THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: FOSTERING A DEEP CHARISMATIC SPIRITUALITY
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
As Christians we are expected not only to believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but we are to possess the Trinity. We can achieve the aforesaid by integrating all the essentials of our faith into our spiritual life. In the Church and our Christian life, we have essential personages and marks that are also non-negotiable. They are the Liturgy; the way we worship God and it is the primary essence of God creating us. No wonder, the children of Israel were freed from the slavery of the Egyptians in order to move into the wilderness and worship God (Ex. 3:18). In the Liturgy we talk of the Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit. We also have the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacred Traditions and Sacred Scriptures. The foregoing are central to our faith and we cannot pick and choose from them. Thus, from them we have our spiritualities. Spirituality means our way of living as we wholeheartedly embrace the essential personages and pillars. So, we can talk of liturgical spirituality, the spirituality of the Holy Mass, Eucharistic spirituality, the spirituality of the Holy Spirit, Marian spirituality and Biblical spirituality.
From observation and findings, we pay more attention to one or two Persons of the Blessed Trinity instead of seeing the three Persons in one God and worshipping God as a Godhead and not a fragmentation of persons. For example, with the emergence of the Second Vatican Council and her spirituality of renewal, the need for fresh air through the breath of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement began with a group of American College students in Duquesne University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in February 1967. Its emergence came with blessings and a great awakening of the powers of baptism, confirmation and the Church. However, with some shortcomings that were fuelled by miscreants, religious fundamentalists, bigots, and poor formation; the Church started experiencing a lot of divisions, intrusion of “pentecostalism”, rejection of authentic doctrines and the sacraments, heretical projections, and constant attacks against her hierarchy.
In view of the foregoing, confusion became so common that it was difficult to distinguish between the initial understanding of the place of the Holy Spirit in the Church, her Charismatic spirituality and the role of the renewal movement in the Church. The height of it all was the case were many faithful, consciously and some unconsciously started arguing that they were not charismatic but Catholic and Christians. Additionally, the privilege of pious groups in the Church at times has been abused because some tend to see one pious group as superior to the other. Let’s watch it! Friends in Christ, we need to clear such aberrations and mentality. Once you are baptized into Christ, you instantly receive the Holy Spirit and you become a charismatic. That is one who is not only blessed with natural gifts but with charisms (supernatural powers). It does not end at that because charismatic spirituality teaches by a statement that says “God always has more to give you.”
Therefore, you and I are expected to grow spiritually and otherwise. It is usually not always easy. Charismatic spirituality stresses elements which are central to Christian life: conversion, transformation and commitment to Christ. This is where we talk of baptism of the Spirit to fan us to flame and personal discovery in God, through Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. Consciousness of the role of the Holy Spirit in our salvation and cultivating a life of the spirit brings us into our spiritual space the Charismatic spirituality. Note: It is not optional! Whether we belong to the Charismatic renewal movement or not, we must develop the consciousness of the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives. To do so is to embrace and cultivate a charismatic spirituality. It is open to all baptized and confirmed Christians.
HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, FALL AFRESH ON US!
- The Holy Spirit is the power of God at work in us. Salvific mysteries like creation, redemption and sanctification are excellent events that display such power. What does it mean to be a charismatic as a Christian?
- Have you ever thought of the relevance of the Charismatic spirituality in your spiritual life? If yes, what is the degree of it in your spiritual life? If no, what is hampering your charismatic spirituality formation?
- How does your ordinarily daily events in life integrates the Holy Spirit?
Thanks for you participation! Thanks also for your insightful comments and inputs. Please keep them coming. You are in my prayers and please pray for me.