As a recovering Charismatic Catholic, I feel the need to ask the question what exactly does Charismatic Renewal hope to renew?
I loved Charismatic things a few years ago.The first time I went to New Dawn, for example,I loved it-Loud music,hands in the air blahblahblah. I felt that this was the missing link in the Catholic church, a change from the dreary old Sunday Mass.
When you effectively abandon 2000 years of tradition, traditonal devotions,piety, concern for one's own soul etc,etc, and replace it with reordered churches, group hugs, and chit chat non-catecesis, you need something to get the blood pumping a bit,to wake poorly catechised teens out of their semi-comas.
It reminds me of the story in Nazi Germany, when every Sunday morning, a train would rattle past a church. The train was crammed with Jews,Gypsys and Poles and was on its way to the concentration camps. The congregation in the church knew exactly where these trains were going, and were aware of the certain death of its occupants.
Every week,the congregation would sing louder,as the train went by, in an attempt to drown out the noise of the train. I'm sure they felt powerless,I'm sure their singing helped drown out the noise of their consciences too.
Maybe if we sing loud enough,we can pretend that everything is alright. We can forget that we fail to catechise or evangelise.
We can drink our birth-control smoothies for 40 years, and then hope by waving our arms in the air, we can magic Vocations out of the ether.
We can put our fingers in our ears and sing "La la la,we're not listening!" and continue to support, fund, and send our children to schools that have long ago ceased to have the right to call themselves Catholic, and will almost guarantee your child will not practice the faith ever again.
We can enthuse excitedly about the latest book of a tired old heretic, wave our jolly flags about until our arms drop off, but we can never speak the truth, unless it is politically correct,or socially acceptable.
I'm all for renewal, the real kind, not the rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic kind.