By Neil Clemens
When I pray, I usually stop and contemplate what I need to pray about or think about what I need to pray for. After lots of research on charismatic prayer, I found out that it is a various genre of prayers. The prayer that stuck out most to me is the one where you say simple holy words in a loving manner, such as "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, save souls". I've heard that every time you say "Jesus" three times, it relieves some soul in purgatory. Pretty wonderful how we can make such a difference with prayer.
By definition, Charismatic means "gifted". It is Greek and also refers to the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". Charismatics share personal experiences through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some claim special gifts such as healing, speaking in tongues, and understanding. I have seen these gifts poured out at Lifeteen camps and they are really cool because they bring out the best in the people who have them.
A movement called Charismatic Renewal that, in the 1970's, had the support of two popes. Some problems the bishop's of the world had was that "Protestant charismatics" find no value in bishops or sacraments. I think that if you deny those things, you cannot really call yourself a Catholic because those are some very big things about our faith that make it good. In recent years, Pope John Paul II has called for the increased devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother.
Another charismatic form of prayer is Affective prayer. It is the "Lifting of the heart to God in words and silent longings. It is mainly motivated by a sense of duty or out of reparation for a sin or sins you have committed. Usually, people will gather together and have prayer meeting, similar to a youth group and having the spontaneous vocal and physical actions associated to Southern Baptists.
Is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting Like a Eucharistic Celebration? I don't compare one with the other. In a prayer meeting, Jesus is present in a different way and for a different purpose. Both the Mass and the Charismatic Prayer Meeting are to bring glory to God as the Body of Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Only, we worship Him from an informal viewpoint, rather than a structured celebration. At a "Charismatic Mass" we experience the combining of these two forms of worship. This is similar to what happened at Lifeteen Camp.
Our Mother Mary has been giving messages regularly for the last few decades. This is the latest Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje:
"Today again I call all of you to prayer. Only with prayer, dear children, will your heart change, become better, and be more sensitive to the Word of God. Little children, do not permit Satan pull you apart and to do with you what he wants. I call you to be responsible and determined and to consecrate each day to God in prayer. May Holy Mass, little children, not be a habit for you, but life. By living Holy Mass each day, you will feel the need for holiness and you will grow in holiness. I am close to you and intercede before God for each of you, so that He may give you strength to change your heart. Thank you for having responded to my call."
We see how even the Blessed Mother wants us to give charismatic praise to God. In the following weeks, I intend to pray for each of my friends as I pass them in the hall by simply saying Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for them. Who knows, some of those friendships may even grow stronger.
Until the last few years, I had really not prayed deeply, but now I know how God can intercede in my life and I know how good it feels to have Him as a friend.
1. Our Sunday Visitor's "Catholic Encyclopedia and Catholic Encyclopedia", (CD-ROMCopyright 1995. Published by Our Sunday Visitor, INC. Version 2.0
2. Et Cum Spirit Tuo website:
3. The Bible Library for Catholics. (CD-ROM). Copyright 1995. Published in Ligouri, MO.