Because of our understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism, to speak of Baptism in the Holy Spiritcan create some confusion upon first hearing it. However, first and foremost, it is not a Sacrament but it is a grace and has played, through those who have received it, a powerful role in the new evangelisation efforts in the Catholic Church; it has also drawn many back to the Church, particularly young people. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we come to appreciate the riches of our Catholic faith which, over time, we can tend to take for granted.
Whilst we know that Baptism in the Holy Spirit is nota Sacrament, it is related to the Sacraments …. And so, what is it? Well, what it does is , “it unleashes the Holy Spirit who is already present within us, enlivening the graces received in Baptism and Confirmation”. (ICCRS, “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”, 2012)
But this is not the only fruit of Baptisminthe Holy Spirit. There is another aspect, namely, “that the Spirit of God comes in a new way into a person’s life and bestows new gifts. It’s not about the ‘already given’ but the ‘new from above’. To add to that, in an extract from “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” we read, “Baptism in the Holy Spirit constitutes one’s adult conversion, a personal encounter with Christ that radically transforms them and sets them on the path of discipleship for the first time. For others, conversion has already occurred, and, for them, Baptism in the Spiritconstitutes a fuller release of the Spirit and the Charisms especially in preparation for a new mission or task to which Jesus is calling them.”
Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap. adds further clarity to this when he says, ”Let us rediscover …. the beauty of being baptised in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and Confirmation, sources of grace already present.”Fr Kilian McDonnell, a renowned Catholic scholar, once said, “Whether the release of the Spirit is due to an awakening of grace or merely the fruit of prayer, the important thing is to let it happen!”
And Pope Francis has asked the Catholic Charismatic Renewal to share Baptism in the Holy Spirit with everyone in the Church.