Charismatic Renewal

Is the charismatic renewal present in the Eastern Churches?

It depends on how one defines the Charismatic Renewal. In the minds of some the charismatic renewal is (mistakenly) associated only with guitar praise and worship music. Obviously, we don’t have that.

However, the deeper aspects of the renewal, including a personal intimacy with the Holy Spirit and charismatic gifts, are found in Eastern Christianity. Eastern Christian spirituality has always placed a tremendous amount of emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, some would argue that the charismatic renewal was necessary in the West because the role of the Holy Spirit was obscured in some of the popular piety. Eastern piety has always focused on the Holy Spirit.

The renewal, as a movement, has had an impact in some of the Eastern Catholic Churches. I have been told that in the Maronite Church (primarily in Lebanon) there are numerous charismatic prayer groups. I also know at least one charismatic Byzantine Catholic priest.

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