannot find a moratorium on discussing the Charasmatic Movement on this section of the forum. I know such moratoria exist in other areas, and I apologise if I am breaking the rules here - that is not my intention.

grannymh Sep 4, '12 6:48 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
I see that in some areas, what is referred to as the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" which is not the same as the Catholic Sacrament of Baptism, is being referred to as the "Release of the Holy Spirit." This is interesting to a charismatic who has not been in a prayer group for years.

Regardless of the title, how does one prepare for this prayer experience?

Specifics please. Including time involved, Catholic Sacraments involved. Instructions about the nature of the experience. Possible consequences. et cetera.

Obviously, there is going to be a wide range of answers. Still, each answer is a very important contribution to knowledge of this religious experience.

I agree with the poster who said: "May I ask all posters to remain charitable in their responses to this topic. We don't want it banned in here as well (as it already is in many other parts of CAF)."

This is a thread openly dedicated to knowledge. We need to be respectful.

JimR-OCDS Sep 4, '12 7:40 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a manefestation of the Holy Spirit in the person's inner being.

Although a person receives the Holy Spirit at Baptism as infants, it was through the faith of their parents, not their own. As a result, few if any, experience the Holy Spirit in their lives, but instead follow the religion through conformity, for whatever reason. Often, it's because their parents make them go to church, and make them attend CCD classes until they receive Confirmation. After they leave the house, they rarely go to Mass on their own and faith is something abstract.

When a person is drawn toward Jesus Christ by the Father, and he surrenders himself to Jesus, the experience of the Holy Spirit is manefested in love, joy and a sense of the Holy Trinity being present within.

Those who have experienced it, understand it. Those who don't will not understand, regardless how we try to explain it.


Jim

grannymh Sep 4, '12 8:04 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS (Post 9731105)
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a manefestation of the Holy Spirit in the person's inner being.

Although a person receives the Holy Spirit at Baptism as infants, it was through the faith of their parents, not their own. As a result, few if any, experience the Holy Spirit in their lives, but instead follow the religion through conformity, for whatever reason. Often, it's because their parents make them go to church, and make them attend CCD classes until they receive Confirmation. After they leave the house, they rarely go to Mass on their own and faith is something abstract.

When a person is drawn toward Jesus Christ by the Father, and he surrenders himself to Jesus, the experience of the Holy Spirit is manefested in love, joy and a sense of the Holy Trinity being present within.

Those who have experienced it, understand it. Those who don't will not understand, regardless how we try to explain it.


Jim

I agree that the various experiences of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be difficult to understand. However, may I respectfully submit that it is possible for those who have not had the "experience" to understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The key is found in the preparation for this religious experience. Once there are answers to post 5, a reasonable understanding can be presented. At that point, there can be a choice to understand or not. But at least, the person has the proper information.

In the meantime, this is a basic book of information.

A Key to Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church ISBN: 0-87029-033-9
by Msgr. Vincent M. Walsh
Key of David Publications

This is the link to an on line version.
http://brendancase.com/uploads/Key_t...ic_Renewal.pdf


This source is in a question/answer format. There are other information sources which go beyond this basic information.

Once there is a clear understanding of the charismatic Baptism of the Holy Spirit, then an individual can accept or reject for whatever reason. I respect those reasons.

Blessings,
granny

The Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 6

anruari Sep 4, '12 8:20 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grannymh (Post 9730971)

Regardless of the title, how does one prepare for this prayer experience?

Specifics please. Including time involved, Catholic Sacraments involved. Instructions about the nature of the experience. Possible consequences. et cetera.

The most traditional way to prepare for this would be a "Life in the spirit Seminar", which is a series of 2 hour seminars which take place over 7 weeks. There is a small amount of daily preparation recommended for the participants each week (5 minutes per day of prayerful reading of short bible verses).

A more recent programme is "This Promise is for you" which is more specifically Catholic in it's content. It is similar, but based on 5 sessions, rather than 7.

Some non catholic programmes may include this... e.g. I believe the Alpha Course does, or can contain "Baptism in the spirit".

I am a member of "Couples For Christ" they include "Baptism in the Spirit" as part of their initial series of seminars. that is called a "Christian Life Programme", and is a series of 12 talks, which can be run over 12 weeks (short 2 hour sessions), or shortened into a smaller number of days. My local group are about to run a CLP held over 5 8 hour sessions. (4 Sundays and 1 Saturday). Other local groups have condensed the programme into a residential weekend.
This organisation consider themselves a "Charismatic Community", but (in my experience) place a very low emphasis on the Charismatic Gifts, and they don't hold further workshops on the subject until more than a year after a group of new members have joined the community.

Every programme I have encountered places an emphasis on receiving the Sacrament of Penance (confession) in the week or days immediately before the "Baptism in the Spirit" Obviously this is only possible for Catholics or Orthodox.

From a "legalistic" or pedantic point of view, the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation should precede any authentic programme which prays for a outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this manner. It is by these sacraments that we are joined with Christ, become co-Heirs with Him, and receive the Holy Spirit.
Therefore these programs are programs of renewal for existing or lapsed Christians, not initial missionary evangelisation for un-baptised potential converts.

People who have not been baptised should be encouraged to take part in an official RCIA programme. - This is the structure which the church has created for bringing new converts into the church, either as unbaptised or as converts from one of the protestant Christian communities.
It is important to note here that people baptised by the Mormons, JW's, Unitarians, and some other groups who call themselves "Christian", would not be considered to be validly baptised by most "mainstream" christains including the Catholic Church. This is because they do not believe in the Trinity, and do not therefore have "Trinitarian Baptism"

JimR-OCDS Sep 4, '12 8:48 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grannymh (Post 9731169)
I agree that the various experiences of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be difficult to understand. However, may I respectfully submit that it is possible for those who have not had the "experience" to understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Those who have not had the experience of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within them, will understand that it's possible, but will fall very far from having an understanding of what it is like.

Even in contemplative prayer, St Teresa of Avila wrote that those who did not have the experience of contemplation, would not be able to understand fully, what it is.

This is because the experience is difficult to explain in human language. It's like trying to explain what chocolate tastes like, to a person who has never tasted it. They will get some idea in similarities to tastes they have experienced, but it will never be the experience of actually tasting chocolate.

The same is even more difficult in explaining the spiritual life.


Jim

vardaquinn Sep 4, '12 9:27 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
In general I'd say the Baptism in the Holy Spirit refers to the whole process of Christian initiation (baptism, confirmation, as well as all that goes with that). In the Charismatic Renewal and Pentecostal circles, it usually means a personal experience that awakens or re-awakens the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I think what this term describes in that way is all very good, important, essential...It has radically changed my own life. I think the term is very misleading and other terms should probably be adopted.

The US Catholic Bishops said in 1997 in a document called "Grace for the New Springtime":

Quote:

In the Sacraments of Initiation we experience the action of the Triune God. As regards the Third Person of the Trinity, in Baptism we become temples of the Holy Spirit; in Eucharist we share in the Body and Blood of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit; in Confirmation we are empowered with the gifts and charisms of the Spirit to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. In this statement, we want not only to affirm the good fruit of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal but also the grace which is at the heart of this Renewal, namely, baptism in the Holy Spirit, or the fuller release of the Holy Spirit, as some would prefer.

As experienced in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal baptism in the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ known and loved as Lord and Savior, establishes or reestablishes an immediacy of relationship with all those persons of the Trinity, and through inner transformation affects the whole of the Christian's life. There is new life and a new conscious awareness of God's power and presence. It is a grace experience which touches every dimension of the Church's life: worship, preaching, teaching, ministry, evangelism, prayer and spirituality, service and community. Because of this, it is our conviction that baptism in the Holy Spirit, understood as the reawakening in Christian experience of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit given in Christian initiation, and manifested in a broad range of charisms, including those closely associated with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, is part of the normal Christian life.
Pope Benedict XVI said Pentecost 2008:

Quote:

Today I would like to extend the invitation to all: let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us recover awareness of our Baptism and our Confirmation, ever timely sources of grace.

grannymh Sep 4, '12 9:54 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS (Post 9731327)
Those who have not had the experience of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within them, will understand that it's possible, but will fall very far from having an understanding of what it is like.

Are you possibly referring to how one's imagination, memory, and feelings can be touched by God's action, in addition to the intellect and will? Feelings can include a deeper love for Christ and the desire to serve Him in a personal way by carrying out the command to love others. Or feelings can be a strong attraction to meditative prayer, the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, service to the parish and/or the public community, Scripture study, consolation in prayer, etc.

Because we are individuals coming to Christ as our individual selves, experiences of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will vary according to the will of the Holy Spirit. These experiences are internal and thus should not be judged as some kind of sign.

Sometimes excitement or nervousness seems to take over one's feelings. When we truly desire that the Holy Spirit stir up or release the graces we Sacramentally received but not used, we can believe in faith that the Holy Spirit will do just that.
Note: one needs to be properly disposed or ready for this prayer experience.

Yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit means that we have faith in His response, whatever and whenever it will be.

Yes, it can be hard to explain one's personal experience and even harder for others to understand. Yet, we still need to make an effort to give a general idea of what happens. Perhaps a simple statement is best. For example -- I have committed (or re-committed) my life in love and service to Our Lord Jesus Christ. In doing this, I have petitioned the Holy Spirit for His continuing grace and gifts. I trust in the Holy Spirit's response.

JimR-OCDS Sep 4, '12 3:01 pm

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
grannymh

Quote:

Are you possibly referring to how one's imagination, memory, and feelings can be touched by God's action, in addition to the intellect and will? Feelings can include a deeper love for Christ and the desire to serve Him in a personal way by carrying out the command to love others. Or feelings can be a strong attraction to meditative prayer, the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, service to the parish and/or the public community, Scripture study, consolation in prayer, etc.
It's this but far more. It's the experience of the very Being of God being present within the center of our soul.


Quote:

Because we are individuals coming to Christ as our individual selves, experiences of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will vary according to the will of the Holy Spirit. These experiences are internal and thus should not be judged as some kind of sign.
The experiences will be different by the same. I have met many who have experience what I have, although their experience is theirs, it's similar in that the presence of God is undoubted, and the power of love is beyond explanation. As to being a sign, it is a sign to the individual and the grace that is received is a transforming grace, which radically changes the person.

Quote:

Sometimes excitement or nervousness seems to take over one's feelings. When we truly desire that the Holy Spirit stir up or release the graces we Sacramentally received but not used, we can believe in faith that the Holy Spirit will do just that.
Note: one needs to be properly disposed or ready for this prayer experience.
This isn't a feeling of excitement or nervousness, but an experience of God's presence with the soul. All one needs to do is surrender to the will of God, it is He who does the rest, irrespective of of how we are disposed.


Quote:

Yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit means that we have faith in His response, whatever and whenever it will be.
Yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit can not be done with out the transforming grace God gives us. It is the gift of faith, which is God's on revelation of himself to the individual, however that may happen.

Quote:

Yes, it can be hard to explain one's personal experience and even harder for others to understand. Yet, we still need to make an effort to give a general idea of what happens. Perhaps a simple statement is best. For example -- I have committed (or re-committed) my life in love and service to Our Lord Jesus Christ. In doing this, I have petitioned the Holy Spirit for His continuing grace and gifts. I trust in the Holy Spirit's response.
For me, I was filled with the light of the true being of Jesus Christ. His presence filled me with forgiveness, joy and peace, which came directly from Him. The experience was the wounding love that St. John of the Cross speaks about, and I've been in His love ever since.

This was 36 years ago and I have seen the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, many times since.

I'm a contemplative, so my experience in the Charismatic Movement was only the first two years of my conversion.

My wife and others I know, have gone through the similar experience.

Jim

CB Catholic Sep 4, '12 5:04 pm

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
For me, this experience was nothing less than a total and profound re-orientation toward God. The biblical verse that best expresses it is "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Although I later got involved in the Charismatic Renewal, the "experience" I speak of occurred when I was alone. I did not speak in tongues, etc. It was an almost instantaneous conversion experience--my whole being was "rearranged" toward God. I wish I could explain this, and how fast it took place, and how my whole life outlook changed in an instant. The Holy Spirit totally transformed my mind, my way of thinking, my way of living. He grabbed ahold of me, and I have never been the same.

Now, this does not mean I have not backslidden at times, or even gotten lukewarm about my faith. It does not mean I quit sinning. But it does mean that I have a constant call back to Him, even after my worst moments. I feel the pull--He will not let me go, although I am perfectly capable of turning my back on Him.

It has been 32 years now since I gave my life to the Lord. There have been good times and bad. Times of joy, times of sorrow and repentance. Even times of questioning my belief. But I know, I just know, deep in my soul, that God will never leave me or forsake me. Ever. No matter what. I fully trust Him to save me. He promised, and I believe Him.

And I never did a thing to deserve this.

I love Charismatic worship in the Catholic Church. I love raising my arms to my Father and calling Him Abba. I love singing His praises. However, I love silence, too, and my ordinary Mass. I do not bind myself to only one way of worship. There are infinite ways to praise God. However I do not appreciate it when someone denigrates another person's spirituality or the way they relate to God. I feel they are treading on sacred ground. There is so much we do not understand about God and His ways.

I, too, hope this thread can be kept civil.

vardaquinn Sep 4, '12 6:50 pm

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
For me, "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was a gigantic turning point in my life. Before my relationship with God was tenuous at best. I hardly prayed, except maybe on Sunday. The best analogy of my life before and after is like the Wizard of Oz. Before it was like black and white... everything was there, but something was missing. Baptism in the Holy Spirit was like seeing in color. Everything was different. I began to pray everyday, to spend time in Scripture, go to daily Mass, pray the Rosary everyday, develop devotions to saints, devotion to Mary, pray the Divine Office... It was like someone flipped a switch.

anruari Sep 5, '12 4:17 am

Re: What does "Baptism In the Holy Spirit" mean?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vardaquinn (Post 9731474)
In general I'd say the Baptism in the Holy Spirit refers to the whole process of Christian initiation (baptism, confirmation, as well as all that goes with that). In the Charismatic Renewal and Pentecostal circles, it usually means a personal experience that awakens or re-awakens the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I think what this term describes in that way is all very good, important, essential...It has radically changed my own life. I think the term is very misleading and other terms should probably be adopted.

The US Catholic Bishops said in 1997 in a document called "Grace for the New Springtime":



Pope Benedict XVI said Pentecost 2008:

Thankyou for those quotes. very usefull


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 6:33 am.


Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.