Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

7/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Catholics certainly believe in the individual's infilling with the Holy Spirit, but we hold this in balance with the equally important truth that the Church herself is inspired and filled and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Catholics certainly believe in the individual's infilling with the Holy Spirit, but we hold this in balance with the equally important truth that the Church herself is inspired and filled and guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Body of Christ on earth, and as such is a living, moving, breathing, Spirit filled organism-against which the gates of hell will never prevail. It is this Spirit filled Church which provides the balance and ballast for our own individual experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit-filled Church which provides the correction and qualification of our claims. It is the Spirit-filled Church which validates God's guidance in our lives and it is the Spirit filled lives of the saints, the teaching of the Church and the liturgy of the Church which deepen, broaden, complete and sacramentally seal the personal infilling of the Holy Spirit.

This is why classic paintings portraying the day of Pentecost show the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the tongues of flame onto each individual, but they also show the  experience taking place in the context of a temple, the apostolic church gathered together around Mary-- the Mother of God-and Mother of the Church. It is only in this fellowship that the individual experience of the Holy Spirit can be objectively validated and confirmed

This is why classic paintings portraying the day of Pentecost show the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the tongues of flame onto each individual, but they also show the experience taking place in the context of a temple, the apostolic church gathered together around Mary-- the Mother of God-and Mother of the Church. It is only in this fellowship that the individual experience of the Holy Spirit can be objectively validated and confirmed

Highlights

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Holy Spirit, Pentecost, pentecostal, charismatic, enthusiasm, Dwight Longenecker, Fr Dwight Longenecker, evangelical, conversion, church, ecclesiology


GREENVILLE, S.C. (Catholic Online) - I"All you need to do," said the Mormon missionary at the door, "Is to pray to the Holy Spirit before you sit down to read the Book of Mormon. Say, 'Open my eyes, my mind, my heart, and if what I read is true, make me realize it in my heart of hearts.'" Then guess what? The new convert says, "I prayed that prayer and as I read my eyes really were opened and I realized that the whole thing was true!!" Gawrsh!  Amazing!!

Of course, this is only a short hop from "If you close your eyes and wish hard enough your wish will come true." or "If you believe in fairies clap your hands and Tinkerbell will come back to life."

Nevertheless I have heard this same argument used by Catholics, Evangelicals and other Christians of all stripes. "If you simply pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance" says Brian, my Baptist preacher friend, "and then read the Bible with an open heart you will see that the Catholic Church is in error and my religion is right." Uh huh. My reply was, "Brian-that is exactly what I have been doing for the last twenty years and the Holy Spirit led me to become Catholic."

We have a very individualistic understanding of the Holy Spirit in our individualistic age. It amounts to individual, unique divine inspiration. Each person, filled with the Holy Spirit will "just know" what is true. Hogwash. Every Christian operates within a theological framework. We all select and interpret the Scripture within a particular theological and denominational tradition. We view Scripture through a lens. The Scriptures are filtered and interpreted to us through the extra-Biblical sources that we access-the preaching we hear, the Bible studies we attend, the books on the faith we read, the radio and TV we listen to, the influence of family and friends, the course we take, the conversations we have, the cultural assumptions with which we live.

For the non-Catholic this web of 'interpretative authorities' are unacknowledged and even denied. They want to believe that they really do "read the Bible on it's own with an open and sincere heart as led by the Holy Spirit" and that all their views come from this simple, straightforward reading of Scripture. Because they deny the extra-Biblical sources of interpretative authority these sources are even more powerful in their lives.

This is why the Catholic Church insists that an acknowledged, extra-Biblical interpretative authority is necessary. You're going to have such an authority whether you know it or acknowledge it or not. Might as well have one that you know, that you acknowledge; an authority that transcends your own limited time and place and culture, and authority bigger and wiser and smarter and older than you, and one that claims to be directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Catholics certainly believe in the individual's infilling with the Holy Spirit, but we hold this in balance with the equally important truth that the Church herself is inspired and filled and guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Body of Christ on earth, and as such is a living, moving, breathing, Spirit filled organism-against which the gates of hell will never prevail. It is this Spirit filled Church which provides the balance and ballast for our own individual experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Spirit-filled Church which provides the correction and qualification of our claims. It is the Spirit-filled Church which validates God's guidance in our lives and it is the Spirit filled lives of the saints, the teaching of the Church and the liturgy of the Church which deepen, broaden, complete and sacramentally seal the personal infilling of the Holy Spirit.

This is why classic paintings portraying the day of Pentecost show the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the tongues of flame onto each individual, but they also show the  experience taking place in the context of a temple, the apostolic church gathered together around Mary-- the Mother of God-and Mother of the Church. It is only in this fellowship that the individual experience of the Holy Spirit can be objectively validated and confirmed.

The rest is subjective sentimentality.
-----
Fr Dwight Longenecker is the author of Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing. His book More Christianity explores the fullness of the Christian faith in the Catholic Church. This is a friendly explanation of Catholicism for Evangelical Christians. Taking off from C.S.Lewis' famous book with a similar name, More Christianity calls Evangelical Christians to come "further up and further in" to the Catholic Church.He serves as the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary church in Greenville, South Carolina.Please visit his blog, listen to his radio show, subscribe to his weekly newsletter and contact him at dwightlongenecker.com  Read his blog, Standing on My Head His latest book is The Romance of Religion --Fighting for Goodness, Truth and Beauty

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

The youngest convicted murders released from jail after 15 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At just 12 and 13-years-old, two siblings confessed to killing their father's girlfriend and both were charged with first-degree murder as adults, despite evidence they were sexually abused by a family member. Yesterday, the two first faced the world they once knew. ... continue reading


Satanic statue secretly unveiled in Detroit, drawing Christian protest Watch

Image of Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend. This has spurred on heavy protest from the city's Christian community. Hundreds gathered at Detroit's ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis be warmly welcomed in the United States? Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be in the United States in September.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time ever in his lifetime during September. However, amid the excitement, the American populace may have lost some warmth towards the pontiff, who they once believed revived the Catholic Church in the country. ... continue reading


Will religious beliefs be acknowledged when Boy Scouts starts allowing gay leaders, volunteers? Watch

Image of Jennifer Tyrrell of Bridgeport, Ohio, a Cub Scout den leader who was kicked out in 2012 for being openly gay, embraces her son Cruz Burns.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

The Boy Scouts of America is moving to change its leadership standards in order to allow openly homosexual adult leaders and volunteers. While the organization promises that individual church-affiliated councils can choose their own leaders, at least one critic ... continue reading


THE THIRD VIDEO: The latest and most shocking footage of Planned Parenthood's abortion practices (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First there was a video revealing Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually discussing selling aborted baby organs over lunch, and admitting to using partial-birth abortions to get her hands on intact ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood HACKED, private employee information revealed Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Planned Parenthood's website was hacked by a group of hackers who managed to gain access into Planned Parenthood and acquire the site's databases, including the names and email addresses of employees. These details were released by the hackers to the public. MUNTINLUPA ... continue reading


Threatening note promising revenge attacks found on U.S. military serviceman's car Watch

Image of The anonymous note comes just a week after the tragic shooting at military locations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the windshield wiper of a car, owned by an unidentified serviceman, was a note warning the military of a revenge under investigation. Authorities believe the car was targeted because of the license plate identified the owner is a part of the military service. ... continue reading


Missouri Sheriff's 'inspiring' phrase on police patrol cars enrages atheists Watch

Image of Stone County police cars now have

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Missouri sheriff made the decision to adorn all of his station's police patrol cars with the words, "In God We Trust." It has quickly sparked up a major debate and inevitably, atheist activists are quite frustrated about it. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES -The Missouri ... continue reading


Humility not Haughtiness: Dana Milbank is Absolutely Wrong about Rick Santorum Watch

Image of Pictured: Rick and Karen Santorum at campaign launch

By Keith A Fournier

Dana Milbank was wrong in insinuating that Rick Santorum's use of the third person in referring to his campaign was akin to a - royal we. To the contrary, it reveals the heart of a humble man who deeply cares about others. Humility is such a rare quality these days ... continue reading


Does Planned Parenthood Contribute Anything of Value to Society?

Image of Margaret Sanger

By Matt C. Abbott

Granted, the Church's infallible teaching on the intrinsic immorality of contraception is derided by the libertine left, and too few Catholics assent to it. (At least some of the blame for this sad reality falls on weak and dissident clergy, but that's a subject ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2015 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter