Being Baptised in the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments

The “Baptism in the Spirit” is both:-

a) A releasing of the power of one’s baptism and confirmation and the Eucharist.
b) A new sending of the Spirit which brings a new power.

In the Sacrament of Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit and we become sons and daughters of God thus members of his family, the Church. The Holy Spirit comes to sanctify us.

In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit comes to empower us to bear witness for Christ.

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit unites us more fully to Christ and His Body, the Church.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a particular grace that brings to life the graces we received in the Sacraments of Initiation listed above

In so far as “Baptism in the Spirit” is a renewal of one’s sacramental baptism, it is intended for all Catholics. It is not a “special grace” for some, but a commonplace grace for all.

“Baptism in the Spirit” is also experienced as a “new sending” of the Holy Spirit, which brings a new power. The action of the Holy Spirit is not restricted to the Sacraments. He acts both sacramentally and in a charismatic fashion. Catholic Theology has always had room for “new sendings” of the Spirit (e.g. Thomas Aquinas S.T. Iq 43-46) This new power is often manifest in the charismatic gifts. The gifts most commonly manifested are Tongues, Prophecy and Healing. These are given to empower us for evangelisation, ministry and building up the Body of Christ.

In the early Church, baptism in the Spirit and charismatic gifts were integral to Christian initiation. They were expected in the Church’s celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. (See Killian McDonnell – Fanning the Flame)

The Grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit may be viewed under four aspects:

First, it brings about a new awareness of the reality and presence of Jesus Christ in one’s life. This aspect of the grace of Renewal often occurs through a dramatic manifestation of the action of the Holy Spirit, and it quite often includes the gift of Tongues.

The second aspect of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the presence of the spiritual gifts once again in the lives of many Christians. The gifts most commonly manifested are Tongues, Prophecy and Healing.

The third aspect of being baptised in the Spirit is power for sanctification. We become conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives of his action eliminating sin and bringing our lives in order. As we co-operate with the Holy Spirit we begin to appreciate the power of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, a power that exceeds any resources available to us left to our own. Not that the sinful tendencies of the personality are eradicated, but we discover the authority and power of the Holy Spirit to live a life worthy of the One who has called us.

The fourth aspect is being drawn into a brotherly/sisterly relationship with other Christians. As on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit draws people together. Into community relationship and way of life.

The grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit is thus understood to be knowledge of Jesus Christ, power for overcoming sin, and conscious use of the spiritual gifts and building up the Body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit.

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