After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
An interesting aspect of the catholic church that I’m not so familiar with is touched on by this passage … the charismastic renewel movement. It began in the late 60s at universities like Notre Dame – a kind of catholic penticostalism that emphasizes the charisms of the holy spirit.
At the present time in the Catholic Church, these “charismatic” gifts are usually experienced in the context of a prayer meeting … Most of the meeting consists of praising God with spontaneous prayers and with singing. These periods of prayer will be punctuated by scripture reading, sharing, and prayers for the particular needs of individuals. During the meeting the charisms will be exercised, although they do not always play a part. The typical meeting follows St. Paul’s directive: “When you assemble, one has a psalm, another an instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or interpretation. Everything should be done for building up.” [1 Cor 14:26]
– The Catholic Experience of Renewal, Fr. Thomas Foster, S.J – link
While a couple of Popes have embraced the movement, the church wants it clear that discernment is important and that one should not “seek the gifts of the Giver and not the Giver of the gifts.”
I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. It’s confusing … does the holy spirit dwell within us all the time? If so, why does it seem like we are filled with it sometimes, and not others? Why do some people have charisms and others don’t? Why can I believe (mostly) in the passage from Acts in which the apostles are “filled with the spirit” yet not only doubt that people nowdays can have the same experience, but find the idea kind of weird?