Hi everyone, I’m new here with a question. I’m not sure where to put it but Family seemed the best place.
ok, so over the weekend my 15 year old attended Steubenville East youth conference in MA. Prior to her attending we went to a meeting with the leaders from our parish and other parents. the kids were told that “adoration would be a powerful experience for them.” That people were slain in the spirit and speaking in tongues etc. These are all kids who participate in adoration every 1st Friday with youth group, so they’re no stranger to the process but my first thoughts - being fairly skeptical of the whole Charismatic movement was that they were setting these kids up for Mass Hysteria.
Anyway, she returns yesterday. Half of her was truly happy and excited over the weekend. She’s so big into music, that she loved that. Said the talks were ok, mass was nice, but that adoration was AMAZING. and then proceeded to tell us how scary it was. How kids were screaming. How kids were falling over. How she felt like she was going to throw up, how at one point one boy was screaming until the priest anointed him. How she didn’t want the priest to come near her with the host. She said she felt dizzy and like she was floating. Clearly she wasn’t elated in the spirit she was terrified. Of the 13 or so kids from our parish, most had something happen.
After 2+ hour adoration was over (which was like at 11:00pm after 94 degree heat all day) the parish got together to talk about what it was like and make sure the kids were all ok. One of the leaders said that the boy (from our parish) who was screaming must have been consumed by Satan and that Satan must have been there to stop the worship. And then, this is what really brings me here. The leaders told the kids that if they had trouble explaining this to their parents the leaders would talk to us (the parents). !!! That set off a million red flags. The leaders are simply parents from the parish. no formal religious training. The 3 woman are people I know and like. But I’m bothered by it all.
Now, like I said, I’m fairly skeptical of the whole Charismatic movement and I think as a good practicing Catholic it’s my job to be skeptical. I explained to my daughter that what she felt was all signs that she was going to faint. (having fainted many times when I was her age from the heat, I know what that feels like). My feeling, and what I told her, is that with thousands of kids all worshiping Jesus in Adoration, that did she really think that God would allow Satan to come among them? That God would allow Satan to bother or scare them? They were there for wonderful good reasons, in adoration of Jesus. Then I dug around last night on the internet, and the standard response that I could find to this question is always “satan was trying to interrupt the prayer service” Seems like the standard party line. I also can understand if the children were “slain in the spirit” as they think, why then were they being effected by Satan? Can’t be both in my mind. Either you’re slain in the spirit which I think would be a truly wonderful thing and elate you, not terrify you. Also, the leaders said you could tell they were slain in the spirit because no one got hurt. um…no kidding. When people faint they rarely get hurt because their body is limp. I also wonder, and I asked my daughter, why does it not happened when they’re all at adoration monthly? Or at mass? or praying the rosary? why do these “things” happen on in the context of a big charismatic meeting? and why would Jesus, our Jesus of the simple “Our Father” and of the “beatitudes”, our Jesus of a Resurrection that happened, not with huge pomp and flair and rock music and people falling over, but on a quiet morning, why would he make a big fuss now? It just didn’t add up. And when it did add up, it added to classic mass hysteria.
Of course, as soon as I started questioning what happened she got totally hysterical. I mean really hysterical. it was like the kids you see on the news talking about the cults they are in. To me, this isn’t what it should have been. It should have been something that elated her. not terrified her. Let alone anything else, it was really hot and humid here in MA all weekend and these kids were outside all day, with 4 hours of sleep the night before.
So, here are my questions:
Steubenville - I guess I should have googled more before I let her go, they are charismatic, but are they “wrong”? Are they violating anything in our Church?
should I have a discussion with the leaders and possibly bring in our parish priest?
what documentation do I have to prove that this was wrong - and was it wrong? I know it doesn’t feel right. I prayed last night and every answer I got was that it wasn’t right. I kept getting more and more reasons in my head over and over why it wasn’t right. And I was led here to ask more I think.
So anyone have words of wisdom for me? I’m sorry this was so long. I’m not trying to debate the whole charismatic movement here. That’s not my intent. My intent is to make sure that my child is ok, that she is not afraid of God and that she is not being led down the wrong path.