Peter Kreeft

Charismatic Gifts —Resources

Webmaster note: These items are offered as encouragement, as a result of Pope Francis' frequent promotion of the charismatic renewal.  (Theology is growing along with this.)

Pentecostal Pope

Surrendering to Abundance  five stars
by Dave Nevins—Enjoy!

Encouraging tips for receiving messages in prayer. 



Peter Kreeft and Dave Nevins on releasing supernatural gifts from within:

"The Catholic Church will not be strong until she recaptures the source of her strength that the earliest church found...until the charismatic movement becomes invisible—because all Catholics are charismatics." —Peter Kreeft  


Kreeft YouTube Audio Excerpts

Audio Talks

More YouTube Resources

Web Reading



From Kreeft's Fundamentals of the Faith:

"When Paul visits the church in Ephesus (Acts 19), he notices something missing -- I think he would notice exactly the same thing in most of our churches and preach the same sermon -- and he asks them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (Acts 19:2). Why would he ask that unless he saw a power shortage? Why did twelve fishermen convert the world, and why are half a billion Christians unable to repeat the feat? The Spirit makes the difference ...

We have received the Spirit by faith and baptism. "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him" (Rom 8:9). But we need the release, the empowering, the anointing of the Spirit. Such empowerment is probably what the New Testament means by baptism in (or of or with) the Holy Spirit. It is supposed to happen at confirmation. Apparently, it usually does not. Millions of confirmed Catholics receive it afterward, usually in charismatic prayer meetings or seminars. The charismatic movement is obviously God's answer to Pope John XXIII's prayer for a new Pentecost. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II both blessed it but said that it will fulfill its purpose only when, like the early liturgical movement, it ceases to have a separate identity of its own and is absorbed into the whole Church. In other words, every Catholic should be a charismatic, baptized in the Spirit, empowered like the apostles.

The difference this baptism in the Spirit makes is not primarily in any particular charismatic gift, such as tongues. Paul clearly says not to get hung up on tongues (1 Cor 12-14). The difference is far greater: like the difference between a picture and a live person, between dead orthodoxy and living truth, between words and power. If we are not certain that Jesus Christ is present in us, working, acting, making a difference, rather than just being a teacher, an example, a lovely but remote historical figure, then we need Pentecost. And when that happens, the world will be won again."

What Does "Charismatic" Mean?

Charisms are "supernatural potentialities" that every Christian has, but don't always exercise. Those who experience these manifestations are often called "charismatic". The Greek word "charisma" means "gift" (which emphasizes that they are not an award for being good, but an aid to being good.)  Examples of these gifts of the Holy Spirit are visions, praying in tongues and healing.   

Before Jesus returned to heaven He promised His followers that he would send them the Holy Spirit, through which he would continue to live among them. The Holy Spirit first arrived in this new, special way at Pentecost, which brought about the explosive birth of Christianity.

According to Newsweek, Time and The Washington Post charismatics represent the fastest growing movement worldwide. Conservative estimates put the number of people involved with this movement at 600 hundred million people, with the strongest growth occurring in Asia, South America and Africa.

The word "charismatic" is sometimes mistakenly used to mean free-spirited or emotional worship. While that can be an aspect, it actually refers to the exercise of the charisms.

Gifts of the Spirit

Examples of some of the more common charismatic gifts experienced are receiving visions, praying in tongues, prophetic words (first person messages), healing, and receiving scriptures, a few of which are described below.

The term "Word gift" is used for when God speaks to us, such as through a prophecy or vision. At times the messages received will be clear and precise; at other times they may be shared more generally as a "sense from the Lord."   In any case all Word gifts need to be discerned. 

These charismatic manifestations are important because they allow us to more fully experience Christ's life in our own and because they are a sign to non-believers of His presence.

How Do I Receive These Experiences?

A person receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit simply by asking God for them in child-like faith. They can first appear when a person is praying alone, but are more commonly first manifested after we have prayed with other charismatic Christians.  The practice in the early church was to have those who already exercised the gifts place their hands on the one being prayed with, as an expression of unity in faith.  

Peter Kreeft  "If you want to get wet, go out to where it is raining; if you want to be a saint, find one and hang out with hiim."

Receiving the Spirit in this way it referred to in the Bible as is often referred to as being "baptized in the Holy Spirit." "Baptize" is Greek for "to immerse" and "baptism in the Holy Spirit" (wine vs. water) is seen as an immersion in the drunken Pentecostal love of God.

Some Christians understand being baptized in the Holy Spirit to mean the renewing of abilities already present, like the stirring up of settled chocolate syrup at the bottom of a glass of milk.  Others view it as a new type of relationship with the Holy Spirit. Whichever way you explain it, it is a powerful work of God.

Avoid extremes of (a) focusing on the gifts over the Giver, and (b) neglecting the gifts. The goal is love of God and others, for which the gifts are an important energizers.  (I Cor 12-14.)

Charisms can act like kisses -- they're not essential to a marriage, but they're normal, great motivators.


Charisms (Visions, Tongues, Healing, etc.)  --  Peter Kreeft and Dave Nevins informally dialogue on experiencing Charismatic Gifts—catalysts to more interactive, “two-way” prayer.     
iTunes audio   Amazon print/eBook