How do we describe the Catholic Charismatic Renewal?

It’s a personal experience of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who brings alive in new ways the graces of our baptism. The Holy Spirit not only sets on fire all that we have already received, but comes again in power to equip us with his gifts for service and mission.

There are no special, superior people in the Church called “charismatics” – but there are millions of ordinary men and women whose lives have been renewed “charismatically”, in other words by an action of the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Suenens reminded us that charismatic Christianity is normal Christianity, because the Church herself is charismatic, and we were never  supposed to live a Christian life without the full presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Sadly many Christians still attempt to do this. So the aim of the Renewal is to bring the life of the Holy Spirit into every part of the Church by bringing it into the life of every Christian man and woman.

The Renewal exists to help people live a new life in the power of Spirit – not to bring them into something called The Catholic Charismatic Renewal. We are renewed when we open ourselves to God and accept what he is offering us – the fullness of His Holy Spirit, there is no other way. This is God’s work, not ours and it is his to control and direct. This means that by our very nature we are different from other ecclestial movements.

In 1996 Cardinal Suenens wrote:

“To interpret the Renewal as a ‘movement’ among other movements is to misunderstand its nature; it is a movement of the Spirit offered to the entire Church and destined to rejuvenate every part of the Church’s life.”
— Catholic Charismatic Renewal, UK

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