The Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Besides the seven gifts found to perfection in Christ and which everyone who is baptised possesses in different degree for his own sanctification, there are also spiritual gifts for the edification and sanctification of the whole Church.
These gifts are received for the purpose of helping others, they are supernatural gifts that help the faith of those who are benefited by them, usually not the person who receives them but the person or persons affected by them.
For example Prophecy is the highest of these gifts, it has the power to convince others that what is being said is truly the Word of God, it is not so much prophesying coming events, but expanding the Holy Scriptures with Wisdom that touches the heart of those who listen.
The gifts of healing and miracles, are a response of God to the prayers of intercession and while they heal one person, others become convinced that the Lord is truly there in the prayer group, and encourages to pray for healing.
These gifts can be received when a person receives the experience of the Baptism of the Spirit; an experience which is not another baptism, but a very strong physical and spiritual confirmation of the Holy Spirit. The person must be a very strong believer of the Words of Christ and must have repented of his sins with true sorrow and contrition.
Normally this experience is received through the laying of the hands by one who has received the Holy Spirit anointing, we are supposed to receive this experience in the Sacrament of Confirmation, but that is not normally the case. The anointed person lays hands on a person who is repenting of his sins and surrendering himself of herself to the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit responds to the purity of intention of the ones involved. It is common to see people responding with tears in their eyes, feelings of joy, speaking in tongues and being slain in the Spirit.
Those who receive this experience of the Holy Spirit become thirsty for God. They continue to attend prayer meetings, where they begin to get involved in preaching the gospel, praying over the sick and committing themselves to the Work of God.
The Spiritual gifts were present in the early Church as we learn from St. Paul [Romans 12:4-13] and then have manifested at other times to the saints and to those who seek God.
Nowadays, we are experiencing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. [Joel 2:28]
To prophecy means to speak in the name of the Lord, in other words it means to speak God's Word to others, namely the Gospel. Every one who is baptised is called to be a witness of Christ by word and action. John Paul II is the prophet of our times, He speaks the Word of God in all his encyclicals the same as all the other popes.
Bishops and priests also receive this gift, although not all of them open themselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit, since when speaking in prophecy one is the instrument of God, but some actually having the opportunity to prophesy become obstacles of the message of God.
As a gift from the Holy Spirit, prophecy is given as a message of the Lord for His people. The person receives an interior locution, a very strong desire to say what is given to Him and the words just come [Jeremiah 20:9].
There is nothing to be revealed since all revelation has been given to us through the Holy Scriptures, so prophecy is a sign from God that He is present in the prayer group or the Church assembly.
Most prophecy is heard in Charismatic groups, since many other groups and apostolates in the Church reject the approach of the Charismatic movement.
However not all Charismatic groups are totally acceptable since some tend to deviate from the teachings of the Church, and neglect the Sacraments, specially Confession before the priest, some others neglect the attention that is due to Mary the Mother of God, therefore they dedicate themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures and in a way they become very much like Pentecostals.
We must remember that the first Christian and Charismatic was Our Lady, because She was totally anointed with the Holy Spirit, in such a way that She bore in her womb the Incarnate Word of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, She spent thirty years of the private life of Jesus in His company and She went all the way to the holy mountain of Calvary to offer her Isaac to the Lord in sacrifice.She offered the true lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world; and that, makes Her the mother of our faith. If we can not find place for Our Lady in Charismatic prayer meetings, then we are not dealing there with the Holy Spirit.
So future Charismatics: Beware ! - Remember, the Holy Spirit is found where Mary is found. If they don't pray the Rosary in your Charismatic prayer group, be sure of suggesting how important it is to be in the company of Our Lady like the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.
In my name they will cast out devils, they will speak in tongues ..etc [Mark 16:17], these are signs that accompany the believers.
People do not believe in evil spirits any more, they laugh about the idea of the devil, they accept the evil in the world and they don't reject it. So in a way to be able to deliver evil spirits one must believe that they exist, and one must have a very strong conviction in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Unless you believe that the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and unless you are in a state of Grace, do not dare to rebuke evil spirits from another person, in fact if you try, you will end up having a terrible experience if the person is really possessed. Officially the Church only grants permission to exorcise to certain gifted priests.
According to the Words of Christ, we must truly believe to be able to receive that power of God to cast out devils, to heal, to perform miracles etc [Mark 16:17-20]. We must believe in the Holy Spirit as the Creed says: I believe in the Holy Spirit, that means I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, I believe that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit and that I have been commissioned to bring the Presence of God to others.
Evil Spirits will leave at the command of one who is anointed with the Holy Spirit. There will be signs to confirm that the success of the exorcism has taken place.