Roots of Charismatic Renewal
From Stephen Selbourne, Cape Town- Catholic Charismatic Renewal started on the day of Pentecost on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, at the birth of the Church.
On that day of Pentecost, 3000 men were added to their number—not counting the women and children—because of the power, presence and infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The Church was vibrant, alive and active, introducing people to the Holy Spirit, and speaking in tongues was an everyday and normal thing.
Somehow, as some priests would remind us, “the Holy Spirit has become the most neglected person of the Triune God”. Therefore we have Charismatic Renewal, with “renewal” being the operative word.
As the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement we wish to re-introduce the charism and gifts of the Holy Spirit within the Church.
For many the Holy Spirit is lying dormant until they realise through a charismatic gathering that he is here to remind us of everything Jesus said and did.
Many people’s lives are being changed and transformed after having encountered the Holy Spirit. “For how can we neglect such a gift?” He is a living person bringing to life that which is dead and lost.
Charismatic Renewal is not an enemy of the Church—on the contrary, we want to build up the Church and bring back the lapsed, the lonely and the least, including those who have left the Church for one reason or another.
Catholics should be encouraged to embrace this movement, not only to tolerate it but to celebrate it.
The leaders within the Church can guide us, lead us and teach us — and if we go wrong, redirect us gently onto the right path.
I would want to see a church packed with men and women who are hungry and thirsty for God; men and women who have surrendered their life to the lordship of Jesus.
Soon it will not be necessary to have a specifically charismatic group because the Church is by nature charismatic.
It is her birthright to operate, function and live just like Jesus did at all times.
I want to encourage Catholics to give Charismatic Renewal an opportunity to be a living presence in their parish and experience spiritual growth as never before.