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  #1  
Old 3rd June 2009, 10:38 AM
VKallin VKallin is offline
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Default The Descent of the Holy Spirit

After celebrating Pentecost last week, I am once again reflecting on the works of the Holy Spirit. The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was clearly a very visable and obvious action of the spirit, affecting everyone present. The gift of tongues, the tongues of fire, the reactions of the apostles, etc. It also seems to me that there are many instances in the New Testament, were the Holy Spirit manifests visably and powerfully during the early years of the church. One example that come to mind was the conversion of Cornelius in the Acts of the Apostles.

10:44} While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell over all of those who were listening to the Word.
{10:45} And the faithful of the circumcision, who had arrived with Peter, were astonished that the grace of the Holy Spirit was also poured out upon the Gentiles.

I am sure that most of us could point to other instances like this in the New Testament. It seems that in those days the disciples could tell with one glance if a person was "living within the spirit". But in our day, it seems that The Holy Spirit is more transparent. Having taught an RCIA Class this year and witnessed the Baptism of several new Catholics, I could not help feeling that the sacrament was just not as powerful and dramatic as those described in Scripture.

I know that we live in a world full of deceptions today and we should "test every spirit". I know that it is the same spirit, operating in a manner that is appropriate for our times. Perhaps the needs of the early church were such that a more powerful manifestation was required. I have no doubt that the sacrament of Baptism is the same sacrament instituted by Christ in the Jordan River with the same grace and benefits, but I certainly could not recognize a baptized versus non-baptized person with a single glance. Has anyone else noticed this apparent difference?

Last edited by VKallin : 3rd June 2009 at 10:43 AM. Reason: clarification
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  #2  
Old 3rd June 2009, 11:43 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is online now
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Persons who are in a state of grace, due to a formal or non-formal baptism, are able to cooperate with grace fully in acts of true selfless love of God and neighbor. Whereas persons not in a state of grace can only cooperate partially, until that full cooperation that brings them (back) to the state of grace.

Although we cannot know for certain which persons are in a state of grace, this can be seen in some person's behavior. Some persons are frequently selfless and loving and forgiving and merciful. Other persons are consumed with selfishness or with malice or with lust or with hatred or with deceitfulness etc.
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Old 8th June 2009, 02:29 PM
ExCelciuS ExCelciuS is offline
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Ron, so one way for us to "see" Holy Spirit that dwells on a person is by his/her behavior. What about if there is a person who isn't a Christian but his behavior is reflecting Holy Spirit's fruit? Does Holy Spirit dwell in him too regardless he is Christian or not? Or even maybe he doesn't know the term Holy Spirit(maybe he's an atheis, a good atheis person?) Is it possible that Holy Spirit can dwell in atheis person? Maybe that person don't believe in Jesus but do many kinds of Holy Spirit's fruits like love neighbor, charity, etc with sincere heart? Is it possible?
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Old 8th June 2009, 03:19 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExCelciuS View Post
Ron, so one way for us to "see" Holy Spirit that dwells on a person is by his/her behavior. What about if there is a person who isn't a Christian but his behavior is reflecting Holy Spirit's fruit? Does Holy Spirit dwell in him too regardless he is Christian or not? Or even maybe he doesn't know the term Holy Spirit(maybe he's an atheis, a good atheis person?) Is it possible that Holy Spirit can dwell in atheis person? Maybe that person don't believe in Jesus but do many kinds of Holy Spirit's fruits like love neighbor, charity, etc with sincere heart? Is it possible?

We cannot know for certain if we ourselves, or if other persons, are in a state of grace. However, the behavior of some persons indicates that they probably are cooperating with the Spirit; and the behavior of other persons indicates that they probably are not.

The indwelling of the Spirit is in all persons who are in a state of grace, even non-Christians, and even some atheists. This is possible through a baptism of desire. See my article:
http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/mystical-baptism.htm
and
http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/wh...-to-heaven.htm
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Old 8th June 2009, 03:46 PM
ExCelciuS ExCelciuS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
We cannot know for certain if we ourselves, or if other persons, are in a state of grace. However, the behavior of some persons indicates that they probably are cooperating with the Spirit; and the behavior of other persons indicates that they probably are not.

The indwelling of the Spirit is in all persons who are in a state of grace, even non-Christians, and even some atheists. This is possible through a baptism of desire. See my article:
http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/mystical-baptism.htm
and
http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/wh...-to-heaven.htm

Woah..., great articles Ron, you're truly a great Catholic Theologian.
Thank you very much.
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Old 8th June 2009, 04:44 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is online now
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thanks, but don't call me 'great'.
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Old 17th September 2009, 01:46 PM
CB CB is offline
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Ron, would you please explain " tongues" and it's connection to the Gifts of The Holy Spirit? According to Church teaching, there are 7 Gifts, all received in their fullness by the disciples on Pentecost. Do we also receive them in the same degree of fullness at Baptism? Also, is speaking in tongues something to be sought? As it has been explained to me in the past, speaking in tongues is The Holy Spirit praying through us and for us-even if one does not understand these utterances. I am sure you know, the Charismatic movement supports this practice. I have never spoken in tongues and it has always sounded like gibberish to me, especially when the same syllables are repeated over and over again. Is this practice legitimate or is it error? I have not found it to be very reverant and have in the past, been embarassed for those engaging in this at Mass.
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Old 17th September 2009, 02:37 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB View Post
Ron, would you please explain " tongues" and it's connection to the Gifts of The Holy Spirit? According to Church teaching, there are 7 Gifts, all received in their fullness by the disciples on Pentecost. Do we also receive them in the same degree of fullness at Baptism? Also, is speaking in tongues something to be sought? As it has been explained to me in the past, speaking in tongues is The Holy Spirit praying through us and for us-even if one does not understand these utterances. I am sure you know, the Charismatic movement supports this practice. I have never spoken in tongues and it has always sounded like gibberish to me, especially when the same syllables are repeated over and over again. Is this practice legitimate or is it error? I have not found it to be very reverant and have in the past, been embarassed for those engaging in this at Mass.

In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we all receive all seven interior gifts:

CCC 1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.... They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.

These seven gifts were already present as virtues in the Baptized Christian; it is not as if the Baptized Christian lacks these seven until confirmation. But Confirmation strengthens these seven virtues, so as to assist us in more full and more perfectly living like Christ.

Speaking in tongues is an exterior gift, and so we must be cautious because fallen angels can imitate this gift, causing people to speak in other languages, speaking blasphemies.

Exterior gifts such as speaking in tongues are merely a sign pointing to the interior gifts. These exterior gifts should not be sought as an end in themselves. They are not given as 'proof' that someone is holy, nor are these exterior gifts among the greatest gifts.

[1 Cor]
{12:28} And indeed, God has established a certain order in the Church: first Apostles, second Prophets, third Teachers, next miracle-workers, and then the grace of healing, of helping others, of governing, of different kinds of languages, and of the interpretation of words.
{12:29} Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all Teachers?
{12:30} Are all workers of miracles? Do all have the grace of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
{12:31} But be zealous for the better charisms. And I reveal to you a yet more excellent way.

The exterior gifts, such as speaking in tongues, and interpreting what was said in tongues, are lesser gifts, even less than governing (administration in the Church) and less than humble service to others. So beware of persons who exalt themselves by means of the apparent gift of tongues.

Like any exterior gift, the gift of tongues can be misused. The gift of a virtue cannot be misused; it can be ignored, but not used to do evil. But the gift of tongues can be misused. The Holy Spirit does not take control of the person speaking in tongues; rather, it is a gift under the control of the individual, and so it can be misused, such as using the gift during Mass, which disrupts the Mass and exalts the person showing off their gift -- if indeed they have the gift from the Holy Spirit and are not speaking in tongues by the assistance of fallen angels.

Fr. Sudac on the gift of tongues:
Quote:
Q: You spoke of the gift of languages, is it a gift of tongues or is it a gift of multiple languages?

No, the gift of tongues have two or three groupings. One is that a person has never studied a known language but is able to speak that language. The second is that a person can speak old forgotten Hebrew, Aramaic or other old Semitic languages. And the third gift is the so-called babbling - when a person through the grace of God can speak the so-called angelic language. This gift is mentioned in Holy Scripture. We have to be very careful with this gift because evil spirits can also use this gift of tongues. Once there was a séance where people were praying in tongues, and these gifts of tongues were tape-recorded. A person who had the gift of understanding tongues, understood that those were all cursing, blasphemies and profane language against God. At Pentecost when the apostles spoke in various tongues, then one spoke and everyone understood. With us at our prayer meetings, it so often happens that everyone speaks (in tongues) and no one understands. My experience is this - the one who has the gift of tongues and feels purity in their heart and the need to praise God with this (gift), he should begin to pray out loud. But if in that moment, a person with the gift of understanding tongues does not come forward, then that gift, in that moment is not given for the building up of the community, but for the individual building up of that person. Then I recommend that that person pray quietly to himself. Every gift which we have is not given for the individual person but for others, for the community. I am at the service of the will of God.
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  #9  
Old 17th September 2009, 03:15 PM
CB CB is offline
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Thank you. It would seem that a person could very easily fall into the sin of pride while using this gift, if he has not reached a high level of contemplation and discernment.

The quote from Fr. Sudac was very helpful.
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