Charismatic Movement and Speaking in Tongues

I attended a charismatic worship last week, and I have a question about it. At the start of the worship, we sang songs and prayed. There is a minute or two when people start to speak in tongues together, and they are not speaking in the same language.

I remember in the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and spoke in all kinds of tongues together, yet they understood each other. While in 1 Corinthians, Paul told the Corinthian Church to either speak in tongues one by one with explaination, or pray silently to God. Yet, in this worship, many are speaking together, and they seem to be praising God in their tongues, as they seem to be enjoying and immersed in their prayer. But for me, who have not yet received the gift of speaking in tongues, knew little about tongues and didn’t understand what they were expressing. Was the tongue-speaking session in that worship a normal practice, or should there be some explaination or common tongues to be spoken?

I’ve heard this described as words that God understands that express things beyond ordinary language.

It’s not how I pray, but it sounds like a beautiful and very intimate expression of praise and worship.

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It’s not in the Missal?

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If people feel moved to speak in tongues, they do so. They generally don’t stop to explain it and there are not “common tongues”. I presume this is not a Mass, where such tongues would be inappropriate, but rather some kind of a prayer service where people are free to go where the Spirit takes them.

Speaking in tongues in an interesting gift of the Holy Spirit. A problem with the Charismatic Movement is that people are often told that they can be taught to speak in tongues, which cannot be done. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are just that, gifts. They aren’t something that can be taught. Secondly, God only grants us gifts in so much that they can be given back to Him appropriately, that is in the proper execution of the nature of that gift. For example, in the Gospels, we learn that each heard the apostles in their own language, so the proper end of the gift was to spread the Gospel and it was therefor heard by many according to their own language. If nobody in the church can understand what is uttered then how can the gift come to fruition? Lastly, when experiencing something like a person uttering an unknown language we have to discern such an occurrence, for this can easily be a false gift since the demonic strive to inversely mimic the actions/powers of God. This is done as a form of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

I am not discounting the occurrence or condemning the one it happened to, these are just some of the many important things to think about in these moments. The desert fathers agree that discernment is highly important in these matters. Pax Christi!

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A fraught topic, but I will say that I believe tongues are exclusively either the speaking of a real language one doesn’t naturally “know”, or the speaking of some language that is understood by all. I am willing to admit this is a personal belief and not present it as fact, but I don’t think I could ever be totally comfortable with what is presented as tongues in most modern contexts.

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I saw a Pentecostal preacher on TV speaking in tongues. I understood what he was saying. He was speaking Arabic and he was giving glory to Satan.

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@savedbychrist , there are different forms for the gift of tongues . The most common one is the one you refer to .

It is prayer to God , and is not meant to be understood .

St Paul explained it when the wrote , " For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit ."

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Verses 26-27 are instructions for using tongues as prophetic utterance for the benefit of the group, and he cautions that this should be done one by one and each utterance should be interpreted. This is not the same as personal prayer to God in the Spirit for their own edification.

Verse 4 shows this difference. “He who speaks in a tongue builds himself up (edifies himself and needs no one to interpret) ….
but he who prophesies builds up the church.” (one by one in orderly fashion, and needs interpretation).

In a prayer meeting when all are singing or praying in tongues, this is simply the first manner of prayer and not meant to be a prophetic utterance. They are altogether worshipping God in the Holy Spirit, and have no need that this worship be interpreted. It is not prophetic.

I hope this is helpful to you.

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Now I understand, thank you

There are a few people who can speak in tongues at my parish. It is a very holy thing and while I don’t really understand it, from hearing them and having talked with them I can say it’s a very holy gift

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Joannes, I appreciate your attempts to subdue any enthusiasm for speaking in tongues, by using this video. However, the speaker is in error concerning this gift, for he believes that the gift must be an authentic language, albeit unknown to the speaker.

That is not in accord with scripture.

A man who speaks in a tongue is talking not to men, but to God. No one understands him, because he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
1 Cor. 14:2

It is not true that the pray-er must pray in a known language or else it is deemed not unauthentic. God alone understands the prayer as the person utters mysteries in the spirit. This gift is not usually used in public assembly as prophetic tongues, but more often in private with no need to be in a language.

Yes, it is used collectively in assembly at times, but again, since each pray-er is speaking to God and not to the assembly, there is no need for it to be a specific language, other than that which the Spirit inspires.

Edit: Fr. Lapide lived in 1567-1637, and could not anticipate how the Spirit would manifest this gift in our century. Beginning with 14:58 on the video, the speaker stated that in a prayer meeting, the Holy Spirit allegedly “comes down” upon them, but that this is not language.

Perhaps in the early centuries this was necessary while the gospel was taking root and spreading. Today, the gift is used for personal prayer that allows one’s understanding to rest so that his spirit may speak to God in “mysteries.” There is no need for language whatsoever, and those who believe it is being faked are not understanding the gift. Others are not required to discern whether or not a person is truly praying or faking. It is not their judgment to make.

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Joannes, I see you posted another video by Fr. Gruner, the Fatima priest who was suspended and is now deceased. As such, I will not watch this video, for I suspect that you, as a traditionalist, have provided this as further substantiation to dismiss the gift of tongues.

I had posted an edit to my post, not realizing you had added this video until afterwards. Most likely, you did not see my edit, so I reprint it now, not only for you, since you will most likely disagree, but for those who may be misled by the videos so they may be better informed.

Edit: Fr. Lapide lived in 1567-1637, and could not anticipate how the Spirit would manifest this gift in our century. Beginning with 14:58 on the video, the speaker stated that in a prayer meeting, the Holy Spirit allegedly “comes down” upon them, but that this is not language.

Perhaps in the early centuries this was necessary while the gospel was taking root and spreading. Today, the gift is used for personal prayer that allows one’s understanding to rest so that his spirit may speak to God in “mysteries.” There is no need for language whatsoever, and those who believe it is being faked are not understanding the gift. Others are not required to discern whether or not a person is truly praying or faking. It is not their judgment to make.

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Didn’t Fr. Gruner also endorse the Veronica Lueken alleged apparitions at Bayside, Queens? I will pray for his soul but I don’t think he’s a reliable source for anything Catholic in view of his suspension and support for such a questionable thing.

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I am not familiar with that, Tis. You may have more insight on that. Nevertheless, I agree that he is not a reliable source that one may put their credence in.

Thin ice to base an entire argument on.

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I am simply as brief as St. Paul was in the scripture I quoted from him. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, Fr. Cantalamessa is very knowledgeable and a good teacher. You might avail yourself of his writings on line if you desire more explanation. It is not something that is easy for a novice to grasp.

EDIT: My apologies. I had mentioned Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa in another very recent thread similar to this topic that has been closed. For your information, he is known as a practicing charismatic friar with much knowledge of the CCR.

Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. (born July 22, 1934) is an Italian Catholic priest in the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and theologian. He has served as the Preacher to the Papal Household since 1980, under Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

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There is also an individual “prayer tongue”. whether it is in another language than what the user normally speaks is beside the point as it is a gift to the individual as opposed to a specific language being gifted, and which should have an interpreter present.

And that may not be well laid out; the matter is better addressed by someone in the Charismatic movement.

And you are correct, in that your feeling is shared by many, particularly if they are not familiar with the movement or suspicious of it.

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