“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, be careful not to lose the FREEDOM THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS GAVE US! Danger for the Renewal, as our dear Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa says, is excessive organization: the danger of excessive organization. Yes, you need organization, BUT DON’T LOSE THE GRACE OF LETTING GOD BE GOD. (…) ‘However, there is no greater freedom than letting yourself be led by the Spirit, renouncing to calculate and control everything, and allow Him to enlighten us, guide us; guide us, move us where He wants. He knows what is needed at all times and at all times. This is called to be mysteriously fruitful” (ibid., n. Evangelii Gaudium, 280)”.
Do you think it’s over? Look what the Holy Father continues to say:
“Another danger is becoming ‘CONTROLLERS OF GOD’S GRACE’. Often the coordinators of some groups or some communities, and I like the term ‘servants’ more, become, perhaps unconsciously, the trustees of grace, deciding who can receive the outpouring of prayer or baptism in the Spirit, and those who you can not. If some do that, please don’t do it anymore, don’t do it anymore! You are dispensers of God’s grace and not controllers! DON’T BE CUSTOMS TO 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 the Renewal what the Pope expects from you. The first thing is the conversion to the love of Jesus that transforms lives and makes the Christian a witness of God’s love. The Church hopes that this witness of Christian life and of the Holy Spirit will help us to live the coherence of the Gospel for our holiness. I hope you share with everyone in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit (an expression that can be read 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 hope from you an evangelization with the Word of God that announces that JESUS IS ALIVE and LOVES ALL PEOPLE. May you bear witness of spiritual ecumenism with all the brothers and sisters of other Churches and Christian communities who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. May you remain united in the love that the Lord Jesus asks of all men and in the prayer of the Holy Spirit to reach 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.