Sacred Heart

Catholic Church

Imlay City, Michigan  Tel: (810) 724-1135

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A Reasoned Critique of the Gnostic Charismatic Movement

Charismania Part V, and Conclusion: Final Advice

 

   The following is part 5 of a 5-part series exposing some of the disorders of the so-called “charismatic movement.” All the parts of this series add up to one homily entitled The Charismatic Gifts delivered by an anonymous priest some years ago. The whole homily can be read and shared on our parish’s web site.

   When it comes to the charismatic gifts, the best attitude to have is one of indifference; when it comes to charismatic revivals, the best thing to do is stay away.

   In the end, we should follow the example of the prayer of the publican in the Gospel today: humble, honest, and sincere, not seeking any sign from God, but only His mercy. It is a prayer that is a testament to the Holy Ghost’s continuous work in our souls that attunes us to those quiet whispers of His that we may be missing or ignoring.

   Actually, it is in those quiet whispers that we often find the strength to persevere provided we do not waste time in seeking solace in useless signs or wonders; it is also in those quiet whispers of the Holy Ghost that we discover for ourselves His greatest charism, the one which prompted Christ to carry His Cross and hang on it, which truly revives all of us and sets our souls on fire. [The end.]


   Fr. Ward’s conclusion to the series: And so concludes our five-part series, preceded by an introductory article by Your Pastor; it was an excellent homily by a brother priest exposing some of the salient problems of the so-called “Charismatic Movement.” It isn’t a comprehensive, doctorate-level academic analysis of it, but a good, solid summary of some very key points.

   I might add to Father’s conclusion the following: sometimes, God even chooses not to whisper. It may occasionally please the Lord, as is best discerned by his Divine Judgment, to abandon a soul in darkness. In fact, such darkness and aridity is a very normal, even common phenomenon of the spiritual life. St. John of the Cross wrote with extreme intelligence and eloquence about it, and how these difficult moments are some of the most fruitful for the soul, if born well.

   So Catholicism isn’t a sort of narcotic to reduce someone to a frenzy of irrational feelings, nor is it a teddy-bear to make one feel fuzzy feelings, nor is it a sort of spiritual ATM where we go to obtain every temporal whim we should like. It is a way of life; it makes one holy; and it saves one’s soul.

   And for this reason, as a final reminder, we should be very dedicated to help others live this kind of life – and not so they can have their financial problems solved, their relationships in this world healed, their emotions cuddled, their self-esteem boosted, or their body healed. We wish all to live this kind of life, because the Catholic life is the one and only road God gave us to get to heaven. Can a non-Catholic get to heaven? It seems so, but if it’s hard for Catholics, it would only be that much more difficult for the non-Catholic who has not so many means for salvation at his disposal as a Catholic has.

   But that’s a bit off point; the point is that we practice Catholicism for holiness and salvation, and the so-called Charismatic Movement is not that road, just a poor imitation of it. Let each one of us, as best we can, faithfully trod this road behind our savior, and help others to do the same.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Librevia Editrice Vaticana

 

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