Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the Sacraments

Hi,

What do you think about beign open to the sacraments? What I mean to say is that, is our openess to the sacraments a very important part to them? I have met people who are baptised and confirmed who do not even believe in God. Yet on the other hand, I know many people in the Charismatic Renewal who when prayed with to be renewed (open to their baptisms and confirmations) had an amazing change in their life with regard to their faith.

Do you think that openess to the sacraments makes a difference? How much? Do you know anyone who has been baptised in the Spirit?

I haven’t heard any comments yet but I did find this interview with a priest who speaks about how the he was changed by this experience with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

ipadre.net/?s=charismatic

Jesus loves you

The question of being open makes me think of the parable of seed and soil. Some seed fell on thorny soil, and others were eaten up by birds and the like. Being open to the sacraments and to God can be difficult, but no one ever said bearing the load would be easy. Now, if you are asking if our willingness affects sacraments, I need to look that up again, but I believe so. For instance, marriage is a sacrament with three people (the couple and God), however, it can be a fake sacrament as it were if one of the couple did not fulfill the requirements (such as lying through your teeth about all of it). On the other hand, the Eucharist is the Eucharist regardless as to whether or not one believes He is such or not. Just because someone might not believe that in their mouth is the Body of Christ does not negate the Truth that He is present there. What it will do is affect their soul. It’s rather like a kid with a hand over his ears shouting, “La, la, la! I’m not listening!”

One should also note that those of the charismatic movement may appear to be open, but are not really. The same may be said of any of us. What I mean is… is there an implication that those not of some renewal movement are less… open?:shrug:

I didn’t mean to imply to be able to know who is less or more open. What I only wantd to point out at least for right now is that the prayers that were prayed over me through the baptism in the Holy spirit effected a kind of release of the sacrament within me. Part of that prayer was asking God to fill me with the Holy Spirit and open me up to all the gifts that He has in store for me. I also noticed that there were at least 3 people involved there as well! It was me (wanting and asking for the release of those gifts), the people praying over me (asking God to renew the gifts) and God (wanting me to be open to Him). Maybe when we are baptised and confirmed, we aren’t really open. Or maybe we are only partially open. I hope that this helps.

People can’t pray over you. Only priests may do that.

you’re joking right?

We are called to relationship with Christ. As with any relationship, we receive more when we open ourselves to the other person.
We know that Christ gives himself fully and completely in the Eucharist. How open are we to accepting and realizing this reality? How thankful are we for the gift that we have received? While Christ fully gives himself to us, it is our response that becomes more real as we open ourselves and accept the gift that we have received. This realization and awareness of the awesome gift received leads to a thankful heart increasing the efficacy of the Sacrament that we have just received. The desire for union with Christ increases along with a desire to share what we have received with others, to invite others to share our joy.
Can we receive anything with a hand curled into a fist? When it comes to intimacy, it is our heart that must be open.

I have been. However, be advised that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) is seemingly more controversial within Catholicism than the SSPX. And the CCR is totally approved by the hierarchy!

A fer years back, the priest at our parish was charismatic. The parish sponsored a “Life in the Spirit” seminar which presented over the course of several weeks. I had to be convinced to go. I was worried about looking like a fool, but received assurances that it would be an unforgettable experience. Once Father laid hands on me and prayed, I asked for the Holy Spirit to release the gifts. I never spoke a single syllable in a tongue. Turns out that I have a different gift.

The release of the gifts of the Holy Spirit made a 100% improvement in my faith life. I lost my fear of witnessing to my faith. My prayer took on a new dimension. I have since seen minor miracles in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Now, “some” members and groups within the CCR go overboard and insist or demand that everyone speak in tongues. Avoid those people. The Holy Spirit, like the wind, goes where He will. The gifts that are released are the Father’s choosing, and not man’s.

Again, if you have a chance to attend a Life in the Spirit seminar, go! You will be drawn closer to the Lord than you ever thought possible.

Technically speaking, only priests are supposed to pray over someone. It’s the same reasoning as to why you don’t get a blessing from someone distributing the Eucharist unless they are a priest. I was told by someone who knew, when someone goes up to you, you never, ever, make the sign of the cross over their heads because it’s not your place. Can you pray for them, sure, but you can’t pray over them. Eh, someone needs to modify my words though for correctness.

In reference to your reply to my post, I was being a little whimsical at the time and understand what you mean. To the best of my knowledge, the attitudes of those praying for you probably do affect you, although you seem to focus on the enthusiasm more. For instance, at the Easter Vigil at my parish, the priest was very enthusiastic/energetic about welcoming our new members during their baptism and confirmation. It’s like any other social interaction. Which makes you feel better, when your mother gushes, “I love you!” or when she says deadpan, “I love you.” Then again, maybe it’s the soto voice thing; it just doesn’t seem to affect some people.:stuck_out_tongue:

I am not sure why you mentioned enthusiasm but I guess you could say that I came alive after they prayed. I just thought I would mention a couple of things about that experience, the first is that actually no one laid hands upon me per se. They did hold their hands out towards me though. Secondly, after I walked away from that time of prayer, I was changed. I felt as if I had reborn and maybe I had! Could it have been me being open to the sacrament of baptism?

I just came across this message from Pope Benedict concerning being “baptised in the Holy Spirit.” I hope everyone notices that he is asking this from those of us who have already been baptised. I think that this baptism in the Holy Spirit is a true grace of God.

ccrno.org/PBXVI.BaptismoftheChurch.htm

“And this is actualized through the sacraments of Christian initiation: baptism and confirmation. In my message for World Youth Day 2008, I invited young people to rediscover the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives and, therefore, the importance of these sacraments. Today I would like to extend this invitation to everyone: Let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and of our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present.”

Pope Benedict was speaking of a “rediscovery” of the graces received in Baptism and Confirmation. He says these sacraments are “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” I do not doubt that there are some – many, even – Catholics who require a “spiritual jolt” to shake them into awareness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but this “jolt” is not an eighth sacrament nor a particular liturgical rite of the Church. It could very well simply be the effect of the prayer of righteous men. (cf. James 5:16) I think it could be misleading of the CCR to appropriate “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” to something which the Church identifies with her sacraments.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a release, an activation of the gifts that we have already received by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation. It is not a new Sacrament,nor is that what the CCR teaches. For many, these gifts have been set on a shelf and left unopened. Once opened, they need to be used.
How are these gifts opened? They are opened through prayer. The Apostles spent the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost Sunday in fervent prayer while remaining in hiding. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be received in private. It can also be received publicly as those who have already received this gift pray for and with the individual desiring Baptism in the Holy Spirit. You are right in saying that it is not a particular liturgical rite, nor have I ever seen it presented as such.
One of the gifts opened through this prayer is a greater desire for the Sacraments with all the graces that they give.

DebChris wrote: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a release, an activation of the gifts that we have already received by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation. It is not a new Sacrament,nor is that what the CCR teaches. For many, these gifts have been set on a shelf and left unopened. Once opened, they need to be used.
How are these gifts opened? They are opened through prayer. The Apostles spent the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost Sunday in fervent prayer while remaining in hiding. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be received in private. It can also be received publicly as those who have already received this gift pray for and with the individual desiring Baptism in the Holy Spirit. You are right in saying that it is not a particular liturgical rite, nor have I ever seen it presented as such.
One of the gifts opened through this prayer is a greater desire for the Sacraments with all the graces that they give.

I agree. The Baptism in the Spirit is the actualization (or activation or renewal or release) of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. The CCR has never claimed to call it anything but this, and it is sound catholic doctrine! Many do need a rediscovery of what they have been given, they need that gift to be actual. I agree with you japhy, Deb, and you too Pope Benedict!

:wink:

When I attended Life in the Spirit, we were taught the above, that we recieve the Holy Spirit at baptizim. That it isn’t another sacrament having hands layed on you at the end of the seminar etc. But if you think of it like this… Being a christian is great, good and right…but being baptized in The Spirit…is like if you take a glass of milk and add chocolate…you have chocolate milk…but once you STIR it…then it is all it can be. Or buy a great steak bring it home and put in the fridge, it is still a steak, but when you take it out, thaw it and put it on the BarBQ it is even more. Don’t say what if you burn the steak…this just an example…not a doctrine :rolleyes:

So far, I haven’t spoken in any tongues (except Latin LOL!!!).

I love your posting. I’ve never spoken in tongues, but the Holy Spirit has profoundly changed me in other ways. His gifts are His to give and not ours to demand. We get what we need and isn’t it grand. :slight_smile:

I guess I had a baptism in the Spirit of sorts before I went to a life in the Spirit Seminar, because I came back tot eh church after 20 years being gone and really began to encounter Jesus Christ personally there.

BUT!

Even though I was already a daily communicant and all, with the rosary all the time and so much more going on (even really personal exeperiences of Jesus Christ) it wasn’t until after I was prayed over for the release of the Spirit that things took an even GREATER turn for the better! All I can say is, there is no limit ot what the Lord can do for you. Praise God Almighty!

So yes, the life in the spirit semianr and the baptism in the holy Spirit can transform your life, no matter where you are at right now. This is because the Holy Spirit is God and can do more than we dare ask or imagine.

Hi there: First of all, the Church teaches the following with regard to the Sacraments and their efficacy:

*The Sacraments have an objective efficacy – i.e. an efficacy independent of the subjective disposition of the person receiving the Sacrament OR of the minister administering the Sacrament.

The Sacraments contain the grace which they signify, and bestow their grace on those who do not hinder it. They (Sacraments) work in a way the Church refers to as “ex opere operator”, which translates, literally, “by work performed”.

It means that the Sacraments work because of the actual activity or work performed in bestowing them – i.e. the Sacramental sign or the actions, etc., that the Church prescribes, liturgically, to be performed by the minister of a given Sacrament. The power of the Sacraments does not depend on any subjective attitude of faith on the part of the person receiving them. The Sacramental grace is not conferred by reason of the subjective activity or situation of the recipient, but is, as mentioned, caused and conferred by the validly performed Sacramental sign.

In the baptism of infants, even faith is not the effective cause of justification in the Sacrament and need not be individually present./The faith, which infants lack, is replaced by the faith of the Church.*

It’s very important, regardless of how deeply you enter into the charismatic experience, to remember that there are no Sacraments that are ‘new’ or that you have received that have not already been completely efficacious. There is only ONE Sacrament of Baptism and baptism of the Spirit is not a separate thing or a ‘more full’ baptism (than that you already received) or anything like that. It’s possible to enter more fully into relationship with the Holy Spirit, depending on the person, but that’s all it is - deepening you relationship with God, the Holy Spirit. There is nothing you can or do receive as part of a charismatic group that you cannot and do not receive in the normal life of the faith / Church.

As another poster said, the Sacraments and faith-life are all about relationship; about love and our relationship with our God. So, obviously, the more ‘engaged’ we are in the relationship, the more we are involved and active in that relationship, the more we will benefit from everything spiritual we encounter, from the Mass and the Sacraments to saying the Rosary to our life of prayer, in general.

If being part of a charismatic group or meeting (as long as the group is in union with the Church) helps you to engage more fully or facilitates things for you, it is fine and poses no harm. We each react differently and each of us is ‘moved’ (and even called by God) through different means. If you are following His call to your heart, you won’t go wrong.

I have friends in the charismatic movement and have, myself, attended not only prayer meetings but also a few Life In The Spirit seminars. So, I am familiar with all this and have a couple cautions…

A lot of the focus of some charismatic groups is on emotions and feelings. Objectively, there is nothing wrong with this - profound experiences of God can be a pretty overwhelming and emotional thing - but it’s always good to be wary and extra vigilant (as all the Saints have encouraged) when such things are involved in our spiritual lives. They are very seductive and can mislead us. We can end up worshiping the gifts of God rather than the Giver of the gifts, Himself.

Some charismatic groups, in my experience, over-emphasize the gift of tongues. It’s a gift of the Spirit, like any other, and it’s wonderful if it’s given to you or anyone, but many times there is a sort of pressure (exerted by the group) to speak in tongues with the unspoken inference being that if you don’t speak in tongues, something is wrong. I hope this is not so in the group you are part of. Also, you almost never hear, in the groups that focus on ‘tongues’, that the teaching of Scripture is that the gift is for communication and not just ‘babbling’ in praise of God in a ‘language only He understands’. That is not what the gift of speaking on tongues, in the New Testament, was all about. I doubt it’s about that now, either.

According to St. Paul, if there are those speaking in tongues, there should also be those who understand what is spoken, and those who interpret what is spoken for those who cannot understand / interpret. My point is that all this can get kind of dicey if you’re not careful or if you’re someone who is not properly educated in the faith or already has a deep and satisfying prayer life.

While the form and method of praying and praising in a charismatic setting can be wonderful and very freeing and joyful (compared to a lot of traditional worship / liturgy), don’t get carried away or seduced by the “party”. It’s always WHAT we are expressing or saying to God that’s most important and not the WAY we say or express it.

If you ever have any doubts, check in here at the fora - there will be someone who can listen and give you feedback. In addition, if, while you are with the group, if you are told anything that contradicts the teaching of the Church, don’t continue there.

Finally, keep reading the saints…their wisdom will keep you on the right road…:slight_smile:

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