BONUS MATERIAL: Common Challenges & Questions
Common Challenges & Questions
Q. Where can I learn more information about scientific studies done on the charisms of the Holy Spirit?
The text itself contains in its footnotes information necessary to locating particular documents mentioned during the program.
Q. If the laying on of hands cured people of sickness, than why don't we see healing departments at every hospital? Why isn't everyone praying for healing? Could it be because it doesn't really work?
Yes, the study mentioned in the video is an anomaly. Also, if the laying on of hands cured every person every time, then there would be no need for hospitals at all. The consequence of sin is death. Every apostle and disciple in the Scriptures who worked healing miracles eventually died. Lazarus, whom Jesus himself raised from the dead, died twice. The men and women who were healed in this study will eventually grow old and die too. We must remember that healing by the laying on of hands was never meant to be an end in itself, but a sign that pointed man towards his true end: healing of sin and restoration of relationship to God in Heaven. Healing ministry is mystical participation with God as a sign to the unbeliever. While the minister of healing cooperates with the Holy Spirit in bringing healing to another, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that determines when and if the temporary physical cure will manifest.
As the Scriptures proclaim, "My son, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to God, for it is he who heals. Flee wickedness and purify your hands; cleanse your heart of every sin. Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and memorial, a generous offering according to your means. Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; you need him too, For there are times when recovery is in his hands. He too prays to God that his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure." Sirach 38: 9-14
Our hope is that, through a temporary physical healing, man may come to believe in God and repent of his sins, so that when he does meet death, he is ready. Our great hope is to die with Christ so that we may rise with Christ and experience the joy of Heaven - a place where there is no sickness, no tears, no death.
Q. Why did the charisms cease in the Church? I was told that it was because the charisms were no longer necessary.
Many believe in the theory of ‘cessation’ - meaning that God took away all of the charisms after the first few centuries of the Church because they were no longer needed. Not only is this concept incompatible with Scripture, but it is also incompatible with the witness of the lives of the Saints (who regularly engaged in these supernatural charisms) and the work of the Church, most especially in her prayers during the Sacraments.
Q. Can a person in a state of mortal sin operate in the charisms?
We must remember that there is a difference between sanctifying grace and gratuitous grace. When we are in a state of mortal sin, we are deprived of sanctifying grace (the grace that helps to get you to Heaven); however, we can still cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His gratuitous graces of building of up the Church. For example, a priest in a state of mortal sin can still hear confessions and say a valid Mass.
Q. I did not feel anything during my prayer session, did I do something wrong?
No. Any physical sensations or feelings we experience during a prayer session are considered ‘consolations’ or free gifts from the Holy Spirit to encourage us and build our faith. The Holy Spirit can move and act independent of our emotions and feelings and moves according to His own pleasure; therefore, we can have very valid prayer experiences completely void of any emotional or physical consolation.
Q. I have already prayed for an Outpouring in the Spirit, should I still do this practicum?
Of course! Encourage those who are already operating in the charisms to pray for a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit and to continue to grow in their personal docility to the Holy Spirit. This practicum exists to provide a platform for students to gather together in community to ask the Lord for good things.
Q. How do I know if I prayed for an outpouring correctly?
If you ask the Lord to open your life to the movement of the Holy Spirit then you have prayed correctly. This asking can be done in silence, out loud, in a group or privately. The Lord knows your heart and your thoughts. As long as you have expressed an openness and a desire, you have prayed correctly.
Q. I feel selfish asking to operate in more than one gift.
The Lord does not grant us the ability to operate in the charisms as a reward for our good behavior, nor does he grant us power and control over the manifestations. When we "pray for a gift" what we're really praying for is an opportunity to cooperate in the work the Holy Spirit is doing - be it healing, prophecy, or even miracles. We are asking that the Lord allow us to be docile to the movement of his Spirit. The Lord has willed that we ‘go out and make disciples of all nations’. To equip us for this great work, he sent us his Spirit. We are incapable of fulfilling Christ’s command without yielding docilely to the Holy Spirit. In truth, none of us are worthy to work alongside our Maker; however, we ask "for the gifts", not for selfish gain, but because this is precisely what God has asked us to do so that we can help achieve his perfect will for our lives and the world.