Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just a Catholic, or "Charismatic" Catholic?

I am very forthcoming about the positive effect the Catholic Charismatic Renewal had on me.  Our name Catholic literally means "universal, all-embracing;" and the charisms that the Lord brought back to our attention through the Renewal continue to be valid and valuable for the Church of today.  (See CCC 800-801, and CCC 2003).  That said, there are so many beautiful spiritualities within the Church - Carmelite, Franciscan, Dominican, etc., etc. - some demonstrative and others more oriented in silence.  The Lord calls us to Himself along different "roads," and we may change the one we travel several times in the course of our lives.  Each road passes through the Sacraments though; that is common to every Catholic's journey.  Other than the seven Sacraments however, it would be incredibly shortsighted of me, of anyone, to try and absolutize his experience, and require it of someone else (1 Cor.12:29-31).  Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not me - He knows what each of His sheep need far better than anyone else.  (Omniscience is funny that way.)

What is my prayer life like in 2012?  Morning offering with my kids.  Daily Rosary on the way to work.  Conversational prayer throughout the day.  The charism of tongues to praise and intercede.  Read the Gospel of the day.  Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the way home.  Some spiritual reading before bed.  The Eucharist every Sunday, and the occasional weekday Mass when my work schedule allows.  Each November, I start the 33 days of preparation for Total Consecration prescribed by St. Louis Marie De Montfort and renew my consecration on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  I also enjoy getting together with a good friend every other week or so to study the Carmelites - Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Elizabeth of the Trinity, Therese of Lisieux, and Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). I've never felt a pull toward becoming a third order religious and don't feel any desire to refer to myself as anything other than "just a Catholic" - a person who wants to embrace all of the spiritual treasures our Father has deposited in the Church.


  1. I have never replied tO a blog before but I just watched your episode on The Journey Home. Many years ago I was talking with a teenage boy at a nondenominational ministry gathering And he asked me why I had my hands raised while singing. I paused and then described myself as an evangelical Catholic. Since then I had an incredible experience at an event in Toronto called the Lift Jesus Hogher Rally where I experienced what you described about the presence of the Hopy Spirit with the shaking hands though it was my whole body that went through the experience as I felt the Holy Spirit immerse me in His love. That was about twelve years ago. I still feel the similar gift these days especially when going to receive the Eucharist. So it does not have to leave you as you get older. I dedicate my life to doing the will of God and try,as a Catholic, to exemplify that through my actions. Apx a year and A half ago my wife And I founded Branches Catholic Ministries. We opened a not for profit Catholic Books Nd Gifts store and a coffee house. We volunteer our time, seeing this As a vocation. My thought is WE ONLY HAVE A LIMITED TIME IN OUR LIVES TO DO GOD'S WILL. Your sharing is doing his will. Thanks and I hope you draw encouragement from this note to continue to evangelize your faith. In a month our new website should be ready for you to check out at go2branches.com. God bless! Rob Hendriks

  2. Rob, thank you for your comment. Very exciting to hear about your own experience. Amazing to hear about your book store and coffee house too, I will look forward to seeing your website! Please keep in touch brother, Shane.