Life in the Spirit?

I am confused about the premise of the Life in the Spirit seminar.
Some fellow catholics have urged me to attend this seminar as a way to become better acquainted with the Holy Spirit.
They said during one of the sessions there would be a night of prayer - and that prayer teams would lay their hands on people- and pray for the person to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

But most of these people are adult catholics who have already been confirmed.

So - I’m confused.
Do they think they didn’t receive the Holy Spirit at their confirmation?
Or are they simply reconfirming that sacrament?

That is really weird, I have never heard of that before, espesally coming from Catholics. I would talk to your Priest about this and give him the groups information. If you can’t get a good response from him then take it to the Bishop.

Dear Cofused

It is not necessarily weird - the laying on of hands and praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is is gifts not gift!

Yes they have been Confirmed. What they are seeking and asking for is the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. To receive those gifts one has to be open and willing to cooperate with the Spirit, because He cannot force his presence or gifts on us.

I’ll give you an example; When we have sinned mortally
we are cut off from God’s grace, that is Sanctifying Grace (God’s Life- God’s Spirit). We cannot receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit until we cooperate and are willing to confess our sins.

So to receive the Gifts of the Spirit we have to be open to receive them and so we pray and ask for those gifts.
And as St. Paul tells us those gifts are to used to build up the Body of Christ, His Church.

Blessings and Peace,
DigitalDeacon

[quote=Lorarose]I am confused about the premise of the Life in the Spirit seminar.
Some fellow catholics have urged me to attend this seminar as a way to become better acquainted with the Holy Spirit.
[/quote]

Wrong. The Holy Spirit are TRULY prsent in its truest from when the priest consecrate the bread and wine [n]IN A MASS!!

They said during one of the sessions there would be a night of prayer - and that prayer teams would lay their hands on people-

Laying of hands are for those with Holy Orders. Don’t be like Protestants.

[quote=DigitalDeacon]Dear Cofused

It is not necessarily weird

Weird is matter of subjectivity. But there’s abuse.

  • the laying on of hands and praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit

.
Laying of hands is for those with Holy Orders.

It is is gifts not gift!

And we would activate it?

Yes they have been Confirmed. What they are seeking and asking for is the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. To receive those gifts one has to be open and willing to cooperate with the Spirit, because He cannot force his presence or gifts on us

We cooperate with the Holy Spirit everytime we do good deeds. Going to Mass, Praying the Rosary, helping fellow men etc.

I’ll give you an example; When we have sinned mortally
we are cut off from God’s grace, that is Sanctifying Grace (God’s Life- God’s Spirit). We cannot receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit until we cooperate and are willing to confess our sins.

Yes. That is why a person in the state of Grace always have the Holy Spirit. And It will help them by giving the necessary help, one doesn’t need to “activate” it.

So to receive the Gifts of the Spirit we have to be open to receive them and so we pray and ask for those gifts

It’s not going to be given if one’s not ready.

And as St. Paul tells us those gifts are to used to build up the Body of Christ, His Church

Which gives? TongueS? Only tongue with interpretation, that owuld edify the church, can be used amongst believers.
[/quote]

Hello! I have been to the Life in the Spirit seminars… they are really great!!:dancing:
Its like a renewal of your gifts from the Holy Spirit, in a way. Maybe you got confirmed but forget you have those gifts and have stashed them away somewhere… this is to help bring them out.
The laying on of hands, my charsimatic group, Lion of Judah, does this… many charismatic people do this. They extend thier hand over the person and pray over them, sometimes in tongues (which is a gift from the Holy Spirit). There is a book to follow along, and I have that here somewhere… I was attending the seminars, but i have missed too many weeks. I enjoy going, it helps me to pray deeper and think more about Jesus and Our Blessed Mother.
I will write more when I find my book on it… :bounce:

Oh man…

Oh dear… this again… Well, I would just like to say that we should be wary of the abuses. There is checking needed.

But let me get to the point… The term laying of hands is reserved for the bishop and yes, it is reserved for Holy Orders. Although laying of hands on others isn’t technically wrong… it should not be addressed as laying of hands… Instead, the better term would be “pray over.”

Yes…they use the phrase “pray over” but they also use the term “laying on of hands”

As in…“let us lay hands on you in prayer”

And specifically as it refers to this seminar…
“let us lay hands on you in prayer that you receive the Holy Spirit”

And that is the part that sends up a red flag for me.

However…it is news to me that laity are NOT to lay hands on anyone in prayer? Or am I misunderstanding some of the posts here?

For ex: When I pray for my child - is it incorrect for me to lay my hands on my child while I pray?

I suppose I am looking for clarification on what constitutes “laying on of hands” and simply praying over someone while you touch them.

On a somewhat related thought…sometimes the priest will be praying over a person and ask the people to extend their arms out towards them as a sign of unity in prayer.
Is this an abuse? (It happens after communion - but before the closing prayer)

[quote=Lorarose]Yes…they use the phrase “pray over” but they also use the term “laying on of hands”

As in…“let us lay hands on you in prayer”

And specifically as it refers to this seminar…
“let us lay hands on you in prayer that you receive the Holy Spirit”

And that is the part that sends up a red flag for me.

However…it is news to me that laity are NOT to lay hands on anyone in prayer? Or am I misunderstanding some of the posts here?

For ex: When I pray for my child - is it incorrect for me to lay my hands on my child while I pray?

I suppose I am looking for clarification on what constitutes “laying on of hands” and simply praying over someone while you touch them.

On a somewhat related thought…sometimes the priest will be praying over a person and ask the people to extend their arms out towards them as a sign of unity in prayer.
Is this an abuse? (It happens after communion - but before the closing prayer)
[/quote]

I am quite unsure about extending arms at mass. It does happen to the church I go to. I am just unsure.

Red flags… you too, huh? Well, the laying of hands is not wrong in itself. The real abuse happens when we lay our hands and pray and the prayers we use are the one used by priests or bishops. If we are to lay hands, then we must use our own prayers (composed with our own words) not the ones priests or bishops would use.

On another note… the reason why laying of hands is reserved for priests or mostly bishops is because they are sanctified through Holy orders. There is a power given to them through ordination. As for us lay people, if we are to lay hands, it is best that we do it under a state of grace. Otherwise, I would not lay hands at all.

Still, I prefer calling it pray over instead of laying of hands.

Yes - they either use their own words, pray silently, or pray in tongues ( a whole 'nother issue! :slight_smile: )

State of grace?
Well…I try not to judge - but I do know many of these people gave up on the sacrament of confession a long time ago.
It is interesting that they feel they can help others receive the Holy Spirit - when they reject such an important sacrament.

I almost get the feeling that they don’t believe the blessing at confirmation was a "sure thing."
It seems like they do this at the seminar as a safeguard - in case the confirmation didn’t work right.
And if the person starts speaking in tongues - they can say “see - NOW that person has received the Holy Spirit!”

See… the concerns you posted can branch out into separate topics themselves. Indeed, you have to be in a state of grace to lay hands. I have spoken to many people and priests and brothers about this. Why should a person be in a state of grace is another topic on its own.

Sadly, some people have the wrong notion of things. Being able to speak in tongues absolutely does not mean this person received the Holy Spirit. I mean, c’mon, God is everywhere and we have access to him anytime… plus we are also temples of the Holy Spirit so I find this notion problematic. Certainly there are genuine tongues. But some really need to be checked as mentioned in 1 Cor 14. And if I read my Bible correctly, tongues come in flat second compared to prophesy. I tried to bring this up soemtimes but my friends who are charismatics try to shy away from the issue. Again I can go further but this is another topic.

When it comes to charismatics, we need to be careful about emotion. The emotion should be reasonable. Also, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not to be sought after for it shows a lack of humility on the part of the seeker. We should be humble and accept what God gives. This certainly does not mean that we lack the Holy Spirit, does it?

Bottomline is, we are already charismatic at the time of baptism and this is acknowledged during Confirmation. We just fail to recognize them. Charismatic gifts are not exclusive to what’s in the Bible. Being a good parent alone is a charismatic gift. Prayer is a charismatic gift. Anything that edifies or builds up the church is a charismatic gift. However, I am not saying that the charismatic movement is wrong. It is a blessing. It’s just that some things got out of hand.

I hope this helps.

I feel that the Charismatic renewal would be better served if they dropped the Life in the Spirit seminars. They can be beneficial to some but it seems to me that those who attend but are not called will be confused and could be angry because of that confusion. Invite a protestant to Mass and generally they are confused, angry and against our faith unless they are called to Catholicism and then it is confusing but wonderful. It is not a question of being better than one another but exploring where our giftings are within the church. Since we hold our gifts in clay jars, that is in imperfect beings, we will make mistakes, some intentional and some without knowing it, that is true for Charismatics and others alike. The renewal is real and of God and we have much work to do in the Spirit with the gifts of the Spirit and should be sensitive and invite those who are being called to our prayer meetings yet being free enough to explain we are not a secret society but a remnant with the church assigned a specific function and duty and responsibility comprised of clergy, religious and laity. In fact, many Saints have been assigned a particular purpose in the church, not because they are better but because it was the Father’s plan. The Charismatic renewal is for a time such as this but since the evil is larger the army is larger. The army of the Lord is diverse and the Charismatics are just one part of it. God Bless

[quote=gtrenewed]I feel that the Charismatic renewal would be better served if they dropped the Life in the Spirit seminars. They can be beneficial to some but it seems to me that those who attend but are not called will be confused and could be angry because of that confusion. Invite a protestant to Mass and generally they are confused, angry and against our faith unless they are called to Catholicism and then it is confusing but wonderful. It is not a question of being better than one another but exploring where our giftings are within the church. Since we hold our gifts in clay jars, that is in imperfect beings, we will make mistakes, some intentional and some without knowing it, that is true for Charismatics and others alike. The renewal is real and of God and we have much work to do in the Spirit with the gifts of the Spirit and should be sensitive and invite those who are being called to our prayer meetings yet being free enough to explain we are not a secret society but a remnant with the church assigned a specific function and duty and responsibility comprised of clergy, religious and laity. In fact, many Saints have been assigned a particular purpose in the church, not because they are better but because it was the Father’s plan. The Charismatic renewal is for a time such as this but since the evil is larger the army is larger. The army of the Lord is diverse and the Charismatics are just one part of it. God Bless
[/quote]

Well done and well said. Indeed, the movement is a blessing. But also remember that not all of us are called that way or to be that way. The lives of the saints give so much examples.

I am a revert/convert. (Baptized but nothing else past age 4). My only experience with the gift of tongues was through an Assembly of God before coming back to the Catholic church. I wasn’t too sure about the whole thing and so I prayed for the gift of interpretation, as mentioned by Paul. In this church, one person would speak in tongues and nothing would happen until it was interpreted, as per Bible scripture. After one such interpretation, I almost (I am sorry Lord for not doing so) got up and said, “No, can’t you hear? The angels are rejoicing because someone has been healed!”

Next, the pastor got up and said “I have some great news, (someone) has been healed of her inoperable brain tumor.”

I also know that God has given me a gift of discernment. I can sense evil, overwhelmingly at times. I left this church because there were those who were truly godly, but there was also those who cloaked themselves in righteousness, but were tools of Satan. These kind of churches can have wonderful gifts, but there can be tremendous abuse also.

I know many of you will not believe what I have shared, but I do so for those who do go to such Catholic churches will be warned. Make sure the Spirit you are receiving is from God. Check the scripture and the vatican to find out what exactly is supposed to happen in these churches and run far away if you find any abuses.
God Bless

[quote=Lorarose]I am confused about the premise of the Life in the Spirit seminar.
Some fellow catholics have urged me to attend this seminar as a way to become better acquainted with the Holy Spirit.
They said during one of the sessions there would be a night of prayer - and that prayer teams would lay their hands on people- and pray for the person to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

But most of these people are adult catholics who have already been confirmed.

So - I’m confused.
Do they think they didn’t receive the Holy Spirit at their confirmation?
Or are they simply reconfirming that sacrament?
[/quote]

They’re part of the Charismatic Movement.

Read…

unitypublishing.com/NewReligiousMovements/CharismaticMovement1.html

The Charismatic Movement is just Montanism revisited.

As far as the movement originating from Apostolic times…that’s a stretch. Granted, the Bible and the early Christians noted a gift of the Holy Spirit…known as “speaking in tongues.”

I would say the Charismatic Movement…or, as I call it – Neo-Montanism…was founded centuries and centuries later.

I do know that Paul preached…

"Tongues-speaking is only edifying in the Church if it is interpreted. “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church.” First Corinthians 14:5, 27, 28

History shows that glossolalia (tongue speaking itself) did occur within the early Church…and I also do know the early fathers were incredibly divided. Chrysostom disapproved and Augustine was mixed…Ignatius believed in speaking in tongues, but believed also in its limited usage. The Montanist movement (which holds great similarities with the Charismatic Movement) of the late second century included prophetesses, speaking in tongues, etc… was declared heretical by 99% of the church (even though, Tertullian loved the movement)…it got so bad that excommunication became involved (Serapion, bishop of Antioch spoke out against it greatly). The Canon of Moratori (the oldest list of authorized New Testament books…written in Rome circa 170 AD) mentions Montanism among heresies and rejects its teachings and writings. Speaking in tongues was extremely rare within the church after this time.

The fact is…just as cancer has signs…so does this movement.

P.S. I believe it was Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus who wrote in “Panarion” a whole chapter on Montanism. He stated that Montanists receive the Bible in full… the Trinity…the resurrection of the dead…etc…but they mislead in their teachings on gifts.

The only reason the Charistmatic Movement is being allowed right now…is to attract Protestants to the faith.

The following is also a good read…

“Paul addresses the matter of ‘speaking in tongues’ as a possible problem in the church at Corinth. Although he acknowledges that the ability to speak in ‘various kinds of tongues’ and the ability to interpret these tongues are ‘spiritual gifts’ (1 Cor. 12:10), he is aware not all are to speak in tongues (1 Cor. 12:30), and advises his readers to seek ‘the higher gifts’ (1 Cor. 12:31). In 1 Corinthians 13, he makes it clear that he thinks of love as the greatest spiritual gift. Love is contrasted with speaking ‘in the tongues of men and of angels’ (1 Cor. 13:1); love endures, while tongues will cease (v. 8).”

“In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul gives a number of directions about the use of glossolalia. Speaking in tongues is not helpful to the community, he says, because it is incomprehensible (14:2). Only when there is interpretation is there edification (v. 5). When the community convenes, no more than three should speak in tongues, each in turn, and there must be an interpretation (v. 27). Paul feels that uncontrolled and uninterpreted speaking in tongues does not edify the community and that it gives outsiders the impression that believers are mad (v. 23). Yet, he allows this activity to take place, so long as it is done in orderly fashion and is accompanied by interpretation.”

“Acts 2 contains a narrative about the events of the first Pentecost after Easter. On that day, the apostles gathered together, and, after hearing a sound like wind and seeing tongues like fire, they began ‘to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ (Acts 2:4). The author of Acts goes on to list various nationalities of persons who heard the apostles speak, all hearing in their own languages. Although the story may suggest that the apostles spoke an incomprehensible language (v. 13), the truth is that they were speaking known foreign languages.”

Goodshow, agname! Thank you for shedding some light into this. I was about to mention this but you beat me to it. Let me make some additions.

If I read the Catholic encyclopedia correctly, the Corinthians did abuse their gifts which is why St. Paul had to write what is now chapter 14 of 1 Cor.

If you read the Bible in its original language, Greek, you notice that they refer to tongues as “glossa”. Glossa in Greek literally means the tongue or a language.

Acts 2 confirms that this glossa is a language since many people understood the disciples. I also see the word dialekto somewhere in the Greek text but I am uncertain what it means exactly but I know it does support “glossa” as language. I think it also means language.

Charismatic Catholics are a growing lay apostolate within the Catholic Church, and most Charismatic Catholic groups are in total obedience to Rome, operating with the official approval of the Vatican and the Pope.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal presents no new doctrine. Instead, members emphasize the teachings of the Catholic Church and often focus on ecumenical outreach, as well as maintaining some amazing missionary movements. Charismatics have a calling to the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Some charismatics function within their parish. Others, in addition to living out a faith life in their parishes, have formed covenant communities. For more info, go here.

catholicfraternity.net/
iccrs.org/

Life is The Spirit classes are just that: classes, designed to instruct people in what the Charismatic lifestyle is all about. It’s not for everyone, nor is ANY lay apostolate for everyone, but it is a valid movement within the Church.

There are, of course, always nutcases who go off and do weird stuff and make a bad name for their groups, and charismatics have had their share of flakes. Yet 99% of the Charismatics I am acquainted with are considerably MORE orthodox and Catholic than your average Joe Catholic in the Pew. They often go to Daily Mass, Confession, participate in Eucharistic Adoration, protest at Abortion clinics, do loads of social justice outreaches, and have deep prayer lives.

As for the charge of Charismaticism being “Montanism revisited”, that really is a seriously flawed accusation. Montanists were ascetic hermits who rejected the authority of the Church in favor of a “special divine revelation” they claimed they received personally. They did not speak in their prophecies, saying “The Lord says to you…” but rather spoke as though they themselves were God: “I say to you…” They also rejected the Trinity. **We do none of that. ** They were anti-intellectuals: we have many fine intellectuals and theologians in our movement. **Furthermore, the Montanist heresy was a HERESY, whereas the Charismatic Renewal has the blessings and support of the Holy See. **

Let us be charitable in our discussions here, and always remember that just because a certain lay apostolate does not appeal to you personally, that does not invalidate the apostolate for others. What the Pope has approved, I would be VERY cautious in condemning.

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