Speaking in Tongues.. (more on Charismatics) Karl can you respond?

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James_2_24

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Speaking in tongues, as the Charismatics define it, really really troubles me.

I do not see how this is worth anything to the Church and I feel really “silly” around people to do this type of thing. To me it almost seems like it comes from a lack of faith. Its like they are forcing themselves to do this type of thing, in order to convince themselves of God or some supernatural intervention in their lives.

I was injured some time ago and a parishioner came across me and saw that I wasn’t feeling good. Before I knew it I had a small group with hands all over me. One gentlemen was babbling a bunch of gibberish over me. I felt really uncomfortable. Good people with good intentions… but to be honest, I really don’t believe in their form of speaking in tongues. I believe it has become an obstacle to the Faith as I have seen many turned off by it. When I bring this to their attention they seem to “down” those people by saying they aren’t “open to the Spirit” and that is why they are turned off…
 
Me too!

I hope Mr. Keating will give a response to this question.

I don’t doubt that some people (mostly saints) have ‘charismatic gifts’, including ‘speaking in tongues’, but I think it’s rare and certainly not ‘jibberish’–which would seem to completely miss the point of Pentecost (which I believe was about real documented languages being spoken and understood by those present).

My brother-in-law, an Evangelical minister, speaks of his services, and the many that receive ‘charismatic gifts’. However, he shuns saints and completely ignores folks like Padre Pio who had many charismatic gifts.

I tend to feel that it’s a competition for some, and a ‘look at me’ sort of situation. I don’t like the feeling that these people are trying to ‘control’ the Holy Spirit, and feel that they are wielding there own power or magic. True charismatic gifts are given, not taken. And the Holy Spirit chooses who gets what, if anything.

Certainly, we all have the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, but as for the special (additional) charismatic gifts, I have my doubts in the high number some boast (at charismatic Catholic and Protestant services) and in the authenticity.
 
Well, from my point of view, a charismatic gift that does not lead one to humility, (instead of pride, boasting, etc) can’t certainly be genuine…
 
(I posted this on the Charismatic Catholics thread as well).
Correct me if I’m wrong…but I don’t think having the ability to speak in an understandable language is the only form of tongues. Consider 1 Cor. 13:1:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
This implies that some people have been (and still are?) given the gift to speak in heavenly languages…I would say for the edification of the Church (when interpreted) and in private prayer (when one can not express a prayer in one’s own language?)—though I am not basing the second on Divine Revelation, but experience (not personal though…and I realize experience is secondary to Revelation).
1 Cor. 12:30 mentions the gift of interpretation…right after the gift of tongues…so there must be tongues that require interpretation (thus not understandable on their own). In 1 Cor. 14 this is further seen when Paul lays down guidelines for tongues…he insists that there must be interpreters, otherwise the gift does not edify anyone (when uttered in public) as it can not be understood. He also limited the number of ‘tongues’ messages to three per Mass. Vs. 23 further clarifies that this particular gift of tongues, unlike that seen at Pentecost, is not understood without a divine gift of interpretation to go along.

Perhaps there is something in the Catechism on this? Or is the Magisterium silent on the types of tongues?
 
I still think this means normally understandable languages. The fact that there needs to be interpretations, does not mean that the language spoken is not known in the world…

Say for example someone is miracously able to speak Arabic.
If someone speaks in tongues and comes to me speaking in Arabic, then there would be intrepretation needed… The miracle would be the fact that the speaker would be speaking a language he/she did not know and I would be understanding it.

I once read James Akin explaination for this in a past This Rock issue. In reference to the “speaking in tongues of Angels” I believe he noted that this saying of St. Paul can be simply used for rhetoric and that speaking in a “tongue” of Angels isn’t really possible. It would be the same as saying, “If you could even had an ounce of faith you could move mountains.”

I hope that made sense
 
I think St. Gregory the Great reported on a story of a saint moving a mountain by prayer. He was trying to build an abbey between the mountain and the coast, and the mountain was too close. He prayed, and came back the next day to find the mountain far enough back to build his abbey.

The gift of tongues is two distinct distinct charisms. One is the languages of men (cf 1 Corinthians 12:10), another is the language of the angels, or the groanings of the Holy Spirit (cf 1 Corinthians 14, Romans 8:26).
 
James_2:24:
I still think this means normally understandable languages. The fact that there needs to be interpretations, does not mean that the language spoken is not known in the world…

Say for example someone is miracously able to speak Arabic.
If someone speaks in tongues and comes to me speaking in Arabic, then there would be intrepretation needed… The miracle would be the fact that the speaker would be speaking a language he/she did not know and I would be understanding it.

I once read James Akin explaination for this in a past This Rock issue. In reference to the “speaking in tongues of Angels” I believe he noted that this saying of St. Paul can be simply used for rhetoric and that speaking in a “tongue” of Angels isn’t really possible. It would be the same as saying, “If you could even had an ounce of faith you could move mountains.”

I hope that made sense
There are two type of tongues. We could see the first type in Acts 2 (Pentacost). It can be understood by people of different languages.

The other type is on 1Cor 14, when it still need interpretation.
 
James_2:24:
I still think this means normally understandable languages. The fact that there needs to be interpretations, does not mean that the language spoken is not known in the world…

Say for example someone is miracously able to speak Arabic.
If someone speaks in tongues and comes to me speaking in Arabic, then there would be intrepretation needed… The miracle would be the fact that the speaker would be speaking a language he/she did not know and I would be understanding it.

I once read James Akin explaination for this in a past This Rock issue. In reference to the “speaking in tongues of Angels” I believe he noted that this saying of St. Paul can be simply used for rhetoric and that speaking in a “tongue” of Angels isn’t really possible. It would be the same as saying, “If you could even had an ounce of faith you could move mountains.”

I hope that made sense
Makes sense to me. It happened to me one time and one time only. I thought the man was speaking English and I understood him perfectly. He was not, it was some other language according to other friend’s of mine who was very puzzled by the conversation.

It wasn’t a prophecy type conversation…just a man wanting to know where to find assistance. He was needing to find help as he and his family were immigrants and wanted to now where to go for assistance. I thought he was the only one in the group who could speak English at the time.

I know I am not charismatic…but it was strange. I assume God wanted me to give him directions period. He can do that you know. 😃
 
Greetings in Christ!
First of all, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are present in the Church today just as they were during the times of the apostles- this includes charismatic gifts. Someone earlier mentioned that saints throughout the ages have possessed these gifts. Christ calls us all to be saints, and if we let God use us as His instruments, He will give us these gifts for the building up of the Church. Note that in the Bible, gifts are only given for the building up of the Church, and St. Paul tells us to “strive for the higher gifts,” of which he states that prophecy is the highest. However, spiritual gifts are worth nothing without love. It is true that people may become prideful if they receive a gift or jealous if they do not, but this is true of all the gifts mentioned in the Bible, such as administration, teaching, prophecy, tongues, etc.

In the Charismatic community, the gift of tongues is stressed as primarily a private devotion- it is allowing the Holy Spirit to form the words of our requests to God. I have only been a member of the Charismatic community for a short period of time and I have not yet received the gift of tongues, but I pray that I do. I oftentimes cannot find the words to praise God as I wish I could, so I ask the Blessed Virgin to pray with me, and the Spirit to intercede for me. Tongues is a language of praise- it is allowing the Spirit of God to express what we ourselves cannot.

I am sorry that you had a poor experience with it in the past. The prayer team at your Church should have asked you how you would like to be prayed over and what would make you comfortable. Obviously, the way that they did it did not build you up, and the gift is intended to do. However, I would ask you to please not judge the whole Charismatic Movement on their actions. Each Movement in the Church is inspired by the Holy Spirit to refresh the Church and build her up. However, each Movement also has a specific charism, and individual members of the Church might not be called to that charism in their lives as Christians. This may be the case with you and the Charismatic Movement. However, I would invite you to do a little research on charismatic gifts and the Charismatic Movement, (stlcharismatic.org is a good site). You will find that many Charismatics are very passionate, orthodox Catholics, who have a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. If you like, you may e-mail me with questions or comments. God bless you!!
 
Still on the way to Catholicism, I will only speak about my own impressions about this, not the Church’s teaching.

Sometimes when I hear tongues spoken very loudly in a congregation I feel a little squirmy! And over the years - coming from a non-denom. charismatic background, I can say that I have had mixed feelings about tongues and some of the other manifestations of the Holy Spirit I have seen. I can say, however, that although there is some element of spiritual pride and falsehood etc. (probably people feeling they have to do it?), I have spoken this way to God and in faith have believed that this is of Him, not made up. I find I am able to express deep longings and pain and love and adoration to God this way, when my own words simply aren’t enough. Once I asked Him for my own interpretation of what I had just prayed and I was then overwhelmed by an unspeakable (!) sense of Jesus’ beauty. It was one of those times when you know it is the Lord but its explanation to others diminishes the wonder and reality of it all.

My husband, when he was 13 or 14 and newly a Christian, began singing in a strange language as he was walking to school and felt as if he were being raised off the ground as he walked. He did not know about the gift of tongues then but he did know that he was elated and couldn’t stop smiling all day at school. People thought him a little weird, he says! The gift, as we believe it is, remained, and every now and then I have heard him singing this way, and it is beautiful; an expression of his faith and love.

Lastly, I read a book by Fr. Michael Scanlan, President of Franciscan University of Steubenville (is he still?) on discerning what God wants; in it he referred to his own personal prayer in tongues. Ralph Martin and Peter Herbeck of the very Catholic and charismatic Renewal Ministries may be able to address this for anyone troubled or interested: www.renewalministries.net

I hope this all helps in some way.
 
Just to add to my last posting (edit time ran out) that of course, Sister Ann Shields of Renwal Ministries would be a wonderful person (because she is) to ask about the gift of tongues. Once again:- www.renewalministries.net
 
Dear Fellow Catholics:
I am a Charismatic Catholic. Praise God!
Speaking in tongues to me is beautiful. It is the Holy Spirit helping us Praise our God, because our minds cannot come up with the proper words of praise for Our God.
I know many charasmatic Catholics, who are very Holy people.
Yes, some may use it for themselves, but all the people I know who are charismatic, use it for the building up of Christ.
When you speak in tongues (for me anyways) it is in Pure Love. It is Love that pours through me, as I praise the Lord.
Please don’t put people down for speaking in tongues. If more Catholics had the Holy Spirit our Church would be full of people who truly Love and Worship Our Lord.
Since I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and truly understand what the gifts of the same Holy Spirit, My faith has tripled. I Love Jesus more, I Love the Holy Mass more, I Love the Bible more. Basically I Love (and understand) so much more about my faith.
It is truly awesome. Please don’t put God in a box. He wants to give His Church, soooo much more, if people would only be open to the Holy Spirit.

Praise God!!
Snuffy
 
I was always curious how it was speaking in tounges if no one understands what a person is saying. Didn’t all the Jewish travelers understand what the apostles were saying at Pentecost in their own language, not in some mystical “spirit language”? I think they were mostly Jews who didn’t even believe in Christ. But if noone understands what they are saying, wouldn’t that be like the Tower of Babel, where God punished those trying to get around obeying the Law and noone understood each other?
 
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Jessica:
Greetings in Christ!
First of all, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are present in the Church today just as they were during the times of the apostles- this includes charismatic gifts.
Yeah
Someone earlier mentioned that saints throughout the ages have possessed these gifts.
Saints who has this gift always has the advanced version where every people of every language could understand what they’re speaking. This is so unlike today charismatic who just blabbers.
Christ calls us all to be saints, and if we let God use us as His instruments, He will give us these gifts for the building up of the Church. Note that in the Bible, gifts are only given for the building up of the Church,
The tongue will only build the church and proper use for Catholic prayer group or in church IF it’s interpreted. Something very lacking in hte Charismatic movement.

If the tongue is not interpreted, it’s of no use to the believers. So it probably shouldn’t be brought up in Church, prayer meeting etc.
and St. Paul tells us to “strive for the higher gifts,” of which he states that prophecy is the highest.
Yes, Tongue is the way below gift.
However, spiritual gifts are worth nothing without love. It is true that people may become prideful if they receive a gift or jealous if they do not, but this is true of all the gifts mentioned in the Bible, such as administration, teaching, prophecy, tongues, etc.
Those Charismatics who think that they are better than the rest or they do not need priest, sacrament, church or even The Blessed Virgin… ANATHEMA SIT!
In the Charismatic community, the gift of tongues is stressed as primarily a private devotion- it is allowing the Holy Spirit to form the words of our requests to God.
I don’t think so. All of those Catholic Charismatic prayer groups are more Protestant than Protestant themselves. They’re not being private about it (which is how it should be since if tongues is un-interpreted than it won’t build the church but will still edify oneself) but flaunt it most of the time.
I have only been a member of the Charismatic community for a short period of time and I have not yet received the gift of tongues, but I pray that I do.
Don’t bother. Even St Augustine (THE GREAT FATHER AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH) said that we no longer need tongues (this is around the 4th century) because the church has become universal.

You better prayed the Rosary. Ultimate prayer. And Divine Mercy too!
I oftentimes cannot find the words to praise God as I wish I could, so I ask the Blessed Virgin to pray with me, and the Spirit to intercede for me. Tongues is a language of praise- it is allowing the Spirit of God to express what we ourselves cannot.
If you can not praise or pray, just recite the Rosary. The Holy Spirit will take over. You don’t need to speak. God knows what’s in your heart.
I am sorry that you had a poor experience with it in the past. The prayer team at your Church should have asked you how you would like to be prayed over and what would make you comfortable. Obviously, the way that they did it did not build you up, and the gift is intended to do.
True
However, I would ask you to please not judge the whole Charismatic Movement on their actions.
I try so hard to do this. But I’d say, just foprget about charismatic. It’s just a fad. I’m not saying that the gift is not real. But 500 people and they all suddenly speak in “tongues”?
Each Movement in the Church is inspired by the Holy Spirit to refresh the Church and build her up.
Not really. We have the Sedevacanties, SSPV etc.
However, each Movement also has a specific charism, and individual members of the Church might not be called to that charism in their lives as Christians. This may be the case with you and the Charismatic Movement. However, I would invite you to do a little research on charismatic gifts and the Charismatic Movement, (stlcharismatic.org is a good site). You will find that many Charismatics are very passionate, orthodox Catholics, who have a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. If you like, you may e-mail me with questions or comments. God bless you!!
I hope those Orthodox Charismatic Catholic realize something later.
 
When I was in college I took an upper-level class on the anthropology of religion. Each student in the class had to teach the others regarding a particular religious movement. I chose the Catholic Charismatic movement.

For the class I was able to document 119 instances of a person speaking in tongues where the language was identified by someone who had a natural acquaintance with the language including one instance where the speaker was otherwise mute.
 
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garysibio:
When I was in college I took an upper-level class on the anthropology of religion. Each student in the class had to teach the others regarding a particular religious movement. I chose the Catholic Charismatic movement.

For the class I was able to document 119 instances of a person speaking in tongues where the language was identified by someone who had a natural acquaintance with the language including one instance where the speaker was otherwise mute.
How was that language identified?

Give more detail account.
 
This is the 1st reply I’ve done on “forums”, and I don’t know how it’s going to come across…maybe I’m blocking out the question, but here goes.
I couldn’t help but perk up when I ran across this post on “toungues” because as a former searching (fo de right religion) Protestant, going thru my Pentacostal phaze, I attended a small congregation at an Assembly of God Church and my intention was to investigate the whole tounges phenomena (way back in the 70’s). I don’t believe tounges, as mentioned several times in ye Bible, are around today. Your quote of Corinthians moves me to comment that AT THE TIME OF WRITING, Paul was surrounded by “tounges”, had seen how it was “taking over” some local services, and decided to limit it’s use , for whatever reason. His reasons aren’t spelled out in detail, except his statement about making a lot of noise (clanging cymbals).
To me, the big question was Exactly how were the tounges manifested. Did the tounges speaker (think Peter) speak in his own language- say Hebrew- and the audience (speaking diverse languages) all hear him in their own languages? Or was he able to speak in several languages separately without prior education in any of those languages as multilinguals (who are educated in several languages) do today? It isn’t clear on this, but a hint might be that Peter told the audience that “these men aren’t (drunk), it’s too early in the day” (not an exact quote, but you get the idea). indicating that many in the audience(think unbelievers) could not understand a word Peter said, and to them it sounded like gibberish. So I think it’s reasonable to think Peter spoke in Hebrew or Greek and they all heard it in their own tounges.
But anyway, my main point is that tounges were in evidence then, but not now, except for those who are persuaded by other people (and I believe this is the case with most Pentacostals) that they are indeed speaking in T’s.
I remember one moment that stood out in my tour with that church that struck me as typical. During a “tounges thing”, a couple of my friends said the Lord’s Prayer in Tagalog, which to non Philippinoes, sounds like a chant, but there are certain key words that resemble english words so if you really pay attention, a non Tagalog can make some sense out of it. Well, anyway, they finished the prayer, and the preacher asked if anyone could interpret it. I don’t know if he assumed they were speaking in T’s or not, but anyway, a lady in the back said it was clear to her that they were saying the Lord’s Prayer. This lady was a matronly black lady, who was alone, so I had to assume that, unless she was married to a Phil husband, either somehow had learned the language or, like me, had been able to ping in on the similarities in some of the words and guessed what they were saying. Of course the congregation took her statement as proof that the prayer was indeed authentic tounges, because at that church, just as Paul stated in his use of tongues, (that it should be confirmed by someone) by stating what the message meant in the common language. And our friends assented to the Pastors inquiry in the positive. later on it was told to us that this lady was known as one of that church’s most vociferous tounges speakers. In other words, she had a reputation at that church. But anyway, I eventually left the church convinced that many well meaning and devout Christians are hoping just a little too much that they are speaking tounges when indeed they are not.
From your post, I can see that the thought has occurred to you also. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone. And if I’m wrong, I’d like to hear from someone that can correct me. )
 
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beng:
How was that language identified?

Give more detail account.
I assume you mean the mute man.

That was a paper I did some thirty years ago so I don’t remember all of the specifics but I’ll tell you what I remember. The person was an American man (20s or 30s) whose hearing had disappeared withing a few months after his birth. He never learned to speak although, if I remember correctly, there was nothing physically wrong that would have prevented it other than not having an example to follow.

He was brought to a Catholic Charismatic prayer meeting at a local university where he was prayed over to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in its fullness. As they prayed for him he began to speak in tongues. A professor (it may have been a grad student) recognized that he was speaking in a Medieval form of German. The person was able to translate what he was saying. The mute man remained mute after that except when praying in tongues. (I don’t know if it was always in the same language. The source only dealt with this one instance.)
 
Check out this testimony…

chnetwork.org/efconv.htm

its about an agnost who became a priest…throws some light on tongues too…the way the Lord used the gift to move him to the church…

Blessings,
Leo
 
Leo, what a beautiful testimony of how the Lord works in our lives.

God bless you
 
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