“This priest is so charismatic! Is this person charismatic? I’m in need of a very charismatic preacher.” But after all, what is it to be a charismatic person? Unfortunately, this “charismatic” title seems to have been reduced simply to members of the beautiful and fruitful movement of the CCR (Catholic Charismatic Renewal).
However, the truth is that it should not be so, since every baptized person is charismatic by virtue of grace, having received, through this Sacrament, the Holy Spirit of God. The sad thing, however, is that many legitimately baptized Catholic Christians insist on living like closed perfume bottles. A perfume can be precious as it is, fragrant as it is, but if the glass is closed, the scent will not come off. In the same way, a Charismatic life, in order to be fruitful, must be a holy life, always seeking in God the grace not to lose the freedom and docility of His Spirit. A life open to grace, like the perfume bottle needs to be open for us to feel its fragrance.
On this, the great Pope Francis will say at the international meeting with the members of the CCR on June 1, 2014:
“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! The danger for the renewal, as our dear Father Raniero Cantalamessa often says, is that of getting too organized: the danger of excessive planning.Yes, you need organization, but never lose the grace of letting God be God! “Yet there is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead letting him enlighten, guide, and direct us, leading us wherever he wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysteriously fruitful!” (Evangelii Gaudium, 280)”.
Do you think it’s over? Look what the Holy Father continues to say:
“Another danger is that of becoming arbiters of God’s grace. Many times, leaders (I prefer the name “servants”) of a group or community become, perhaps without intending to, “managers” of grace, deciding who can receive the prayer of outpouring or baptism in the Spirit and who cannot. If any of you are doing this, I ask you to stop; no more! You are dispensers of God’s grace, not its arbiters! Don’t act like a tollhouse for the Holy Spirit!”
Witnesses of God’s Love
The Holy Spirit, according to the Holy Father, makes us, by virtue of his grace, witnesses of God’s love. “They asked me to tell you what the Pope expects of you.The first thing is conversion to the love of Jesus which changes our lives and makes each Christian a witness to God’s love. The Church expects this witness of Christian life from us, and the Holy Spirit helps us to live the Gospel fully and consistently for our own growth in holiness.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)”.
Personally, in my life, I can confirm these words of the Holy Father a lot, because the great fruit of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my life was the certainty and conviction that I was loved by God. A love so full, so perfect and unchanging, that I couldn’t do anything else in life, except to help other hearts discover it too.
As an expression that we have been reached and transformed by this love, the Holy Father then asks: “I expect you to evangelize with the word of God, which proclaims that Jesus lives and that he loves all men and women.To give a witness of spiritual ecumenism to all our brothers and sisters of other Churches and Christian communities who believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.To remain united in the love that the Lord Jesus asks us to have for all people, and in prayer to the Holy Spirit for the attainment of this unity which is necessary for evangelization in the name of Jesus.”.
A charismatic life, if it is mature and authentic, generates communion, an enthusiastic love for God, for the Gospel, for the Church, and this consequently attracts the sheep that for some reason have strayed from this flock.
May we all be immersed in the ocean of God’s grace, through his Holy Spirit, so that we can all have a charismatic life, because a charismatic life is a happy and holy life.