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International Catholic

Volume XXXV, Number 3 May – June 2009
Charismatic Renewal

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit


the Charismatic Renewal
in the Catholic Church
by Marcos Volcan

Jesus, the Father’s only Son, the Anointed One! as Christ was raised from the dead through
This Issue He came to us, says the Gospel of Saint John the glory of the Father, we too may live a new
The Seven Gifts because, “God so loved the world that he gave life. If we have been united with him like this
of the Holy Spirit his only son, so that everyone who believes in in his death, we will certainly also be united
The Charism of Tongues: him might not perish but might have eternal with him in his resurrection.” Romans 6:3-5
The Glossalaly life. For God did not send his Son into the world The Sacrament of Baptism is the source of
Laying on of Hands to condemn the world, but that the world might the sanctifying grace, the “inhabitation” of
be saved through him.” He was begotten into the Holy Spirit, making us His Temple! It is the
the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of Spirit of the Father’s only Son Who makes us
the Holy Spirit; Jesus’ public life began when cry out “Abba, Father.”
the Spirit, in the form of a dove, came upon the
Head of Jesus. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Jesus Let us focus, however, on Romans 6:5, “We
was led into the desert, and full of the Holy have grown into union with him!” The Spirit
Spirit He went to Nazareth, where He stood up of Filiation (since it belongs to the Father’s
to read the following words: Only Son) is given to us and we become like a
“graft into the True Vine.” We are assimilated,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because integrated into Christ, transforming us in
he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to Christ into One Body with Him. Everything He
the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty is and everything He achieved becomes our
to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, inheritance thanks to His Spirit who lives in us!
to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim The Apostle John says, in the Book of
a year acceptable to the Lord.” Revelation 5:6, “Then I saw standing in
Through His blood and immolation on the cross, the midst of the throne and the four living
Jesus purchased for God those from every creatures and the elders, a Lamb that seemed
tribe and tongue, people and nation, and made to have been slain. He had seven horns and
them a kingdom and priests for our God. seven eyes. These are the spirits of God sent
out into the whole world.” This Spirit, who
“And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy
inhabits the Lamb, configures us to Jesus
to take the scroll and to open its seals,
Christ in his seven graces and seven gifts
because you were slain, and with your blood
(main mission of the Spirit).
you purchased men for God from every tribe
and language and people and nation. You “But a shoot shall sprout from the Stump of
have made them to be a kingdom and priests Jesse and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
to serve our God, and they will reign on the The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,”
“…when we receive the earth.’” Revelations 5:9-10 says the Prophet Isaiah, and goes on to list the
Sacrament of Baptism, “Seven Spirits of God,” “…a spirit of wisdom
we are bestowed This grace is conferred upon us through the and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and
with the gifts of this Sacrament of Baptism, (Baptizen, in the Greek, of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear
“inhabitation,” called, for which means immersion, submersion) “Or of the Lord (and his delight shall be in the
this reason, Sanctifying are you unaware that we who were baptized fear of the Lord).” In the Vulgate version of
Gifts. We receive the into Jesus Christ were baptized into his the Bible where six gifts are listed, the Greek
Spirit of Christ who death?” asks the Apostle Paul to the Romans. version known as the Septuagint adds the gift
acts in us in a process The Apostle proceeds:
of configuration to the of piety. Therefore the gifts of the Holy Spirit
Person of the Father’s “Or don’t you know that all of us who were total seven, eliminating the twice mentioned
Only Son, through the baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into fear of the Lord.
action of His seven gifts.” his death? We were therefore buried with him Therefore, when we receive the Sacrament
through baptism into death in order that, just of Baptism, we are bestowed with the gifts
(continued page 2)
Page 2 May – June 2009 Leadership Formation

(continued from front page)

of this “inhabitation,” called, for this reason, The gift of wisdom is not learned from books,
Sanctifying Gifts. We receive the Spirit of Christ but is bestowed to the soul by God Himself,
who acts in us in a process of configuration to who illuminates and fills our minds, hearts,
the Person of the Father’s Only Son, through the intellect and will, with love.
action of His seven gifts.
Knowledge The gift of piety consists of a supernatural
Among the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift disposition of the soul which leads it, under
of knowledge comes first for the important the action of the Holy Spirit, to behave in its
role it plays in our spiritual lives. The gift of relationship with God in the same way a very
knowledge replaces the mundane mentality, caring child behaves towards his father, by
that is, the merely human one, with God’s whom he feels profoundly loved.
knowledge. The soul begins then to judge all
things though the light of faith and clearly
understands the supernatural purpose of the The gift of strength is the capacity that the
human being and the need to subject to it all Holy Spirit gives us to endure ordeals and
earthly realities. unite them to Christ’s suffering. The soul
that subjects itself completely to the Holy
Counsel Spirit encounters, in the gift of Strength, a
The gift of counsel aims to improve the virtue supernatural disposition that makes it capable
of prudence, enabling the soul to immediately of taking on the most difficult challenges and
discern what it should do or not do, both enduring the most difficult tribulations out of
in relation to its own conduct and others’ love for God and the glory of His Name.
conduct. It is our process of reasoning being
Fear of the Lord
enlightened by the grace of God, Who clearly
shows us what we should do or avoid doing The gift of fear of the Lord is a supernatural
in certain circumstances. This precise “vision” disposition of the soul which makes it
results from study and reflection, but it is also experience a profound respect for God and
a “supernatural instinct” coming from the gift a limitless contentment in His goodness as
of counsel. Father. It is not servile fear, nor even fear of
displeasing Him, but fear out of reverence:
Understanding His majesty and Excellency are so big and so
The gift of understanding is a supernatural powerful that we desire to serve Him and love
disposition of the soul which enables it to Him with all our hearts, because He means
understand with outstanding clarity and by everything to us.
intuition, certain mysteries of our faith or “I have been crucified with Christ and I no
even passages of the Holy Scriptures. Under longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I
the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, the live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of
soul profoundly and clearly penetrates into God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
revealed mysteries, captures the in-depth Galatians 2:20
truths of faith, and allows itself to be
conducted by increasingly infused prayer.
The gift of wisdom can be defined as a
supernatural disposition of our intellect which
makes us value the things of God and the glory
of His name.
“…for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
Proverbs 8:11
Leadership Formation May – June 2009 Page 3

The Charism of Tongues: The Glossalaly

by Darek Jeziorny
The gift of tongues is a very normal phenomenon for Such a gift is very common for charismatic groups
people involved in Charismatic Renewal. But persons nowadays. The most frequent use of this charism takes
who meet the charismatic type of prayer for the first place during worshiping God together. People pray
time might feel disappointed because something like the simultaneously in their words, in tongues and singing
glossolaly looks strange for them. St. Paul warned the songs. It is worthy to say that zealous glorifying the Lord
Corinthians that this could happen. was renewed in the church by the Charismatic Renewal
“So if the whole church comes together and everyone and it is a very important contribution of this stream
speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or of grace for the contemporary church. The charism of
some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are tongues is also a kind of “ice-breaker” in personal contact
out of your mind?” 1 Cor 14:23 with the Lord which could be difficult when a person is
And this warning comes from the experience. The focused on himself and his problems. Worshiping God
Apostles speaking in tongues on the day of Pentecost concentrates people on a person of the Lord and it opens
were laughed at. People looking at them suspected they them for the next charisms which could appear during
were “filled with young wine”. (Acts 2:13) the charismatic prayer meeting.
The ones who speak in tongues may be accused to A gift of glossolaly is also present during invoking the
be fanatics or mentally imbalanced persons. Such an Holy Spirit and intercession. But it could be noticeable
accusation can touch all people who are deeply involved that during glorifying the Lord in tongues people usually
in prayer which is outstanding from the conventional sing. And asking him for something they more often speak
imagination of prayer. And the example of the king David not sing in tongues. Such a charism is very useful during
proves this. His daughter despised him when she saw intercession which is also one of the characteristic kinds
him dancing and playing in the front of the Ark of the of ministry in Charismatic Renewal. It is very often that
Covenant. (1 Chronicles 15:29) people serving other persons who ask for help feel in the
spirit that the requests declared are not necessary the
Nevertheless it is necessary to state that speaking in new ones these persons need. People who minister usually
tongues was promised by Jesus before his Ascension. do not know exactly what to pray for so they pray in
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: tongues. Then according to Word of God (Romans
In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak 8:26-27) the Spirit “helps our weaknesses”. “He who
in new tongues.” Mark 16:17 searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit’s mind,
So there is nothing strange in using this charism. The because he makes intercession for the saints according
problem can appear among people who do not know the to God”. Sometimes the Holy Spirit reveals what is the
biblical teaching about it. real problem of the person asking for help during prayer
It is necessary to state there are three kinds of speaking in tongues. Then the understanding can be proclaimed
in tongues mentioned in the Bible: as a gift of knowledge. Sometimes is does not happen
1. Prophecy in tongues takes place when one person but the Holy Spirit understands what the ministering
speaks in an unknown language and the rest of people are asking for and answers this.
participants remain in silence. Such a prophecy is fruitful Summing up it is worthy to state that the gift of tongues
if another person has a gift of interpretation and explains is a supernatural way of communication with God in the
what was said. Holy Spirit who is a giver of this charism. The glossolaly
“I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but builds up the prayer when some people gather together
I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies in the same place to meet with God. Used during
is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he worshiping the Lord it opens for further charisms and
interprets, so that the church may be edified. Now, unites members in one Spirit. But it also builds an
brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what individual person because this gift can be used during
good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation individual prayer.
or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who
1 Corinthians 14:5-6 prophesies edifies the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:4
2. After receiving the Holy Spirit the Apostles were speaking One can use this charism when he feels great enthusiasm
in tongues they did not know before and these languages and wants to glorify God but his mind is not able to follow
were understandable for Jews from different nations and “produce” the proper words to express the feelings.
who came to Jerusalem for the feast (see Acts 2:4-13). It The gift of tongues is very useful for such occasions
amazed these people who heard about “mighty works of because it allows not to block the whole enthusiasm. But
God” in their own language. So this kind of the charism of it is also good to remind that this gift does not reign over
tongues is a sign for people who do not believe. a person but a person controls a gift. So people are not
3. Spontaneous worship of the Lord after receiving the enslaved receiving any charism from the Holy Spirit. But
outpouring the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-46; 19:1-7). During they can freely use it whenever they wish. And this rule
such a prayer many persons speak or sing in tongues applies also the gift of glossolaly. That is why the charism
simultaneously and it is a true gift of glossolaly. of tongues should not be regarded as a kind of ecstasy.
Page 4 May – June 2009 Leadership Formation


ICCRS receives many questions about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and we do our best to answer as many as we can with the help of the ICCRS
Doctrinal Commission members who kindly take the time to check their references and credit their sources. The questions and answers featured in this
section of the Leadership Formation each issue are selected for their relevancy and helpfulness overall for those involved in the Catholic Charismatic
Renewal. If you have a question about the CCR, please send it to and we will do our best to answer it!

On the Laying on of Hands

It is important to distinguish the laying on of hands that and Paul to prepare them and pray for the Spirit’s anointing on
takes place at Confirmation and Ordination, which confers their mission (see also Num 8:10).
a sacramental grace, and the laying on of hands of ordinary
“So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their
believers. Only a bishop (or a priest delegated by the
hands on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:3
bishop) has the authority to lay on hands in the first sense.
This sacramental laying on of hands is portrayed in the New “You are to bring the Levites before the Lord, and the
Testament in Acts 6:6; 1 Tim 4:14 (and possibly 2 Tim 1:6-7). Israelites are to lay their hands on them.” Num 8:10
“They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and The practice of ordinary believers laying on hands has been
laid their hands on them.” Acts 6:6 revived in recent years, especially through the Charismatic
“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a Renewal. It can be part of prayer for healing, or of prayer for
prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands preparation for a mission or service a person is called to, or
on you.” 1 Tim 4:14 of prayer for other graces needed. This is a way of recognizing
that we are bodily persons, and that Christ makes his graces
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of flow through all the members of his Body.
God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For
God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, It is important that this practice be pastored well, so there
of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Tim 1:6-7 is no confusion between sacramental and simple (informal)
laying on of hands. Laying on of hands should also be done
The second kind of laying on of hands is also recognized by with respect and sensitivity for the person being prayed with.
scripture. In Mark 16:17-18 the risen Lord Jesus promises, “These Usually you should gently ask his or her permission before
signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will laying on hands: “Is it OK if I put my hand on your shoulder
cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick as I pray?” It goes without saying that you should never push
up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt a person with your hand to “help” them rest in the Spirit.
them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Anyone who is struggling with unchaste thoughts should not
He does not say that these signs will accompany only those he lay hands. There should not be any sense of magic or personal
appointed as apostles or leaders. In Acts 9:17 we see Ananias, an power, but a simple surrender to Jesus who determines
ordinary believer, led by the Spirit to lay hands on Saul that he whom, when and how he will heal and impart grace.
may recover from blindness and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
“Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his
hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who
appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has The ICCRS Doctrinal Commission is formed by:
sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the
Bishop Joseph Grech (chair), Australia
Holy Spirit.’” Acts 9:17
Father Peter Hocken, Austria
James 5:14-16 instructs anyone who is sick to “call for the Father Francis Martin, USA
elders (presbyters) of the church, and let them pray over Doctor Mary Healy, USA
him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord,” but The ICCRS Doctrinal Commission is also in consultation
then adds, “Therefore confess your sins to one another, with theologians from different countries around the world.
and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
In Acts 13:3, the community as a whole lays hands on Barnabas

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