After my post yesterday on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), I thought I should check into it a bit on the internet, something I hadn't previously done. I had asked priests about the CCR, but have never hopped online to see what's out there.
Eye opening, reaffirming and a bit shocking to say the least. I was going to write more on this topic, but found some articles that say it better than I ever could. The articles are mostly from a conservative point of view, so keep that in mind for objectivity's sake, but just because they are more traditional in their view point doesn't diminish much of what they say.
I never found the Charismatics to be as extreme as the articles point out, but maybe I was too far on the periphery to be in the know and see any agenda. I didn't ever find the message of the CCR to be one of replacement or attempting to supercede the doctrines or beliefs of Catholicism, but then again, participation did nothing to further my faith. Even more importantly, participation did NOT teach me my faith but, IMHO, presented me something parallel, and even as I said in my prior post, tangential to the Faith I had been raised with. Many things in the articles rang true.
First article, here's a quote that supported my thoughts of early yesterday morning. However, it is from the Remnant, and does personally bash and criticize some well-known folks which I find a bit uncharitable. Cum grano salis.
When the disciples asked Our Lord how to pray, He taught them the Our Father. Simple. Not an emotional, energy-packed experience. Not a “gift” which some receive, while others do not, but a simple prayer which any man, woman or child can say.
The lives of the Saints clearly reinforce this truth. Their methods of prayer did not resemble sporadic outbreaks in unknown, unintelligible utterances. They became Saints on the traditional prayers of the Church: the Creed, the Our Father, the Glory Be, the Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity; the Act of Contrition, prayers based on the Psalms and, of course, the lifting of their minds and hearts in true religious sentiment in gratitude to God.
Further...all I can say about the below is that the CCR was never presented to me in this extreme. However, just because it wasn't spelled out or written on a hand-out doesn't mean this wasn't what was happening. This is exactly what I was talking about when I pondered the questions about group dynamics. What the he** is going on here?
What does this mean? It means the overcoming of all psycho-social inhibitions and barriers which protect the individual from unacceptable social and immoral behavior. Charismatics maintain that spirit empowerment results in the elimination of rigidity and inhibitions that can stifle spiritual energies. Consequently, the line of defense against our deep inner impulses to act out is weakened. The liberation of physic resources from within the unconscious into the consciousness of the individual is not well-known and can have traumatic effects on the person’s psyche, on his personality and on interpersonal group dynamics which are operable in Charismatic prayer meetings.
Built-in psycho-social inhibitions are healthy and necessary, and by preventing an individual from acting out, it helps him not to sin. The normal person discerns the line beyond which actions become morally unacceptable, either internally or externally. To the degree that psychological restraints are weakened, to that degree are the passions excited. Before enslaving men, Satan first frees them from their psychological complexes and then liberates them from all psychological restraints to bring them under his yoke. Liberation and empowerment open the door for Satan to enter. It is known that at Charismatic prayer meetings there have been occurrences of diabolic manifestations which have alarmed both leaders and participants.
Liberation and empowerment, of which the Charismatic man boasts, are contrary to the virtue of humility, because they foster a sense of self-reliance and pride. On the contrary, liberation and empowerment do not strengthen faith; rather we see it as a sort of psychic drug that eventually will cause the degradation of the faith and the mental well-being of individuals.
Furthermore, the so-called Baptism of the Spirit and the empowerment that accompanies it place the individual at a spiritual and psychological risk, because he then becomes vulnerable to both internal and external suggestions. His sense of judgment is impaired, and consequently he is rendered unable to distinguish wheat from chaff, light from heat, and the authentic from the counterfeit.
Second article is from the SSPX, so forewarned here, folks. I found this to be a well written article, despite its pedigree.
Thus, to the Charismatic, one does not truly "know" God until one has experienced Him consciously, i.e., until one has had a sensory experience (usually emotional, sometimes overtly physical as in the case of the glossolalia —or speaking in tongues) of "His Spirit" at work in one. Indeed, spiritual experience over-rules public revelation and the 2000-year teaching of the magisterium in matters such as, to name only one example, ecumenism (see below).
To the Charismatics, the very presence today of phenomena supposedly identical to the true charismata present in the early Church proves their divine origin. The experience is what matters, not the intellect’s legitimate questions, such as "Why the 2000-year lapse? Is this experience really the same as the phenomena described in Scripture? Is ‘the Spirit’ leading us toward a more fully Catholic life or toward apostasy?" The failure of Charismatics to "try the spirits" [I Jn. 4:1] is possibly their most dangerous blunder since the Devil can produce prodigies which mimic truly supernatural phenomena from God.