Gifts of the Spirit


#1

I was speaking with a pentecostal the other day who found out that I was not only Catholic but also entering the Seminary. She pulled me to one side and asked me what the Church is doing about of the gifts of the Spirit— taken aback, I had no idea what she was really asking me. Further into the conversation, she told me that there are some denominations who are putting down and stopping the “movement of the Spirit”. I didn’t get a chance to respond as I would have liked, but I find that Pentecostals focus too much on one aspect of the Spirit and His Gifts – as given in Corinthians… Any responses?


#2

[quote=frdave20]I was speaking with a pentecostal the other day who found out that I was not only Catholic but also entering the Seminary. She pulled me to one side and asked me what the Church is doing about of the gifts of the Spirit— taken aback, I had no idea what she was really asking me. Further into the conversation, she told me that there are some denominations who are putting down and stopping the “movement of the Spirit”. I didn’t get a chance to respond as I would have liked, but I find that Pentecostals focus too much on one aspect of the Spirit and His Gifts – as given in Corinthians… Any responses?
[/quote]

I tend to agree that they focus too much. They can, and I stress can, fall into the “you have to speak tongues to really be saved” and “if you have enough faith you’ll never be sick” stuff, which is completely untrue. Most of the preachers on tv who do the giant healing session either are or are similar to Pentecostals. They’re not bad, but I think they lean far too strongly to these things.

There is a movement in the Church called the charismatic movement. It is one which emphasizes the various charisms (what she means by gifts of the spirt: tongues, healing, etc.) The Vatican has not condemned it. They haven’t said it’s a great wonderful thing either, but I believe they said something along the lines of that it has a place in the Church as long as it doesn’t fall into the same traps that I mentioned above.


#3

I am entering THE CHURCH next Easter Vigil, God willing, but I came from a charismatic/pentecostal setup previously and my wife still is and has no intention of joining the Church. I can tell you extacly what is taught and yes, most do focus way too much on the gifts.

Lazerlike, you are dead on. The church I attended won’t count you Christian until they hear you speak in tongues. I believe Dr. Scott Hahn says it best when he calls the teaching “health and wealth”. They are all about being healed and being rich. Nothing wrong with either, but the problem is most are sick and poor instead of healthy and wealthy.

Now, I do NOT discount the workings of the Holy Spirit in any way and know healing takes place and God does bless you with wealth sometimes. It is no coincidence that the two wealthiest groups on the planet are the Jews and the Catholics.

Of course, now I am deemed an unbeliever by my former church and worship idols and Mary now, lol.


#4

I think I might be able to help you out.

As far as the charismatic movement goes…it is alive and well. It was actually very much approved by PJPII and Fr. Groechel and Jeff Cavins are both considered to be Charismatic, if I’m not mistaken.

There are seminars in many parishes, and the good ones are led by good, faithful, charismatic priests…Life in the Spirit.

It talks about God’s love, Jesus Christ and how we come to know him and need his salvation for us, Forgiveness, healing (through forgiveness), and the gifts of the Spirit. If taught correctly it enphasizes the sacraments and that the “Infilling of the Holy Spirit” is a RENEWAL of the sacrament of Confirmation…it is not a sacrament or a pseudo-sacrament, but a way to come to know the Holy Spirit better.

The Holy Spirit is alive and well in the Catholic Church, and I point to the election of Pope Benedict XVI as solid proof in that matter…he was clearly chosen by the Holy Spirit for our time and clearly, in order to elect him, the Cardinals, all of whom have free will, were led and obeyed the Holy Spirit in their votes.

Tell your friend that the fuits of the Spirit of patience, hope, charity, generosity, faith, temperance, etc., are alive and well in the Chuch. Tell your friend further that the charisms of tongues, prophecy, etc., are also alive and well and in a healthy state for those who are of the charismatic spirituality and throughout the Church as a whole.

Tell your friend that they do not have a corner on the Spirit and that the focus of the Charismatic Renewal of the Catholic church seeks only to deepen the faith of ALL the members of the Church and the faithful everywhere in the Triune God.

I do not consider myself to be charismatic but I do attend the prayer meetings…I feel drawn to go, and I have to say that the experience has deepend my faith and my ability to be silent and humble before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

It is alive and well…your friend need not worry that the Holy Spirit will abandon the Church, for we have been promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail.


#5

I too agree that too much emphasis may be placed on certain gifts. A particular Penecostal church I am aware of believes in ‘Holy Spirit Baptism as evidenced by speaking in tongues’. Immediately this one aspect becomes to some the prime way in which one can prove their spirit filled nature. As Catholics I believe we take a more holistic, commonsense approach. It can be nicely summed up by what is written in the CCC with regard to Confirmation:

1303 *From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:

  • it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, ‘‘Abba! Father!’’
  • it unites us more firmly to Christ;
    -it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
    -it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
    -it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:

**Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit in your hearts. ** *

In focussing only on certain gifts of the Holy Spirit more important, fundamental ones may be forgotten. Also I can imagine situations where people can come under personal self imposed pressure to ‘speak in tongues’ to prove their faith. In 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 St Paul not only lists the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and faith before the other gifts, but also states clearly the the Spirit ***’ allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses’***. So receiving of such gifts does not reside in our power nor should be dependent on being a member of a particular church denomination.


#6

I think the charismatic movement is good, and we ought to listen to it.

But I share your concern that some of its members misplace their focus.

The encounter you described has the ring of that misplaced focus, the idea being that the Holy Spirit uses me as the vehicle because he has given me this elite gift, and made me his messenger, which makes me joyful, etc.

Compare this attitude with that of St. Francis, or St. Theresa of the Little Flower whose compass had only one direction which was You.


#7

[quote=adnauseum]I think the charismatic movement is good, and we ought to listen to it.

But I share your concern that some of its members misplace their focus.

The encounter you described has the ring of that misplaced focus, the idea being that the Holy Spirit uses me as the vehicle because he has given me this elite gift, and made me his messenger, which makes me joyful, etc.

Compare this attitude with that of St. Francis, or St. Theresa of the Little Flower whose compass had only one direction which was You.
[/quote]

Thankyou.

A wonderful reflection we charismatics must strive to remember: I am nothing. He is everything. The gifts come from the sacraments and the church to lead us to the sacraments and the church. Our true goal is total abandonment of self to the Eucharist… anything less is falling short.

Josh


#8

[quote=frdave20]I was speaking with a pentecostal the other day who found out that I was not only Catholic but also entering the Seminary. She pulled me to one side and asked me what the Church is doing about of the gifts of the Spirit— taken aback, I had no idea what she was really asking me. Further into the conversation, she told me that there are some denominations who are putting down and stopping the “movement of the Spirit”. I didn’t get a chance to respond as I would have liked, but I find that Pentecostals focus too much on one aspect of the Spirit and His Gifts – as given in Corinthians… Any responses?
[/quote]

Tell her that the Charismatic Catholics have the full outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


#9

what i should have told her is that the Church has fullness of the Holy Spirit. Afterall it is through the wisdom of the Holy spirit that the Pope is elected, Bishops are consecrated, the Sacraments dispensed, etc…


#10

I have friends who are Pentecostal. From what I understand they have rules on that which they believe. They truly love and want to please God. They also believe we, Catholics, have it, shall we say, not in order. Those with whom I’m aquainted really care about others.


#11

[quote=adnauseum]I think the charismatic movement is good, and we ought to listen to it. But I share your concern that some of its members misplace their focus.The encounter you described has the ring of that misplaced focus, the idea being that the Holy Spirit uses me as the vehicle because he has given me this elite gift, and made me his messenger, which makes me joyful, etc. Compare this attitude with that of St. Francis, or St. Theresa of the Little Flower whose compass had only one direction which was You.
[/quote]

I have been involved(belonged to) the Catholic Charismatic Movement on and off for many years and have always believed that in Baptism God gives us the seven fold gifts of Isaiah for use in our own salvation. However I also believe as Paul lays out in Corinthians and elsewhere that God also gives a gift or gifts to all of us in the Mystical Body of Christ( Paul speaks of the Body of Christ, Msg. Sheen wrote in 1937 about the Mystical Body so one and the same.). These gifts are not for our own personal sanctification or glorification, but are to be used to build up the body of Christ. A very real problem, IMO, is that so many of us receive these gifts and fail to unwrap and use them. They sit on the closet shelf so-to-speak. You’re quiet correct some try to misuse their gift(s) for their own purpose or advancement and do not follow through on God’s call for them. It is not unknown for someone to imagine they have certain gifts and fake it. Another case in point would be the one who offered money to Peter and Paul for the “powers.” Like anything else we are human and abuses can creep in.


#12

[quote=penntar]I have friends who are Pentecostal. From what I understand they have rules on that which they believe. They truly love and want to please God. They also believe we, Catholics, have it, shall we say, not in order. Those with whom I’m aquainted really care about others.
[/quote]

I heard a Pentecostal (I think) preacher today on TBN talking about how ‘glorious it was when Catholics started getting filled with the Holy Spirit’ a few years ago, and how we all thought they all worshpped Mary and now they are spirit-filled and serving the Lord. Then she had all the people from ‘Catholic backgrounds’ stand up, and everyone clapped for them, apparently now that they all are ‘saved’ and have come to their senses. I’m sure she is speaking from her heart, but what a slam to Catholicism. From what I’ve read, not all charismatic religions think speaking in tonges is evidence of salvation, but I could be wrong.


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.