are many people; priests, nuns and lay who
teach that meditation disciplines using
Buddhist and Hindu yoga and mantras are
authentic "Christian Meditation" as taught
in the ancient Christian tradition. This
claim is highly questionable to say the
least and has no historical or Biblical
foundation. This article
presents the authentic prayer of the Holy
Spirit as used by Jesus and the
Catholic Evangelist Eddie Russell
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and The
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit are terms commonly
used by those in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
throughout the world. They come from the book of
Acts and describe the action of the Holy Spirit on
the believer before and after the Pentecost. They
are from Jesus words when he said in Acts
Chapter 1: verse 5, "John baptized with water, but
in a few days you will be baptized with The Holy
Spirit." Another term commonly used to describe
this experience is, The Release of the Holy
This term is not found in Scripture. It is a
term used to avoid confusion regarding the
statement of faith relating to "One baptism for the
forgiveness of sins" which relates to Baptism in
water (in the name of the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the
other hand, has nothing to do with the forgiveness
Therefore, The Release of the Holy Spirit would be
more theologically correct when referring to those
who have already received Baptism in water and have
been Confirmed. These people have already received
the Holy Spirit by the action of these two
Sacraments which are administered by the
Unfortunately, so many of these people are like
someone who has received a beautiful gift, but have
never opened it or used it. Therefore, there is a
need for them to be released into the freedom of
God and to live a powerful Christian life, no less
than did the Apostles and the early Church.
The experience called, The Baptism of the Holy
Spirit, is not a Sacrament which is given by the
Church; It is the direct and infused action of
Jesus imparting this experience himself when a
person asks in faith to receive it.
This is borne out by the fact that the Pentecost
event was a direct action of God on those who had
gathered together as Jesus had requested, and thus
he was able to fulfill his promise, that they would
receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.
It is Jesus who does the baptizing and, as the word
suggests, those who receive it are "fully immersed"
into The Holy Spirit.
The fact that this experience can and, as
Scripture shows, often does happen subsequent to
Sacramental Baptism and Confirmation, clearly
indicates that it is a separate baptism
With so many terms used to describe one experience,
it can in fact become even more confusing so, for
the sake of continuity of expression, those
involved in Charismatic Spirituality will generally
adhere to the Biblical terminology for simple
understanding and Scripture references.
The Church and Scripture teach that the Baptism
of the Holy Spirit is available to everyone who
asks for it, and therefore it is available to
everyone, including you.
"I will ask the Father and he will give you another
advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of
truth, which the world cannot accept, because it
neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because
it remains with you and will be in you. I will not
leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:
"Then afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit upon
all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall
prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your
young men shall see visions; even the servants and
the housemaids, in those days, I will pour out my
Spirit." (Joel 3:1-2) NAB
"These signs will accompany those who believe; in
my name they will drive out demons, they will speak
new languages. They will pick up serpents, and if
they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will
recover." (Mark 16:17-18) NAB
In Luke's Gospel, chapter 4; verse 18, we read that
Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out into the
whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every
creature. He also instructed them to wait in
Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them and
endued them with the power needed to do the task
set before them. We note that, until that time,
they were afraid, weak and ineffective.
DO WE NEED THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY
1. Because until we are, we remain weak and
2. The Gospel needs to be proclaimed until the
whole world has been converted.
3. The Church cannot do the job without the Holy
Spirit who is God.
4. The sick still need to be healed.
5. The prisoner still needs to be loosed.
6. The poor still need their abundance.
7. The downhearted still need glad tidings.
8. Those who have sinned need to be forgiven.
9. The world still needs peace.
10. God has not changed the way He works (James
This last reason is most important because
God cannot contradict himself, he cannot go against
his own Word, and he cannot change the way he has
operated in any way in the past. The Bible
tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today,
and forevermore. He also calls Himself the Alpha
and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Eternal
God with no shadow of change. Therefore, he cannot,
now will not, enter into an adulterous syncretism
with other religions in order to improve on what he
has taught clearly as authentic prayer, personal
relationship, and divine union.
IS THE HOLY SPIRIT IN WHOM I AM BEING BAPTISED?
John 14:16-17, quoted above, Jesus describes him as
the Advocate, a word which means,
who pleads the cause of another in a Court of Law;
one who defends; vindicates; or espouses a cause by
argument; a pleader in favor of something;
Other names used to describe the Holy Spirit as
Advocate are, Comforter, Helper, Teacher,
Intercessor, Strengthener and Stand-by. In other
words, the Holy Spirit was to be ALL that Jesus had
been to them whilst he was still with them
physically and, because Jesus knew that they could
not finish the task when he left them to return to
the Father, he promised that he would come back to
them in the form of the Holy Spirit and live in
them; this fulfilled the promise made by God
through the Prophets (Joel 3:1-2)
FIRST BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
the day of Pentecost came around, we read that 120
men, plus women and children, including Mary, the
mother of Jesus, had gathered together in the upper
room. They were united and praised God together as
Jesus had taught them to do.
The consequence of this united and fervent
praise was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
there came a noise like a driving
wind, the house shook and a fire came
down upon them all and they began to speak
in other Tongues as the Spirit gave them
the utterance, including Mary who also
spoke in Tongues on that day. The whole
town heard the noise of the praises of
God, and the Apostles went out into the
street as though they were drunk, speaking
in strange languages.
Peter stood up in front of the crowd which
had gathered due to the commotion and
said, "This is the beginning of that
which was promised by the Prophet Joel
..." Amazingly; the whole crowd could
understand them in their own native
languages. It was because the Holy Spirit
had enabled them to "Interpret" what was
being said. It seems that the Holy Spirit
was acting on the "hearers" as much as on
those who were "speaking."
As we read the Acts of the Apostles, we begin to
realize that this experience was not the only such
occasion in the Church. St. Luke records at least
two other events when the Holy Spirit came upon the
people, and again these were accompanied with the
"signs and wonders" which brought many to
St. Paul, too, must have seen many similar
events. His letters to the Church in Corinth
and Rome are full of his instructions for good
order in the meetings, and the subsequent effects
of experiencing this new life in the Holy Spirit,
which is God's promise to ALL who believe.
DO WE NOT SEE THESE SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATIONS IN
THE CHURCH TODAY?
The exciting thing is, we do!
the beginning of 20th century there has been a
miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit all around
the world, with amazing signs and wonders clearly
manifest in a similar manner.
In the Catholic Church alone there are in excess of
120,000,000 who have experienced the outpouring of
the Holy Spirit. It is the fastest growing movement
upon the Church at this point in time. And it is
gaining momentum all the time.
people wonder why Charismatic Christians seem to
over-emphasize the Gift of Tongues. This Gift
causes more questions and concern than any other
Charismatic Gift. But why would it disturb people
so much, even to the point of accusing those, who
are so gifted, of speaking demonically? After all,
it is not the only Charismatic Gift in
A simple answer to this is pure ignorance and
fear. People are always afraid of what they do
not understand. Another reason could be authors
like Morton Kelsey, who align Spiritual Gifts,
especially "Glossolalia" with psychic abilities
and, of course, nothing could be further from the
truth, since it is the Spirit which gives the
utterance, not the human psyche.
But perhaps a clearer reason would be that
Tongues cannot be translated as with a human
language. Tongues can only be
interpreted. Therefore, there is the
companion Charismatic Gift called, "The
Interpretation of Tongues." It cannot be understood
with the mind because it is a language of the
Spirit; therefore, it cannot be understood by
reason or intellect.
St. Paul tells us that Tongues is a "sign" for
those who do not believe. Perhaps this is a good
reason. It causes them to question and, in one way
or another, every question begs an answer and so
forms part our apologetics. In addition, it is a
sign to unbelievers because only a believer can use
this heavenly language; it is the language of the
sons of God and only the sons of God can use it; it
the language of the Kingdom of God that is within
IS SO IMPORTANT ABOUT TONGUES AND WHAT DOES IT
wants everyone to pray well. The Gift of
Tongues used for prayer is the most common and
fluent Gift, and does not need "Interpretation." St
Paul describes it as, "Uttering mysteries by the
Spirit" and explains that the one using this Tongue
"builds himself up." This Gift enables the user to
express to God that which, in a human language,
would be impossible to express. Fr Bob Faricy SJ
described this Gift as, "Noisy Contemplation."
The purest form of prayer is said to be
St.Theresa of Avila talks about her "private
prayer language" which was Tongues. In her writing
on the Interior Castle, she grades Prayer, with the
highest being Contemplative Prayer.
This takes two forms: (a) Acquired
Contemplation. (b) Infused Contemplation.
The acquired prayer is that which we achieve by our
own efforts, whereas the infused prayer is that
which is a direct action of God upon the Soul and
can only come by his action and in no other way. It
is also called, Divine Union or The Prayer of
Union, when the individual is so consumed into the
mind of God that even thoughts cease. As St John of
the Cross says in one of his poems; A power
of thought that thinks no more transcending far all
is True Non-Conceptuel
It does not include the effort of the mind other
than intention. It is like a heart-to-heart
by-pass - It goes directly from your heart,
by-passes the mind, and goes directly to the Heart
of God. The mind cannot clutter up the Spirit's
Because our own thoughts and ideas cannot
interfere, Tongues is a perfect prayer and can be
prayed aloud or silently. When uttering a
Tongue, your spirit and God's Spirit understand
fully what is meant.
This is a far cry from the false asceticism of
Hindu or Buddhist mantras, especially those taught
as Christian Meditation, because even one syllable
in a Tongue can express immeasurably more than
thousands of words and expressions of a known human
This is Prayer Power indeed, because when we do not
know what to pray for, or how to pray, The Holy
Spirit prays in us with groans and uttering, which
are incomprehensible to us, but God knows exactly
what the Spirit means. (Rom 8:26) This cannot be
learned from Hindu or Buddhist masters nor their
Tongues is not a requirement for entering
Heaven, but it is given an important place in
the life of the Christian by St Paul, who wrote
nearly 60% of the New Testament.
here are 10 good reasons why a Christian should
desire and need the "Gift of
1. Tongues is the initial sign of being filled with
the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 10:44-46 and 19:6)
2. Tongues is for spiritual edification (1 Cor 14:
3. Tongues remind us of the Spirit's indwelling
4. Praying in Tongues is praying in line with God's
perfect will (Rom 8:26-27)
5. Praying in Tongues stimulates faith (Jude
6. Praying in Tongues is a means of staying free
from worldly contamination (1 Cor 14:28)
7. Praying in Tongues enables us to pray for the
unknown (Rom 8:26-27)
8. Praying in Tongues gives spiritual refreshing
9. By praying in Tongues you give perfect thanks (1
Cor 14: 15-17,)
10. Speaking in Tongues bring the tongue under
subjection (James 3: 8). (Kenneth Hagin)
USED THE GIFT OF TONGUES.
can draw from Scripture that Jesus also used
Tongues, primarily because he instructed his
disciples on this Gift in Mark 16:17, when he said,
"They will speak in tongues."
At the tomb of Lazarus (Lazarus - Hebrew:
Eleazar "God (has) helped"), in John 11: 14, it
says that Jesus groaned deeply in his
spirit. He then says, Father, I thank you for
hearing my prayer. You always hear my prayer. But I
pray now for the benefit of the people standing
here, that they may believe that you sent me." He
then uses their language, calls for the winds, and
charges Lazarus to come forth - Lazarus did.
As noted in Romans 8: 26, regarding groans
and uttering we can conclude that the term
groaned in John 11: 14, meant the
we now consider that St Peter, who questioned
everything, did not make any comment on this
occasion of the Great Commission (Mark 16:17) and
nor did anyone else, nor did Jesus elaborate on
what he meant by this, we can also conclude that it
came as no surprise to any of them.
Furthermore, on the day of Pentecost, when they all
spoke in other Tongues, not one of them had a
problem with that experience. In fact, Peter stood
up to explain it. If they had not heard Tongues
before they would no doubt be just as disturbed as
was the crowd who was hearing it for the first
time. As it is, they were not.
Later, Saint Paul corrects the Corinthian church in
its use of the Charismatic Gifts and speaks at
length about the Gift of Tongues; the Corinthians
knew them as a normal and every day part of their
faith. However, because of their abuse, Saint Paul
reminds them that without love, these supernatural
endowments can be a cause of scandal to the Church
and unbelievers. (1 Corinthians 14)
- THE VITAL KEY
in other Tongues is a vital key which enables us to
yield to the Holy Spirit and, thereby, it is the
"Key Gift" to all other Charismatic Gifts.
Scripture records that after a person had received
the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in Tongues and
We need to yield to the Holy Spirit because God
will never force anything against a person's free
will. If anyone has asked for the Baptism of the
Holy Spirit, they can rest assured that God has
indeed given them the Holy Spirit. And even if they
do not use Tongues immediately, they can yield to
Him any time they wish to, without fear of having
received a false Gift. (Luke 11:11-13)
DO I BEGIN TO SPEAK IN TONGUES?
we consider it this way: Our own tongue is the
"key", our own voice is the "engine", the Holy
Spirit is the "fuel and the power."
We have to put the key into the ignition and start
the engine before the fuel and the power will get
the car moving. Only then can the Holy Spirit give
the utterance. He can only do that when the engine
is switched on and turning over. So, yes, it is WE
who speak in other tongues, allowing the Holy
Spirit to form the words.
We can still have the Holy Spirit without Tongues,
but if Tongues can make us more effective in our
Christian life, then we would be wise to come
alongside St Paul and "Desire earnestly the Gifts."
IS IMPORTANT TO THE CHURCH.
is important that we, as the Church, recognize the
importance of the Holy Spirit and His Gifts
because, if the early Church of the book of Acts
needed them so much in manifestation and power, how
much more do we need this in our day and age!
this point, we have only just begun to see
this Outpouring of the Holy Spirit even
though over 120 million Catholics (10% of
the Church) since Vatican II use them. As
we understand more, and learn more about
his anointing, he will remind us all the
more of how close God is to us, and the
Words of Jesus in John 14:15-18, will
become a daily reality to enable us to do
the "works" that Jesus did and of which he
said we would do greater (John 14:12).
We will understand more clearly what Jesus
meant when He said, "call God your
Father." It is the Holy Spirit who moves
us to pray and who enables us to cry out,
"ABBA", that is, "Father" (Rom 8). It must
be accepted therefore, that any prayer,
meditation or contemplation, inspired and
originating from the Holy Spirit himself,
is the only authentic and perfect prayer
in the mind of the Father, for the role of
the Holy Spirit is to reveal the mind of
For in depth teaching, look out for the next
My People on Fire
For a clear and considered look at false asceticism
in Christian spirituality go to What's
in a Word.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
you want to experience fellowship with
other Catholics that use and understand
the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a
responsible and mature way, you are
welcome to join us each Thursday evening
at the Saint Marys Cathedral Praise
The Legion of Mary'sEdel Quinn Centre,
Windsor Street, Perth, Western
We begin at 7.45pm with praise where these
Gifts are used. Around 8.45pm there are
inspired teaching from the Bible, samples
can be heard on iTunes. Look for
FireCast-FMI where new teachings
are uploaded every Sunday. As the Spirit
moves, there is also prayer
for healing. Finish the evening with good
friends and refreshments.
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