Holy Spirit?? Lawd, I don't Know?


#1

I was born and raised United Baptist (kind of like Southern Baptist, but not). I converted to Catholicism, and was confirmed to the church this past Easter. My children are being raised Catholic as well, and my husband will begin RCIA classes in the fall (he’s been in Iraq for a year). My entire family is Baptist, and I do get razzed a bit for being Catholic. Usually I can handle their questions, and keep tensions to nonexistent levels. I don’t push my brand of religion on them, and I expect the same in return.

Now, my question is kind of complex, but it is an issue that has been bothering me a little.

On Sunday mornings, sometimes the service gets a little excited. Sometimes, they shout, and become very animated- no speaking in tongues, but loud nonetheless. My mother says these people have the “Holy Spirit”. If these people have the “Holy Spirit”, why haven’t I ever seen Catholics do that? Why are Baptists the only ones with the Holy Spirit? Is that even the Holy Spirit? I know that Baptists aren’t the only ones who do this, but I have most experience with Baptists, so I used them for my question.

Oh, and one more: Are those who aren’t Catholic, but rather protestant wrong? Should I urge my family to convert?

Thanks very much for your help. I go home next month for vacation, and I want to be ready to handle the razzing. :angel1:


#2

I like the Holy Spirit a lot. . .:slight_smile: And the times I hear the Holy Spirit, it’s as if a very firm voice inside my head said to do, or not do, something. Very firm, and different from just a reflection.


#3

The Holy Spirit works in the Catholic Church too, just sometimes in a different way, I think. As far as moving people the way you describe, if you ever attend a Charismatic Catholic prayer group or Mass, you may experience this, too. But just to note, the Charismatic movement in the Catholic church is a very controversial one and some are quite opposed to it. In my personal opinion, speaking in tongues and other things of that nature have their place (they are gifts of the Holy Spirit, after all!). Its just that Catholic Mass isn’t typically the place you see them. But that DOES NOT mean that the Holy Spirit isn’t there. There are many times I have attended Mass, Adoration, etc and DEFINITELY felt the Holy Spirit. After all, many Catholics will tell you that the Holy Spirit is the one that moved them to come home!

I believe that everyone chooses to express their joy and praise to the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit in different ways. If your family thinks that the Holy Spirit isn’t present in the Catholic Church, just tell them that Catholics choose to express their praise and worship in a different way. Hope that helps!!


#4

Being raised a Baptist I saw that this not common in all Baptist Churches I have attended. Though the people may be experiencing the Holy Spirit, it is more likely thier emotions that are making them more animate in thier actions and the fact others are “letting go” takes away any inhibition to follow suit - I’m not saying this is bad, far from it.
As to “feeling” the Holy Spirit during Mass, that happens to me all the time. When I got confirmed coming into full-communion I felt like I was going to speak in tongues, even though I don’t have that gift of the Spirit. This happens also on the days that I serve as EMHE, each time I lift up the cup and say “the Blood of Christ” and serve my brothers and sisters, I feel the the power of the Spirit flow from the cup, through my body and out of the top of my head. But I am also a very emotional person.

The Holy Spirit manifest diferently in each individual.
The important thing is the fruits of the Holy Spirit. this is what we should judge ourselves(not others) by…
[size=1]Gal 5:22[/size] - 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law.

Hope that helps…


#5

I know that the Holy Spirit is in the Catholic Church. I feel it every Sunday when I am at Mass (other times, too). I was just wondering if that was the Holy Spirit within the other protestant churches or what.

Thanks very much for your help. It is appreciated. :smiley:


#6

I think that it very well could be the Holy Spirit. Many charismatic religions, such as Pentecostal, speak in tongues, shout, etc. There are some other Baptist denominations (Missionary is the one that comes to mind) where the minister, during his sermon, will get quite loud and you hear Amens coming from all around. I’ve attended a service like this and I do believe that the Holy Spirit was moving him and the other people. I think this type of worship is rare in many protestant denominations, like Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, etc., who’s style of worship (the quiet kind, I mean) is very similar to Catholic. But many protestant churches worship in the style you have described. Many are not mainline denominations, however.


#7

I don’t think anyone’s addressed this part of your question yet.

Just saying that Catholics are right and Protestants are wrong is probably not the most helpful way to phrase it.

First, as a Catholic, I would not deny the title of “Christian” to my Protestant brethren. If they have been validly baptised and profess Jesus by their faith in him and obedience to him, that’s what they are.

At the same time, I would also say that they are wrong on a number of specific issues. Of course, they would say the same about Catholics, but that’s why some people are one thing, and others something else. :slight_smile:

Finally, even though they may be Christians and may with confidence hope in the promises of Christ, as Catholics we nonetheless believe that non-Catholic Christians do not possess the fullness of the Faith that resides only in the Catholic Church that Jesus himself established upon the Rock of Peter, and that God wants all of his children to have. Not only do we have the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Scriptures, as do all Christians, but we have 2000 years of Spirit guided teaching, the examples of the Saints, the living Magisterium, and those powerhouses of grace, the Sacraments.

We are happy that our friends, relatives, and acquaintances are Christian, but out of love we want them to have it ALL!


#8

Don’t go with the idea that you are to convert them, but share what your own faith journey has mean to you and what you have in common. Then let the Holy Spirit do everything else in God’s time

You might want to print out this statement from Evangelicals and Catholics Together to share with them, it will give you the common ground of respect for each other’s faith journey.

The Gift of Salvation

and pray alot for God’s will.


#9

Manifestation of the Holy Spirit are different among believers. Charis Catholic service will have such manifestation, however not every believers will have the outpour of spirit . Only those who are so deep into prayer and in total openess can experience the outpour of Holy Spirit. I have a Catholic frez whom mum experiences the outpour of Holy Spirit very frequently each time she was in a very deep prayer. Eventually she stop speaking in tongues, becoz she was very skeptical about such behaviour.
Actually how i wish i can experience such manifestation of Holy Spirit, but sadly i nvr have one before…


#10

God bless! Sounds like you’re doing a good job.

Now, my question is kind of complex, but it is an issue that has been bothering me a little.

No worries. :slight_smile:

On Sunday mornings, sometimes the service gets a little excited. Sometimes, they shout, and become very animated- no speaking in tongues, but loud nonetheless. My mother says these people have the “Holy Spirit”. If these people have the “Holy Spirit”, why haven’t I ever seen Catholics do that?

How does one know if one has the Holy Spirit?

My personal disposition, although a committed Catholic, is decidedly on the skeptical side. Personally, I think that it is highly possibly that much of the highly emotional activity which many sincere charasmatic believers have is simply that-- emotional, man-generated activity, and not the infusion of a grace from God. Granted, I really cannot know either way. It is entirely possibly that the Holy Spirit is communicating some gift to them, and Scripture does attest to such strange gifts as the gift of tongues.

Is is possible that the Holy Spirit is acting on these believers? Yes. Is it certain? Far from it.

Read about the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2), read about Paul’s regulations and discussion of spiritual gifts in first Corinthians (1 Cor 12-14, I think). These are the essential texts to read.

You’ll find several things. First, spiritual gifts such as tongues are not important gifts in themselves. Paul says that they have the purpose of, ‘building up’ the Church and should only be used in public to that purpose. When the Holy Spirit acts on someone, such as with tongues, it does not imply that that person is holy. Union with God is not necessary for these spiritual gifts.

This is why, for instance, Caiaphas could prophecy that Christ would die for the nation’s sins. Prophecy, like other gifts of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor 12:4-10), is something which is unrelated to a person’s spiritual state.

That is why it is utterly irrelevant to have any specific of these kinds of spiritual gifts to be saved, nor are they evidence of being saved. Paul asks rhetorically (ch. 12),

29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

The answer of course is, “no.” Not all have these gifts. Because of this they cannot be used as a proof of being saved, let alone a proof of the, ‘true church.’

Paul notes, “but I shall show you a still more excellent way” (v. 31).

What is this more excellent way? Love. First Corinthians chapter 13 is the famous reading on love. You know, love is gentle… love is kind, etc. All the spiritual gifts pass away-- even those which your mother prefers (1 Cor 13:8-10).

Paul concludes, “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). These are called in Catholicism the three theological virtues. This is because they unite the soul to God. These are truly the gifts of the Spirit which unite us to God. (But note again how love is superior-- faith gives way to knowledge, and hope to the attainment of God, but love itself remains.)

Why are Baptists the only ones with the Holy Spirit? Is that even the Holy Spirit? I know that Baptists aren’t the only ones who do this, but I have most experience with Baptists, so I used them for my question.

Of course not. Catholics have the Holy Spirit. I urge you to read a very interesting book on prayer, which often focuses on the Holy Spirit, and in particular the sublime gifts which the Holy Spirit communicates to believers. Check out, “Fire Within: St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila and the Gospel on Prayer” by Father Thomas Dubay. Now-- infused prayer, contemplative prayer-- that is surely a gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Catholic saints all have it. I suggest you read that, and talk to her about that. A feel good service doesn’t even begin to measure up to the gifts of the Holy Spirit which Fr. Dubay talks about in his book. Really, we Catholics are supremely a Holy Spirit people, and this will help you understand why.

-Rob


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