Baptism in the Holy Spirit/Charasmatic Gifts


#1

Hello,

I hope someone can help me understand this from a truly Catholic perspective. My question is regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I know that we recieve the Spirit in sacramental baptism, (water baptism), but is this different from the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" the term used usually to signify the recieving of charisms?

While going through RCIA I asked this question and the nun teaching the class responded that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is sacramental baptism, that there is only one baptism, not two or three. This satisfied me for a time. But in reading Scripture I see that this may not be so. Then I just watched The Abundant Life on EWTN and they were discussing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as being the recieving of charisms, such as speaking in tongues.

They didn't make it a salvation issue as some Pentecostal churches do, IOW, if you don't speak in tongues you cannot be saved, but they did say that it is something we should desire in addition to our baptism and confirmation. They referred to it as a further giving of the Spirit.

So, I am a little confused. Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit our sacramental baptism or is it something in addition to our sacramental baptism.

In Christ's Love,
Maggie


#2

Baptism of the Holy Spirit is our sacramental baptism. However, the Holy Spirit can descend upon us repeatedly in life in what is called “infillings of the Holy Spirit.” Quite a lot of Protestants confuse the issue by saying being baptized with the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from your baptism. Other Protestants still have this doctrine right. But the Catholic Church teaches that water baptism is our Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The other experiences of the Holy Spirit that come to people following baptism are often real experiences with the Holy Spirit, though. These are what is called “infillings of the Holy Spirit,” where He comes to bless somebody and give them gifts or graces to achieve what He wants in their lives. Sometimes He can give charismatic gifts, but this is not to be desired or sought, for they do not lead us closer to God but instead create greater temptations to pride. Virtues are what we should seek.

Remember, Jesus said, “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” not “whoever believes and is baptized, and then is baptized again, will be saved.” As your nun said (and she was quoting the Bible), there is only “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).

Your nun instructor taught you correctly :).


#3

Hello, friend in Christ.

If you have questions relating to charisms, then I highly recommend that you contact the wonderful Catherine of Siena Institute (www.siena.org). This is one of the specialties of this apostolate. The CSI is part of the Western Dominican Province and completely loyal to Rome.

God bless you in your discernment of charisms. If you are baptized, then you do have charisms from the Holy Spirit.

Catherine, OPL :)
Sacramento, CA


#4

We are baptized in the Holy Spirit upon our baptism into the church. We also receive the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. And we can be "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" to have the indwelling expanded. In the Bible, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the apostles. But it is not until Pentecost (after the Ascension) when the Holy Spirit is fully realized in them. This is when the received the charism of the Spirit (tongues, prophecy, etc.). The charisms of the Holy Spirit are not given to us for our own benefit. They are for the benefit of others. So, if we ask for the Holy Spirit to give us charisms, it will happen to the extent that we are open to those gifts. Jesus said, ask and you shall receive. If we ask for something that will allow us to better serve God, we will get it.

You can learn more by exploring Catholic Charismatics. There is an annual conference of Catholic Charismatic Renewal near New Orleans every year. see www.ccrno.org


#5

[quote="Orchanian, post:4, topic:177502"]
We are baptized in the Holy Spirit upon our baptism into the church. We also receive the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. And we can be "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" to have the indwelling expanded. In the Bible, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the apostles. But it is not until Pentecost (after the Ascension) when the Holy Spirit is fully realized in them. This is when the received the charism of the Spirit (tongues, prophecy, etc.). The charisms of the Holy Spirit are not given to us for our own benefit. They are for the benefit of others. So, if we ask for the Holy Spirit to give us charisms, it will happen to the extent that we are open to those gifts. Jesus said, ask and you shall receive. If we ask for something that will allow us to better serve God, we will get it.

You can learn more by exploring Catholic Charismatics. There is an annual conference of Catholic Charismatic Renewal near New Orleans every year. see www.ccrno.org

[/quote]

Usually, such things would damage our humility. St. John of the Cross teaches that it is best not to seek them.


#6

The phrase "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" is common in the Charismatic Renewal Movement. It does not refer to "another" Baptism in the sacramental sense. There is only one sacramental Baptism. Rather, it refers to the gifts of the Holy Spirit (already present because of Baptism and Confirmation) bearing fruit in a particular way. This "baptism in the Holy Spirit" (as understood by the Charismatic Movement) is not necessary for salvation.

I suppose we could distinguish between "Baptism" (with a capital B) and "baptism" (with a lower-case b). The word "baptism" comes from the Greek word meaning "to plunge" or "to immerse". From that perspective, "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is about immersing one's self in the life of the Holy Spirit in a particular way, which manifests itself through charisms.

For more info, you might read up on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement. EWTN has an article that gives some background on it: ewtn.com/expert/answers/charismatic_renewal.htm. The movement has been spoken of favorably by the last three popes, but it's not something obligatory that every Catholic must be a part of (which is the case for any such movements).


#7

I wish they’d use the phrase, “infilling of the Holy Spirit,” rather than “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” It would be less theologically confusing. For we are baptized in the Spirit in the sacramental baptism, and that is the only baptism we receive in life. The rest is all infillings. I’ve experienced those infillings too, but they aren’t “baptisms.”


#8

I agree, it does tend to confuse (as evident by the fact that the OP had to come here to ask about it in the first place). I’m not sure who first came up with the phrase or why they chose to phrase it that way.


#9

Hi Maggie,

Father Cantalamessa explains what is meant by “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” in this article. He is the Papal Household Preacher and has held that position for almost 30 years.

There is much valuable information at his website, including this article.

cantalamessa.org/en/articoloView.php?id=56

I am not charismatic myself, because I prefer a more quiet, meditative type of prayer. But it is a valid method of worship in the Catholic Church.


#10

[quote="Joe_5859, post:8, topic:177502"]
I agree, it does tend to confuse (as evident by the fact that the OP had to come here to ask about it in the first place). I'm not sure who first came up with the phrase or why they chose to phrase it that way.

[/quote]

Protestants did. It was a Protestant Charismatic thing, the Pentecostals and Evangelicals. They thought that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a second experience after baptism with water. They really do believe in two baptisms. Catholic Charismatics carry over some of the same terminology from them. This is a piece of Protestant "baggage" we're kind of stuck with. I personally don't use "Baptism" to describe these infillings of the Holy Spirit that happen. I stopped around the time I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism and learned the true doctrine that there is only one baptism. To any Charismatics around here, I recommend ceasing to use this term as well, except to describe the water baptism all Christians experience.


#11

Thank you everyone for such great information. I will read the articles and do further study on this topic. I have a strong desire to be closer to the Lord and after listening to this espisode on the Abundant Life, it peaked my already curious mind about the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”.

You all have been so helpful and I now understand the distinction between the two. I think infilling is probably the best way to describe it to avoid confusion for uninformed people as myself.

Thank you again,
In Christ’s Love,
Maggie


#12

Regardless of the terms being used, the effect of this Baptism in the Holy Spirit is what you should desire. I think that you can find some good information about what kind of changes takes place when a person opens themselves up to this grace. For me, I was filled with a love that I hadn’t experienced before, although I was a “devout” catholic at the time. My best description of it is this: If you could open up to the graces you have already received in baptism and confirmation, and those graces just poured out in your life, then you would find your self a saint. I mean a serious saint like we read about. They are not different than us except that they opened themselves up more to the graces they had been given. You too can open yourself to the grace you have in baptism and confirmation. The more you do this, the more you will be baptised in the Spirit.


#13

If you are interested, I have put together this "Life in the Spirit Seminar" to help people open to this grace.

There are eight parts to it and this is the first. You can find the other parts on youtube as well. It is about one hour in length. God bless you!

youtube.com/watch?v=0yAtpEj507Y


#14

The way that “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” was explained to me is a release of the gifts that each of us has already received by virtue of our Sacramental Baptism and Confirmation. When non-Catholics ask me when I was “born again” or became Christian, I say that my Christian life began with my Baptism as an infant. Throughout our lives we make ever deepening commitments to our Faith. For me, the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” was one more step in the process. It requires an openness on our part to accept the gifts which a loving Father wants to give each of us. This openness requires humility as we seek not the gifts themselves, but rather the giver of the gifts.
One of the analogies used in Cursillo is receiving a gift and putting it on a closet shelf, but never opening the present. When we become open to the indwelling Spirit, our spiritual life grows and we can be transformed. We open the gifts we have received. While Charismatics do have lively meetings full of praise, this is not gist of the movement. The renewal that takes place is within our hearts. As already mentioned, the gifts are not for ourselves. They are to be used in service to Christ and His Church. The infilling of the Holy Spirit makes this possible in the same way that the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost made it possible for them to spread the Gospel message throughout the world. They no longer hid behind locked doors.


#15

suscribing..


#16

here is what the papal preacher has said about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. By the way, for those who don't yet realize, this priest was chosen to continue being the papal preacher by Pope Benedict XVI. That is quite rare for a papal preacher to be given this position twice. I think that our Pope knows this man has something very important to say.

catholiccharismatic.us/ccc/articles/Cantalamessa/Cantalamessa_002.html


#17

[quote="Flame_of_Christ, post:16, topic:177502"]
here is what the papal preacher has said about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. By the way, for those who don't yet realize, this priest was chosen to continue being the papal preacher by Pope Benedict XVI. That is quite rare for a papal preacher to be given this position twice. I think that our Pope knows this man has something very important to say.

catholiccharismatic.us/ccc/articles/Cantalamessa/Cantalamessa_002.html

[/quote]

I read it, and thanks for the link! I do have a problem with his theology, though, in that he seems negative toward infant baptism.

He doesn't mention that infant baptism was there in the beginning of the Church. There were pagan converts aplenty, but also infants were baptized from the beginning, and he seems to blame a need for Baptism in the Holy Spirit on some barriers we develop because we are baptized as infants. The logical conclusion of his reasoning seems to be that infant baptism has a negative impact on spiritual growth. He doesn't say that explicitly, but it seems a logical inference. I'm probably just misunderstanding, though.

It was certainly an interesting article and I like how he talks about the value of unity with a powerful, personal God.


#18

Scripture says that whole households were baptized. This leads to the logical conclusion that children and infants were baptized along with the master of the house. It was generally accepted in Roman times that members of the household were expected to worship the same gods as the head of the household. There also were individuals who accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Wives remained married to their pagan husbands.
I for one am glad that I was Baptized as an infant. It is also true that others make the proclamation of faith for us. The expectation is that we will be taught the faith. Unfortunately many are not catechized, The Sacrament is relegated to mere ritual. Some see Confirmation as a graduation exercise rather than an adult statement of faith.
The Sacraments of Initiation give us the grace we need to grow and develop in our faith. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit allows us to open the gifts of grace that we have already received through our Sacramental Baptism and Confirmation. It means opening ourselves more fully to the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, to more fully submit to His Lordship.


#19

In my understanding, the baptsim in the Holy Spirit has been instituted by God (not by man) because of a need that our Lord sees in His Church. People have been baptised and yet, many of them live as pagans, without the Spirit alive within them. Well, they need to come back to life and the way that the Lord is doing this is to have the sacrament of baptism come to life again in them.

I don’t believe that Fr. Cantalamessa is speaking against infant baptism. What he is against is the idea that baptism can work without faith. Baptism in the Spirit is the move to have those who have already received the sacrament come to a living faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. It is their yes to baptism. The Baptism in the Spirit helps people make a resounding yes to God. Fiat!!!


#20

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