Catholic tongues advice

Hello all.

I am seeking some advice. I have been a Catholic for some time now after converting from Calvinist Anglicanism.

To make a long story short (I’ll try). I befriended a Pentecostal friend and we were speaking about Tongues. He put the argument up to me and I studied. His arguments were all Biblical and to me did not seem anti Catholic.

He offered for me to join in him prayer. I did last week. Nothing heretical (correct me if I am wrong please) I believe as we just prayed to God then started praising him.

I was very skeptical at first having not known any Catholics who spoke in tongues. As we continued praying something remarkable happened. Both my hands down to my elbows had an awesome feeling of energy running through. Similar to pins and needles but much more intense. (I have never had any circulation problems in the past or since for those thinking it) I then started to pray in tongues automatically. I was thinking what to say in my mind praising God but it came out something foreign.

It lasted about 5 minutes and I felt the overwhelming love of God. I also had no temptation for some time afterwards along with a new comprehension of scripture and a yearning for it.

As the days went on I started to feel down as I had searched and searched in the past and came to Catholicism, yet I wasn’t seeing the practice of what I experienced in all the parishes I had been too. I did find some joy when I realised there is a Catholic charismatic movement.

I believe the Holy Spirit came into me in full that evening. The experience and feeling was like nothing I have ever had.

My question is, why don’t the majority of Catholics practice this and why isn’t it more known? My Pentecostal friend of course disputes the claims of our Great True Church and sadly some of those thoughts have entered into my head after this experience. If I saw much of the parish doing this I would feel better but I feel many are missing out. If Our Great Church is really the true Church of Christ then why isn’t the outpouring of the Holy Spirit more prevalent. It is possible that I experienced something unique and not meant for the masses? That the Holy Spirit gives difference graces to different members of the Body of Christ?

My Pentecostal friend claims every baptised member can receive the same gifts as I did.

In saying this I am not leaving Catholicism as I am being rational about it and remember my years of study and prayer that lead me to here. I feel at home within Catholicism. I am just a little confused and having a few of my beliefs challenged.

In saying this, is there a Catholic Charismatic movement in Sydney Australia? I would like to meet up with them? I can’t seem to find one.

Thank you for your time.

Peace in Christ.

God Bless.

G’day, I don’t live in Sydney but you could find this link helpful.

There is some Catholic caution as charismatic involvement can also hook people onto relating to God and considering spiritual life only or primarily with emotion and emotional highs, which can be more about oneself than God.
Love of God and love of others is not only about emotional responses but also about hard choices and sacrifices of self-interest for the sake of obedience and worship of God, and practical love of others. It isn’t always the case, but it can be that charismatic involvement can result in making people more self-conscious than God conscious. Because of this sometimes Catholic charismatics have left the Church.
This is why you may find many Catholics wary.

Trishie. Thank you for the reply. I have been reflecting and I realise that worshiping God is not all about the Charismatic. Whilst I enjoyed my experience immensely I get really uncomfortable when I watch the Pentecostal and Charismatic Protestant Churches on YouTube and that is not even being there in person. There is too much disorderly worship for me.

I love the sequence and structure of the Mass. It is powerful. Thank you for the reply. I will pray for guidance but I am so happy to be in the True Church of Christ. I won’t be leaving. Just need some advice on this new door that has opened.

Pentacostals believe that they are not truly “saved” & able to go to heaven unless they are “baptized by the Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking in tongues.” Talk to your priest before you delve any deeper into this. My experience is that God isn’t the only one that can have a person speak in tongues!!

I am well aware of this and have taken this thought into consideration. I will speak with a Priest. Thank you.

Sorry, I am not aware of any Charismatic Churches or movements based in Sydney. The only Australian Charismatic group (of consecrated men and women) that I’ve heard of is the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL’s), established by Fr. Ken Barker.

Being a lover of the Latin Mass, I am not particularly inclined towards (or familiar with) Charismatic forms of worship, but provided that they are genuine and bear good fruit- without compromising the sacredness of the liturgy- then I would also be curious to know the theological answer to your question: “… why don’t the majority of Catholics practice this and why isn’t it more known?” In practice, I am not at all concerned by the rarity of such forms of worship within Catholicism. I cannot imagine a more profound experience of the Holy Spirit than receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion; something which is so profound, yet so subtle in terms of felt experience; a Sacrament that has transformed lowly human creatures into Seraphs. Now that’s something that should be more known!

God bless and peace!

What a lovely, lovely letter, Dutch. At the moment you’ll be going through what we Charismatics call the “Honeymoon period”. Enjoy it and don’t let traditionalists throw cold water on your joy and your new relationship with the Lord. Tongues is usually the first gift of the Holy Spirit: the Lord has given most of us “tasters” of ALL the gifts. Once you KNOW, you will then be put on the duty list for the nearest gifted Christian when a situation crops up when the Lord needs one. The Lord seems to want a human being to DO some of His clever stuff. He can well do it Himself but I guess He wants us to experience His love and power AND to remind the healed person that it is JESUS that performed the miracle THROUGH the obedient collusion of an ordinary human twit!
I don’t know why others decry “emotion”? God gave us emotions so we can fully experience the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). How else can we hear the gentle whisper of the heart, soul and, especially, the gentle, loving, indwelling Holy Spirit. My mind, my intelligence, my unyiedling thought processes only serve to reject all these wonderful fruits AND gifts.
You have mentioned a new comprehension of Scripture: that too is one of the unmentioned perks, like prophecy and discernment. These last can be quite scary unless you are forewarned and understand they come from upstairs and are Kosher! Another gift is sympathy pains: you may experience a sudden ache or pain and you can bet top dollar its somebody else in the room and God wants you to go heal it. At one prayer group the hostesses’ husband was upstairs and didn’t join in. Halfway through I felt weepy and dreadfully lonely: I knew this was John upstairs so I prayed for him. The Lord said to me, “when you share someone’s pain, Ian, you truly take half the burden away.” Moments later John came down, “sorry folks, I feel much better now.”:smiley:

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is “a joyful experience of God’s grace,” said Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household.

This report from the EWTN Library gives some answers from the Vatican Preacher who has nothing but praise for the Charismatic Renewal in the Church. I have heard him speak a few times and he is a most joyful person, full of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let the naysayers deter you, but do your own investigating.

Here is another article you may enjoy.

****My appointment as Papal Household preacher also came after I ****
**experienced this “resurrection.” I see it as a great grace. After my **
**religious vocation, Charismatic Renewal has been the most marked **
grace in my life.

**Q: From your point of view, do the members of Charismatic Renewal **
have a specific vocation in the Church?

**Father Cantalamessa: Yes and no. Charismatic Renewal, it must be said **
**and repeated, is not an ecclesial movement. It is a current of grace that is **
**meant to transform the Church – preaching, the liturgy, personal prayer, **
Christian life.

Father Cantalamessa: I want to say to the faithful, to bishops, to priests,
not to be afraid. I don’t know why there is fear. Perhaps, in some
measure, because this experience began in other Christian confessions,
such as Pentecostals and Protestants.

Hello Dutch H,

The gift of tongues is real, however, one must use caution and recall St. Paul’s words regarding this gift.

If a person speaks in tongues, they are to remain silent unless there is another person there who can interpret.

Then, only one person is to speak at a time, – not a group altogether!

It is the LEAST of all gifts. Faith, hope and love (charity) are the greatest, and among those three, love (charity) is the greatest.

1 Corinthians 12

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13

9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 14

1 Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless some one interprets, so that the church may be edified. 6 Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will any one know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves; if you in a tongue utter speech that is not intelligible, how will any one know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 13 Therefore, he who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how can any one in the position of an outsider say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may give thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

23 If, therefore, the whole church assembles and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. 26 What then, brethren? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints.

37 If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. 38 If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; 40 but all things should be done decently and in order.



[quote=Dutch H]He offered for me to join in him prayer. I did last week. Nothing heretical (correct me if I am wrong please) I believe as we just prayed to God then started praising him.


St. Paul was writing to correct a misuse of this gift in the early Christian community. As with all development over the centuries, the gifts of the Holy Spirit have come to be better understood. Dutch was expressing the fact that he was “praising Him.” There is no need to “interpret” praise, and I believe your cautionary statement will be misunderstood.

***A Key to Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church ***
[FONT=Calibri]ISBN: 0-87029-033-9

Link to book

General Information – Please see index on left.

Romans 8:26: “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” When that Spirit, the Abba Spirit, bubbles up within you - go with Him. You cannot help but ignore all the negative rejections that come whistling at you. The Holy Spirit Himself directs loving prayers through you to call the disbelievers to Him.
Romans 8:15/16: "For you did not receive a spirit thatmakes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba Father”.

Thank you all for your replies. It is great to see many Catholics knowing this gift. I am organising to meet with my Priest tomorrow. I am very new to this and need direction.

God Bless.

Dutch H


Your link was the best exposition I have ever read … all in one place. Thank you! :thumbsup:

If the OP will scroll to page 52, Msgr. Walsh describes what the difference is between prayer tongues and prophetic tongues that require interpretation, which is what St. Paul was referring to.

[size=3][FONT=Calibri]There are quite a number of differences.
Prayer tongues:
a) Are a permanent gift.
b) Seem to be given to all.
c) Need not be followed by interpretation.
d) Can be used in communal praying or singing.
e) Are usually a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.
f) Are meant primarily for the person’s own spiritual growth.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]On the other hand, the gift of tongues:
a) Is a passing manifestation of God’s power.
b) Seems to be given only to those with a ministry of tongues.
c) Should always be followed by interpretation.
d) Should be used alone, and not in common with others.
e) Is not limited to a prayer of praise, but can take diverse forms.
f) Is meant primarily to release God’s message to the community.[/LEFT]

Unless the distinction is clear, a number if misunderstandings arise concerning both prayer tongues and the gift of tongues. Three mistakes seem prevalent:[/LEFT]

[LEFT]a) First, 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, Verse 10 (“One receives the gift of tongues”), which refers to the **gift of tongues, is frequently misunderstood to refer to prayer tongues. **Thus many feel that only a few are meant to pray in tongues.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]b) Secondly, the rules for interpretation following the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 14 can mistakenly be applied to prayer tongues and to the false conclusion that interpretation must follow the community’s prayer in tongues.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]c) Thirdly, a person who is truly being moved by God to the gift of tongues might be unaware that God wants to use him in this way and thus be inhibited in yielding to the gift.[/LEFT]

Please be aware that sanctification does not always consist of physically and emotionally having great feelings of love for God. I’m not saying that such things are not of the Lord, but there are many, many saints in heaven and holy peoplel who did not experience this.

It can be a great help and blessing when it is genuinely of the Holy Spirit, and the goal of this awakening is to more devoutly pick up one’s cross and follow Jesus our Saviour.

This same “awakening” can happen to prayerful people in an interior way that does not manifest itself in any physical signs, and therefore, others who take part in charismatic prayer groups sometimes think that they are the only ones who have been renewed in the Holy Spirit.

Tongues is a personal prayer language, especially when there is a sense of unease, but you don’t exactly know what ails your spiritual life.

At the moment you’ll be going through what we Charismatics call the “Honeymoon period”. Enjoy it and don’t let traditionalists throw cold water on your joy and your new relationship with the Lord.

Prayer/meditation listening to chant and praying in tongues is POWERFUL!!

Father Peter Joseph, the parish priest of Flemington (Sydney), would be a good, level-headed priest to talk to.

Amen, brother. I didn’t know how powerful until one evening our group were praying for an area in Swindon that was full of druggies and muggers and … you know. We prayed for their conversion but the Lord said to me: “Ian, their ears are blocked by the evil one. First you must drive out the evil one, so their ears are open to My word.”
I asked, “how do we do that in that large area, Lord?”
He replied, “whenever you drive through - or even walk - pray in tongues.” On our way home, my wife and I dutifully prayed in tongues as I drove slowly through that area. Stands to reason we didn’t know who lived in which house, but we were amazed that as we passed one house our tongues would change to sweet blessing, passing another out tongues changed radically to driving out of evil. We realised that tongues are also a weapon and a defensive protection.
More usually, however, if I run out of words to express what I want to say I use my tongues: the Holy Spirit knows what I have in my heart. Often, when I see a broken, spastic child in a wheelchair I am torn up with pity, sympathy, love and the Holy Spirit immediately takes over in tongues.

Wow God is good Battleaxe. Father Peter Joseph performed my sacraments when I entered the Catholic Church. I am meeting him this Friday to discuss.

God Bless.

Glad to read all the nice information.
I like and do quiet prayer. But singing, I do sing loud in Choir.

However, there were pastors and people I met, who mentioned to me like tongues was kind of the first gift or sign of receiving the Holy Spirit. They imply or sometimes directly say, you have not received (or anointed with) the Holy Spirit yet (on the context of me being a catholic or an invalid Baptism due to not being immersed in water).

Pastors who can speak like this at me can still speak tongues and praise God kindling inferiority complex in me.

I was always sad in hearing what they say. I am not the arguing type.

I know God sees my feelings and their talk. I am not blaming them, because they have received some gift and instead of just thank God and cherish in it, they also try to communicate to others saying that it is essential for anyone’s spiritual life.

Because of this, still today, I assumed me being a below average guy who cannot score much in spirituality.

Well, God is giving me some understanding.

Thanks Friends

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