Gifts of Charism

Hi!

My brother-in-law, an Evangelical? minister, often speaks of
having prayer meetings where “lots of people receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit found in 1 Cor 13 and 14.”

I know there are 7 gifts given to all believers in some portion or another, as well as there existing, in addition, charismatic gifts. These are extra gifts that God gives to certain believers (some of the saints had them, in varying numbers, and some did not).

My question is what exactly is taking place in his church. Is he (the minister) invoking the Holy Spirit to come upon believers, and in essence, controlling who receives gifts? Are these for real?

I can’t help but think this seems unlikely. Lots of people would mean ‘many’…and even the saints cannot boast such numbers. Padre Pio was one of the few who had several gifts (and they were authentic!). What is this all about?

He also claims that he has the gift of ‘discernment’ but also seems to think that it gives him knowledge of who is evil and who is good (therefore, who is headed for hell or not…which would include all Catholics since we are not ‘saved’ in his manner of thinking).

That’s it for now. I hope I made my questions clear enough.

Thank you.
:rolleyes:

Dear Rae,

Anyone can pray to the Holy Spirit to influence others. Most Catholic institutions of learning begin the school year with a Mass, imploring the help of the Holy Spirit for the students. As for anyone knowing exactly what gifts are given to whom, this is up the Holy Spirit to decide and make known.

Some Christian charismatics will declare all kinds of things that cannot be proven. The power of suggestion can be quite effective in a group that is already steeped in emotion. But there IS great power in prayer. To pray for someone is not to have control over them. It is to truly love them. Love brings freedom–not oppression.

For more on charismatic prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, check with Renewal Ministries, which is a sound Catholic resource on such matters:

renewalministries.net/contact.html

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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