What is the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Charles Whitehead, author and former President of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (now part of CHARIS) in describing the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, said, “It’s a personal experience of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who brings alive in new ways the graces of our baptism. The Holy Spirit not only sets on fire all that we have already received, but comes again in power to equip us with his gifts for service and mission.”
Mr. Whitehead stated that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is not a structured organization like others within the Church. “It has no founder or group of founders. It has no rule of life or written constitution. It is not a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. It is not just a network of prayer groups or communities. It is not a strange new spirituality which is only suitable for some particular (some will say “peculiar”) people. Raising our hands in praise is not a required liturgical gesture – it occurs spontaneously because of what God has done in our hearts. It is not something you decide to join, like a club.”
He went on to say that the goals of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal were the same as the goals and objectives of the Church herself:
- The need to know God as a loving and forgiving Father (Romans 8:1416)
- The need for a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior (1 Cor. 12:3)
- The need for the empowering and in-dwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5 and 8)
- The importance of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and the Sacraments (CCC 1131-1134)
- The call to prayer, and to the praise and worship of God (Acts 2:42-47)
- The importance of the charisms, or gifts of the Holy Spirit to serve the Church (1Cor. 12:4-11)
- The need to build Community (Acts 2:42-47)
- And the commission to evangelize and to be witnesses (Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20).
Life in the Spirit Seminars
The Life in the Spirit Seminar is a format commonly used by Catholic Charismatic Renewal groups around the world as an instrument for bringing people into a deeper experience of the work of the Holy Spirit. The Seminar offers the basic presentation of the Gospel and the basic teaching about what the Lord is willing to do for all to come to Him. There are generally personal witnesses and an opportunity to be prayed over individually to receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in ones own life. › See related resources.