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Call to Holiness: Reflections on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

by Paul Josef Cordes, Raniero Cantalamessa, Archbishop Paul

Buy the book: Paul Josef Cordes. Call to Holiness: Reflections on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Release Date: December, 1997

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Paul Josef Cordes. Call to Holiness: Reflections on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal


Excellent Summary of The Catholic Charismatic Movement

"Call to Holiness" is a balanced reflection on the charismatic movement in the Roman Catholic Church. Cordes takes a generally positive view of the movement, while openly reflecting on the movement's weaknesses and potential weaknesses. He balances the collective revelation of the Holy Spirit, shown in the Church, and the personal experiences the Spirit produces in individuals. This seems like a difficult task, considering in many charismatic churches the charismatic experiences lead one away from ancient tradition and the leadership of the Church. As Cordes points out, in the Roman Catholic Church the opposite has occurred: charismatic experiences have led Catholics to a greater appreciation of Church tradition, the Bible, Mary, and other traditional Catholic beliefs and practices. Cordes emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is in all baptized believers, and even if they don't have any of the charisms (which incidentally, are available to all believers, not just canonized saints) they can still live in the Spirit in other ways.

The book is broken down into three chapters, and multiple sub-chapters. The first, "The Spiritual Renewal Coming From the Council," discusses the call of Vatican II for greater renewal in the Holy Spirit within the Church, setting the stage for the charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church. Chapter 2, "The Experience of the Holy Spirit and Its Fruits," covers the gifts of the Spirit, a theology of Pentecost, discernment, the role of Mary, holiness, renewed interest in scriptures and sacraments, and other elements of the charismatic movement. Chapter 3, "Gifted For Mission" explains the mission implications of the movement. Here Cordes defines and discusses the different charisms (and also how they relate to evangelism), charismatic prayer communities, and ecumenical dimensions of the movement. He discusses the need to work with other denominations, while never sacrificing the truth of the catholic tradition for a kind of "inclusive" church of the Spirit that ignores central tenets of the ancient faith.

Overall, this book is a fine reflection on the Catholic charismatic movement. The operative principle here is balance. Balance between personal and collective experience, between tradition and renewal, between the spiritual and visible. As someone who is new to the charismatic movement (in an Anglo-Catholic Anglican setting), it is nice to see the charismatic movement firmly rooted in the authority, doctrine, and practice (i.e. the collective experience), of the historical Church. For the skeptics, doubters, and those who worry that the charismatic movement leads to a kind of individualism and Protestantism, I suggest reading this balanced book.

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I bought ten copies to pass around our local diocese. Here is a clean authoritative look at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Find out what the Church's real position is...

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