Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

7/6/2014 (2 months 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 (2 months 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

'Political correctness' could have cost lives in White House Security breach Watch

Image of It was later revealed that the fence-jumper made it all the way to the East Room of the White House, on the second floor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Political correctness" is a hot-button term that has come to mean irrelevance as applied to any given situation. According to Representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, "political correctness" ... continue reading


Watch out Saudi Arabia! U.S. oil production expected to rapidly increase Watch

Image of A Saudi Arabian oil refinery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The International Energy Agency says that U.S. production of petroleum is set to exceed that of Saudi Arabia's for the first time since 1991. A growing sign of the future of the American energy sector. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The production of oil and ... continue reading


Latinos run from Obama en mass after president punts immigration reform Watch

Image of Latino activists have turned their back on President Obama after he dropped immigration reform until the midterm election.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has bowed to worried Senate Democrats, delaying executive actions on immigration until after the midterm elections, fearing that using executive actions would make immigration reform a partisan issue which would hurt Democrats. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


As thousands of illegals enter U.S., who's stuck with the education bill? Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have flooded into the U.S. during 2014 alone, mostly from South America. While they await immigration trials, schools are responsible for teaching them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The large numbers of unaccompanied minors who have been illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico in ever greater numbers have caused American schools to scramble in an attempt to provide services. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The children and teens who ... continue reading


St. Michael the Archangel, Defend Us in Battle: Pope Francis Takes on the Devil Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Now the new People of God is the Church. That is the reason she considers him her protector and support in all her struggles for the defense and expansion of the kingdom of God on earth. It is true that "the powers of death shall not prevail", as the Lord assured ... continue reading


Need milk? Eggs or flower? The Post Office may have you covered Watch

Image of Amazon partnered with the USPS to provide daily grocery deliveries to people in the San Francisco Bay area, a program the USPS wants to extend to the rest of the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Postal Service has revealed a new plan to reverse its six-year streak of billion-dollar losses, which is as ingenious as it is simple. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The USPS wants to deliver your groceries to you, and the agency sent this proposal to ... continue reading


Where the buffalo roam... Native Americans plan return of free range Bison on the American Great Plains Watch

Image of Bison calves are playful and eager to roam free.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Buffalo are part of the American west. Across the vast prairies of the Great Plains, herds grazed and migrated, crisscrossing the open grasslands in great, thundering tides. Each year, some of these buffalo were hunted by Native Americans who used everything, from ... continue reading


What did he drink to stay alive? Prison guards suspected of murder after inmate dies of thirst Watch

Image of Investigations continue into the death of a mentally ill man at a North Carolina prison.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mentally ill North Carolina man died of thirst after being placed in solitary confinement for 35 and having the water to his cell shut down by prison officials. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Michael Kerr, an inmate at the Alexander Correctional Institution ... continue reading


Who Are the Mother and Brothers of Jesus? We Are Watch

Image of The Father of Jesus becomes our Father also, as we enter, through Him, into the inner life of the Trinity. He underscores this truth right before He ascended when He instructed Mary of Magdala to tell the disciples

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In this exchange, Jesus opens up for those with eyes to see and ears to hear the deeper interior importance and meaning of the motherhood of Mary  and the interior meaning of all family relationships renewed by the Holy Spirit. He gives to those with ears to ... continue reading


Oklahoma City beheader linked to radical Islamic groups Watch

Image of Alton Nolen, the Oklahoma City man who decapitated his coworker last week had attended a local mosque with ties to radical Islamist groups.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Alton Nolen, the Oklahoma City man who decapitated his coworker last week had attended a local mosque with ties to radical Islamist groups. Suharto Webb, an Imam with ties to former Al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, had been the leader of the Islamic Society of ... 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

Reading 1, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 30th, 2014 Image

St. Jerome
September 30: St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was ... 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