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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The "Next Generation" Of Charismatics

I grew up in the Charismatic Renewal. My parents had us kids "baptized in the Holy Spirit" when I was only 7 years old and we were a part of an ecumenical charismatic prayers group.

The short of the history is that the Holy Spirit has been around since day 1...duh. And we know that Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to lead an guide the Church and that there are many gifts-as well as fruits-associated with the Renewal. In the late 60's Patti Mansfield, then a student at Dusquene University, said yes to God and he poured out his spirit on her and Dave Mangan and this was the beginning of a renewal within the Church that has transformed the Church and the lives of it's members.

Fr John commented to me that when the Renewal began, those involved had grown up in a Church that was secure in its identity and that the focus of the renewal was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This was very good and very needed, as it responded to what Vatican II was challenging the lay to do: Lay hold of your baptism and put it to use. (short, very short abbreviated version there)

My generation, the GenXers and GenY have not grown up in a Church secure in it's identity. Our catechesis has been hijacked and priests and bishops and teachers have felt free to dissent openly with the Church and teach her members all sorts of things that are not and have not led people to freedom in Christ.

So we tend to find our security in the teachings and laws of the Church and want to be sure that everything that we do and say is exactly in line with the Church. Not many of our generation have found a home in the Church, but those of who seek really seek hard for the teachings of the Church and seek obedience in Her arms.

I think there is a need to bring a theological depth and understanding to the renewal, as well as take the renewal and the charisms to a new depth. I think that the implications of this means that we take this Holy Spirit and all his gifts and use them to renew, evangelize and catechize the Church whether we do this in a parish and ministerial setting or we are lawyers, secretarys, office workers working in the world.

I'm giving a workshop at the Charismatic Conference (at Franciscan University) that I am both excited for and rather nervous for. I want to bring together this Next Generation and have a forum in which to challenge others to keep taking it forward and explore new ways in which the Holy Spirit wants us to bring Christ to the world.

Prayers would most certainly be appreciated. Hey, come! It will be well worth your while.

I am not knocking this, to be sure. But I think we

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Anonymous Dawn said...

Great article! We need more young people in the charismatic renewal, and your encouragement is a step in the right direction. I'm 27, and the renewal helped me to experience and His love Christ in a way I never had before!

11:57 PM  

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