The Charismatic Movement in the Catholic Church often gets a bad rap, especially from more traditional Catholics. There’s a perception that Charismatics make worship more about spontaneity and personal expression than adhering to rigorous tradition.
It’s true that some Charismatics disregard the authority of the Church and play a little too loose with the liturgy. But there are also many holy, faithful Charismatics, and the movement itself has produced much good fruit.
Let’s look at what the Charismatic movement gets right.
The Charismatic movement emphasizes the deeply relational dimension of prayer.
Deep down, we all desire a genuine relationship with God. Prayer is essentially just such a relationship.
We often leave it to ourselves to deal with our personal problems. But God wants to relate to us in EVERYTHING. The faster we can make our issues relational with God, the better.
Instead of telling yourself, “I’m anxious about this interview,” tell God, “Father, I’m anxious about this interview.” God can only make you whole again if you share your problems with Him. We can’t fix ourselves.
Our hearts are naturally drawn to God. There’s something beautiful about approaching God with this spontaneous, raw, childlike love without overthinking things. It’s like when love moves a man to pick up his beloved wife in the kitchen and swirl her around. Holy spontaneity is a real thing!
Too often, we let our intellect get in the way and become overly analytical. We should remember that the intellect is meant to serve love. When a child is hurt, the child runs crying to his or her parents, hoping they can provide healing. The child doesn’t worry about whether the parents will think he or she is weak or foolish.
Just to be clear, we’re not saying to throw your brain out and follow all your impulses. The Charismatic movement challenges us to a radical trust in God that, frankly, many fall short of.
Stop cowering in a corner, scared to death to make any life decisions. Walk the path you think is right and let God change your direction if He wants.
The more you speak to the Father as His beloved child, the better you’ll hear His voice in your heart. Your relationship with Him will become a rich dialogue.
There is legitimate debate about incorporating Charismatic elements into the liturgy. However, the Charismatic movement has done much to enrich the prayer lives of countless Catholics, helping them draw closer to the Father.
And that’s what we all should strive for.