In response to posted replies, I have the following comments & questions for clarification:
Beckycmarie, I can best define “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” by describing what I experienced on April 12 1980 (55 years after being baptized with water and the Spirit in 1925!), “Baptism in the Spirit” (note the parenthesis) was a grace I truly received and experienced after Catholic Christians laid their hands on me in prayer. When I was Baptized in the Spirit,” I experienced a conversion (during which time I had a vision of Christ Jesus on the cross looking at me with compassion and love, and I especially remember blood dripped down across His tortured face!), and since that time, I have had a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
I experienced what I truly believe was an empowerment by the Holy Spirit which permanently changed my life (a spiritual empowerment which if I had not received, I would not be writing this now!); and, I experienced receiving spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, including the powerful gift of praying in tongues.
No apology is necessary John Russell, Jr.! I admire your fervor and love for our Catholic Church, a fervor which I can only pray may be imparted by the Holy Spirit to the whole Church!; we both seek truth (amen?) and all I ask is that you read, and reread this thread, carefully, and with an open mind. I am a convert to Roman Catholicism (I have no connection with the Pentecostal Church), and I have studied Catholic history and teachings most of my life.
The Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church is not for everyone? For me, that’s like saying that baptism of water and the Spirit, is not for everyone. On the Day of Pentecost, it seems that all of the disciples received “Baptism in the Spirit.” Why not us? It is there for the asking! Why be afraid? It is NORMAL Christianity!
When St. Paul had his encounter with Christ Jesus on the road to Damascus, he experienced an extraordinary conversion and empowerment by the Spirit. Was it “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” received before being baptized with water and the Spirit? I would call it that. Remember that when, in Damascus, Ananias (a disciple of Christ Jesus) laid hands on Paul in prayer, “things like scales fell from his eyes” (i.e., he was enlightened)? (Acts 9:18)
After his encounter with Christ Jesus, did Paul experience a “new birth,” was he “born from above”? (Jn 3:8-10) Paul received charisms (the gift of tongues, the gift of healing, and other extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit), and all this before he was baptized with water! Was it the same “Baptism in the Spirit” we know today? Paul’s conversion was awesosme.
Is “Baptism in the Spirit” absolutely necessary? I do believe that only God has the full answer to that, and He has revealed it to us, His Holy Church – are we listening?
The experience commonly called “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” (not to be confused with the Seven Sacraments), is not disapproved by the Magisterium of the Church. Why? Is it because there is evidence that the experience is an instrument and sign by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ? That has been my experience. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, even Christ and the Church are referred to as sacraments.” (774-775).
Could the Sacrament of Confirmation possibly have been the ritualization and formalization of “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” by Catholic leaders, centuries ago? Are the awesome graces and chaisms received during “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” on the Holy Spirit’s timetable, or on the church hierarchy’s timetable? We need to call on the Lord for the answer.