Words from the Popes to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Paul VI “Nothing is more necessary for such a world, more and more secularized, than the testimony of this ‘spiritual renewal,’ which we see the Holy Spirit bring about today in the most diverse regions and environments. Its manifestations are varied: deep communion of souls, close contact with God in faithfulness to the commitments undertaken at Baptism, in prayer that is often community prayer, in which each one, expressing himself freely, helps, supports and nourishes the prayer of others, and, at the basis of everything, a personal conviction.
This conviction has its source not only in instruction received by faith but also in a specific experience of real life, namely, that without God, man can do nothing, that with him, on the contrary, everything becomes possible. [...] How then could this ‘spiritual renewal’ not be ‘a chance’ for the church and the world? And how, in this case, could one not take all the means to ensure that it remains so?”
Address of Pope Paul VI to participants in the Second International Leaders’ Conference of Charismatic Renewal Rome, 19 May 1975
John Paul II, “The charismatic Catholic movement is one of the many fruits of the Second Vatican Council, which, like a new Pentecost, led to an extraordinary flourishing in the Church’s life of groups and movements particularly sensitive to the action of the Spirit. How can we not give thanks for the precious spiritual fruits that the Renewal has produced in the life of the Church and the lives of so many people? How many lay faithful — men, women, young people, adults, and the elderly — have been able to experience in their own lives the amazing power of the Spirit and his gifts!
How many people have rediscovered the faith, the joy of prayer, the power and beauty of the Word of God, translating all this into generous service in the Church's mission! How many lives have been profoundly changed! For all this today, together with you, I wish to praise and thank the Holy Spirit.”
Address of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II to leaders of Renewal in the Spirit in Italy Rome, 4 April 1998
Benedict XVI “As I have been able to affirm in other circumstances, the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities which blossomed after the Second Vatican Council constitute a unique gift of the Lord and a precious resource for the life of the Church. They should be accepted with trust and valued for the various contributions they place at the service of the common benefit in an ordered and fruitful way. Your current reflection on the centrality of Christ in preaching is very interesting as well as on the importance of ‘Charisms in the life of the particular Church’, referring to Pauline theology, the New Testament, and the experience of the Charismatic Renewal.
What we learn in the New Testament on charism, which appeared as visible signs of the coming of the Holy Spirit, is not a historical event of the past, but a reality ever alive. It is the same divine Spirit, the soul of the Church, that acts in every age, and those mysterious and effective interventions of the Spirit are manifest in our time in a providential way. The Movements and New Communities are like an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Church and contemporary society. We can, therefore, rightly say that one of the positive elements and aspects of the Community of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is precisely their emphasis on the charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit, and their merit lies in having recalled their topicality in the Church.”
Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to participants in a meeting organized by the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships Rome, 31 October 2008
Pope Francis “You, the charismatic Renewal, have received a great gift from the Lord. Your movement’s birth was willed by the Holy Spirit to be current of grace in the Church and for the Church'. This is your identity: to be a current of grace. [...] You have received the great gift of diversity of charisms, the variety which becomes harmony in the Holy Spirit, and in service to the Church. [...] The Charismatic Renewal is a significant force meant to serve the preaching of the Gospel in the joy of the Holy Spirit. [...] You, the people of God, the people of the Charismatic Renewal, must be careful not to lose the freedom which the Holy Spirit has given you! [...] I expect you to share with everyone in the Church the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit (a phrase we find in the Acts of the Apostles).”
Address of the Holy Father Pope Francis to Charismatic Renewal at 37th Convocation of RnS Olympic Stadium · Rome, Italy, 1 June 2014
THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT, Ezekiel 36: 24-28
For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
LE BAPTISM OF JESUS (Luke 3: 21-22; 4:14-19)
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased."
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."
THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT (John: 19: 30-35)
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs have to be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe.
CHARISMS FOR THE CHURCH (1 Corinthians 12: 1-31)
Now in regard to spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are various forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gift of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deed; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another variety of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
Now you are Christ's body and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
GO TO ALL THE WORLD (Mark 16: 15-20)
He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name, they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.)