i was just wondering how many Catholics here on the forums are “born-again” (according to Protestant terminology)…
I had this experience when i was young & Catholic, had never set foot in another “church”… though it didn’t happen while physically in Church…
I would just like to hear your stories, if you ahve been through this… and would like to know if you feel, as i do, that you are “different” from other Catholics (and Protestants) because of it… meaning “different” enough to feel somewhaat “alone”…
Does have a religious experience mean you are born again?
If you are Catholic what being born again means, or being born from above, is being baptized. That is what the early Fathjers taught and what the Church has believed for 2,000 years.
When two separate religious cultures live in the same place they rub off on one another. Catholicsm gets Protestantized. So on another thread some Catholic said that it is more important to be a Christian first and then a Catholic. Good grief! Tell it to the saints.
Protestants concocted very recently, probably less than a century ago the notion that some religious experience meant being born again and signified that you are saved. Are you saved. So and so got saved. This is nonsense.
Gnosticism is a heresy that says there is a special group that gets special knowledge from God, those who are in the know. While it is true that grace is received by some more than others, it is a great mistake to think one is different, better, because of some experience.
I am a Spirit filled Catholic from my Baptism and Confirmation.
If you mean a renewal of faith in one’s life from a life changing experience, yes, a lot of people can become much stronger in their faith from something like that.
I think for me it has been a life long journey with one thing building upon another, but the death of my Dad two years ago really awakened me to my faith in a new way. I was with him when he was terminally ill and when he died, and it really brought me closer to God and wanting to know more about my faith. I felt starved to know more, and search for closeness with God.
I remember someone (baptist) asking me (then, Lutheran) that 15 years ago on a local BBS (before the days of the (public) Internet! :p). They asked, “Are you saved”, and I said, “Yes, I was baptised”, then they said, “Tell me your salvation experience”. I said, “I was baptised when I was a baby…”, to which they replied, “No, tell me your salvation experience!”. :shrug: So, from what I’ve gathered, “born again” meant “have a religious experience”.
Now, the title is “spirit filled”. If, by that, you mean, you can actually feel the Holy Spirit, then I would say yes, at times before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration, and once during the Easter Vigil. If you mean as in the charism, then I’m not sure. But, I know someone who would probably say she is.
Spirit-filled Catholic? Surely that is a definition after you’re confirmed?
But yes, in terms of the ‘feelings’ but the thing to remember is that we are Spirit-filled even when those feelings are not there. It is a reality. Plus, in terms of the ‘have you been saved?’ there is only one answer:
“I am in the process of being saved.”
We are not brought into God’s love at the whim of an emotion, or the result of a one-time human choice. We are already on the path, because He loves us, and saying yes lets us begin that journey of salvation. Salvation is not a one-off, it is a path that must be walked, and it is a hard journey that grants us one thing and one thing only, of which salvation and eternal life is the goal:
A loving relationship with God.
I am spirit filled whenever I remember that, because He is with me and loves me, and I him. It is a relationship, an intimate union which grows and is sanctified as time goes on. Am I saved? Hell no. I’m in the process of being saved.
I think once you decide to surrender your life to Christ, be it as a Catholic or non Catholic, you are ‘saved.’ Jesus told His followers that unless a man is reborn, He cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
I believe the early Christians viewed this through Baptism, and for many people today, that is still what it ‘means.’ I would say that Jesus also could have meant that one needs to do more than go through the motions of religiousity so to speak, but have a solid personal relationship with Christ. As a baby, when most Catholics, unless converts to the faith, or baptized later in life, it’s hard to feel anything, because we don’t have the knowledge as infants to understand our faith. For me, when I surrendered my life to Christ in college, is when I feel that I announced my ‘born again’ status to myself, and others.
I think that being spirit filled is a personal experience, and can go beyond baptism.
No offense, but realize what you personally believe, say, feel, think sounds very Protestant, just about word for word. All Christians, Protestant and Catholic saw baptism as being born anew that Jesus spoke of until pretty recently. The terminology you use, personal relationship, personal experience as a criteria for being born again is nowhere to be found in scripture. It is all a modern concoction that the Christians of all ages somehow missed. Were they not saved? Did they not have the spirit? Did they lack the feelings that get people saved today, or the personal experience?
Something I recall reading in St. Faustina’s diary was that she had a vision where she saw many people who were given much grace - moreso than she had and yet these individuals did not have the “spiritual experiences” that she had experienced. It was a reminder to her that experiencing spiritual things does not necessarily mean you are more ot less spirit-filled than another individual.
I think that if one follows Christ, and wishes to mirror Him–then he/she has a personal relationship with Christ. I don’t think we need to have a debate about semantics, if you don’t choose to call your own relationship with Christ, ‘personal,’ that is your choice…but it’s a relationship nonetheless. I think that as Catholics, we should exude the Holy Spirit, don’t you think? That is what I believe to be the definition of a ‘spirit filled’ Catholic. (I also did not say that for one to be born again, one must have a personal experience…I spoke of my own cognizant choice to fully follow Christ, and live a life according to His will, back in college)
Baptism is Scriptural and what Christ meant for being born again…I didn’t mean to imply that our personal feelings or experiences or relationships with Christ supercedes that–certainly no…sorry, I should have phrased that better before posting it. :o
I have searched scripture and can not find the terminology, a requirement, or any reference to having a personal relationship with Christ as having anything to do with salvation, nor is it findable in scripture at all, anywhere. Some Protestants who insist that all doctrine come from scripture concocted this nonsense and it is nowhere in scripture.
What is in scripture is that Jesus says in order to have life within us we must eat His body and drink His blood. Catholics do that, and although it is not found in scripture I would say that is pretty personal as far as relationships go.
I think that as Catholics, we should exude the Holy Spirit, don’t you think?
I think that sometimes grace is visible. Holiness is catching. The Holy Spirit working in souls draws others to God. But souls
who do have an intimacy with God, call it personal relationship if you will, are often hidden. They don’t flaunt it. So you have to kind of keep your eye out for them.
hat is what I believe to be the definition of a ‘spirit filled’ Catholic. (I also did not say that for one to be born again, one must have a personal experience…I spoke of my own cognizant choice to fully follow Christ, and live a life according to His will, back in college)
The term spirit filled is another new notion that I think comes from the Charismatic movement. It seems to be used to conote some special gifts these people think they have that others lack, those of us who are not spirit filled I guess. Are you spirit filled? Its kind of like Protestants asking if you are saved.
They get wound up about seeking spiritual gifts. Maybe I am an old grouch. I don’t want to get in a clamor or worked up in a public prayer session. I like being quiet. If God wants to give me gifts or use me for something or other I am available. If He wants me to sit here and be still, that is the best for me. All I need to know is God loves me and faith tells me that. If other folks want to get all in a tizzy and work themselves into excited states of agitation and call it spirit filled that is their call.
Living the Christian life is really pretty simple. All we have to do is love one another and love is above all the other manifestations or gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is the greatest gift of all. If you do that you please God and have His Spirit within you.
Saint Paul is very clear about it. All the other gifts are useless without love. We are empty gongs without love. If you have love you have all you need.
(in bold for emphasis) Yes, I agree with you, grandfather. Jesus commanded us to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbor–and this to me is what being a Christian is about. I also believe in walking the walk, and if others know we are Christian, they should be able to visibly see that in the ways we live our lives. If we come out of mass for example, agitated at the person who parked too close to our car, or feel that we are more righteous than others–we miss the true mark of being Christian. We need to behave differently, if we say we are Christian…and to me, that is what spirit filled means. Thanks for your post…I am in agreement.
You are talking about witness. Our lives, the way we live and treat people are a witness.
There is a difference between something being simple and something being easy. Jesus commands us to love one another, and God. That is very simple in principle. Our sins keep us from doing that. Life’s challenges make some people difficult to love. We need grace. God provides it.
hi distracted, I feel that I have been “born again”, by making an act of faith in what Christ did for me in saving me. To be baptised is itself not enough, we need to have faith in what baptism confers. I think that this act of faith fully brings into effect our baptismal graces and can be called a baptism in the Holy Spirit. Here is what Paul Haffer, a well respected theologian, says about it:
Referring to certain passages in the Acts of the Apostles (for example Ac 1:5, 11:6), charismatic renewal has coined the phrase "Baptism in the Spirit”. There are two interpretations regarding this term in Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The first envisages baptism in the Spirit as an actualization of what has been received in Baptism and Confirmation. The second explanation speaks in terms of a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The danger of the second interpretation is that it has sometimes been set up in opposition to the sacramental system of the institutional Church. This is often associated with an elitism which regards as “real” Christians only those who have received the special extra-sacramental outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In fact according to St. Paul, there exists only one Baptism (Ep 6:4). However, it is of course possible for the Holy Spirit to act outside the strict confines of the sacraments with special charismatic gifts of grace, but this is always in relation to Christ and the Church and the baptised Christian. An extra-sacramental outpouring of the Holy Spirit cannot be guaranteed in the same way as the sacraments which are certain channels of grace to those who put no obstacle in the way. Furthermore, any visible manifestations of the Holy Spirit must be discerned to see that they truly come from Him. Paul Haffner (Sacramental Mystery, pp.45, 46)
I am of the opinion that different people receive different levels or amounts of grace, depending on how disposed they are to holiness and receiving grace.
The term spirit filled is a problem for me. Its like a black and white, so and so is spirit filled and whats his name is not.
A lot of people have jumped on the terminology as if it were a black and white reality and I don’t think they know what they mean. Maybe to someone it means someone who has an active faith life and goes to charismatic meetings and makes a ruckus with their arms in the air. That is what my charismatic friends think. I think they are a little odd. Also the theology they promote seems to conflict with teachings of the Church. But I don’t want to get into that debate.
There are defintiely people more receptive to promptings of the Holy Spirit than others, but I guess I would never use the term or designation “spirit filled” to describe them.
There are thousands of people who do use this term and bandy it about regularly as if they know who is and isn’t including themselves. Maybe they know what they mean and me and my opinion are off base.
I prefer to think about my own soul and others as whether or not we are in the state of grace. God knows who is who. I don’t.
Maybe if you are in the state of grace you are spirit filled. I don’t know. When we do an examination of conscience we don’t need to ask whether or not we are spirit filled. We need to ask if we are involved in sin. I know people who claim they are spirit filled and go to at least a couple of prayer meetings per week and get all in a frenzy and they lie cheat and steal. I know others who also were big on it who ended up in a bitter divorce. I know a whole bunch who left the Church en masse to become Protestants. There are lots of people who give good example or witness also. So I guess the designation is pretty meaningless to me.
All Catholics should be Spirit filled if they have baptism and faith. Baptism without faith is insufficient. Even infants have faith in that the faith of the Church is applied to their situation until they are old enough to decide for themselves.