“Do not be afraid of differences,” Pope Francis said is a message to Catholics involved in the charismatic movement.Speaking on October 31 to the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic …
“The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit.”
I really appreciate it when Pope Francis speaks straight. Its refreshing.
I was a pentecostal. I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I spoke in tongues (a kind of guttural language with lots of 'k’s and 'sh’s).
It was a major mental wrench for me to emerge from all that, acquire the utterly different spiritual outlook that comes with the Catholic Faith, and begin to understand what union with God actually means. Pentecostalism and its sister Charismatism are - in my experience and in everything I’ve read on the subject - a substitute for an authentic spiritual life, heavily dependent on emotive experience and special effects. They are not the real thing, though they may awaken in some individuals an interest in the real thing (but this is the exception rather than the rule). It wearies me that after all these decades they are still being touted as something praiseworthy in themselves.
I had to read the article to get a better feel for that statement. I took it as a bit “new-agey” until I realized “breathing in” and “breathing out” were metaphors!
Francis is correct that we all have different charisms, according to our vocations and stations.
Justin Swanton, I don’t want to derail this thread, but how has your Gift of Tongues changed in understanding, or been utilized, since you were received into the Church? Have you found a place of your own in the Charism Acceptance and Application Process*?
*I can’t say “Charismatic Renewal” as there never was a ‘renewal’ per se, as the Spirit has never abandoned the Church. I believe our charisms are just more out there – exposed now, no less Mystical by nature but no longer as hidden as was in the past: part of this has to with open, ecumenical communication, part of this has to do with the “mainstreaming” of Gifts via our separated bretheren via and broadcast media.
Amen: I’m sure Pope Francis is focusing on " though they may awaken in some individuals an interest in the real thing" such as yourself. Plus he’s emphasizing the importance of prayer first.
For General Information
Please note that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is not Pentecostalism nor is it general Charismatism. It is not a substitute for an authentic spiritual life. Instead, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Sacraments, the Rosary, prayers, good works, participation in parish life, etc. are very important in the lives of those who pray in Tongues and, when possible, participate in parish prayer groups.
My journey toward contemplative prayer began in the Charismatic Movement back in 1976.
It is the path the Lord Jesus led me through and I would not discourage anyone who finds spiritual edification through the Charismatic Movement in their parish.
A good book to read is “Who We Are Is How We Pray,” by Charles Keating(no relation to Thomas Keating)
Keating shows the author why different personality types are drawn to different spiritual ways to pray.
Some are drawn toward dynamic outward prayer like the Charismatics.
Some are drawn toward Contemplative Prayer like Carmelites.
No way is more right than the other. The only thing that is right is allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you to where He will feed you the most.
Anyone who surrenders themselves to God in prayer, will not be left empty, but fulfilled.
Would it be fair to say that different Charisms can be like the organs of the body – one charism could be like a hand, or a foot, etc. yet we are all called to worship God in Mass / Divine Liturgy as one body?
St Paul used the same analogy with regards to gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I would say your analogy is the same and a good one.
Thanks, Jim. I value your opinion; my *personal *prayer life has been all over the map and I haven’t quite found the best “fit” yet.