On the day of Pentecost, the apostles received the gift of tongues, they were able to speak to peoples of different nationalities who would understand them in their own languages.
However this gift does not only refer to languages that can be interpreted by others only, St. Paul says that if someone speaks in tongues there should be another person who would interpret what he is saying for the benefit of the whole group. There are also tongues of praise and adoration, which are the most common. These are very beneficial for the soul. They are as the language to express communication only between the soul and God [1 Corinthians 14:2] St. Paul recommends that once we receive the gift of tongues one should strive to possess the gift of Prophecy because tongues build the individual while Prophecy builds the whole Church. He says do not forbid speaking in tongues [1 Corinthians 14:39].
We don't know how to pray and we need the help of the Spirit, so He makes His presence to us in sighs, moans, tongues or any other manifestation that expresses our deepest feelings of love for God [Romans 8:26]
Many healings take place at the moment of laying hands on the persons being prayed over, specially when tongues are being said [Acts 19:6]. There is mystery in this gift, since only God knows the language of the Spirit. Visions are also reported to be seen when the Lord is being praised in tongues.
Those who do not have this gift may laugh or criticise those who have it, let me assure you that this is very real [Isaiah 28:10-11]. When I received it I was in tears every time that I used it, as a result I praise the Lord in tongues every day.
I want to relate to you my personal experience with this gift. I prayed over my seven year old daughter who was asking me about this gift and who genuinely desired to praise the Lord in tongues, while I was driving my car with one hand I layed hands on her with the other, a few minutes later She was praising God in tongues, and She was crying saying to me I don't know why I am crying, but I am certainly speaking in tongues.
However we must be cautious even with this gift, since some people possessed by an evil spirit may speak also in tongues and can deceive others. So instead of praising they might be cursing God. We must therefore pray always for discernment.
This is a very useful gift that permits people to expand the Holy Scriptures and to transmit the true teachings of the Church. This is not just confined to priests or religious, everyone is supposed to be a witness of the truth.
Apologetics do a very good job putting together parts of the Bible combined with the teachings of the Church to explain certain Topics of fidelity to the Catholic Church.
Teaching can be the passing of acquired knowledge or it can be also the gift of expressing the supernatural in natural words, namely the preaching of the Majesty and Glory of God, the mysteries of His Creation, the exaltation of the Son of God, and all the beautiful teachings about Our Lady.
By the teachings of Wisdom, great mysteries can be expanded. The mystery of the Holy Trinity for example would be appreciated more when learned from someone who is anointed with this gift. There are no human words to explain mysteries, because that is what they are, but they can be put in words that will touch the soul and somehow the Holy Spirit will make up for what is lacking in meaning.
Healing takes place when we have a change of heart and repent, when we pray to the Lord and ask for His Mercy. The Lord is our healer [Exodus 15:26].
Healing can only take place after repentance and forgiveness. That is the obstacle of many who are seeking to be healed, the reason is that they may still have some resentment against someone, against themselves or against God.
The Lord heals first the soul, then the body [Matthew 9:2-6] as we recall in the healing of the paralytic.
When we refer to the gift of healing we speak of people who have the gift of praying for the healing of others and the response of the Lord by healing them.
Those who are engaged in this kind of intercessory prayer, must pray fervently that the Lord will forgive the sins of the sick person. If you can bring a person to repentance of his sins, then there is a great possibility of healing.
We must be proclaimers of repentance, unafraid of criticism. We must advise people to go to confession when they sin or at least once a month, so that we don't lose the sense of sin.
As we pray for another, we must bring that person before the Lord in humility and contrition which are the doors to His Presence, we must ask the person to live the prayers, we must confess our sins to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness. We must forgive everyone in our lives, even those that we don't remember. We must thank God the Father for the gift of His Son, whom we confess to be Our Lord, God and Saviour. We pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ His Son. We must pray that the Precious Blood of Jesus will deliver the person from all evil spirits. We must ask through the merits of the sufferings, agony and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of His holy wounds. We should always seek the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask through the merits of her most holy tears.
The person being prayed over, must renounce satan, the world and all those things that lead to sin. All these prayers are submitted to the Holy Will of God and depend on His Will, not our wills. At the end of the prayers, we must thank God again for answering our prayer, we must believe that the Lord is granting us our request because trust in Him is the vessel of His Mercy. We conclude our prayers with praise and adoration.
After the prayers, we must present these petitions to the Lord as we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist and ask Him to cover them with His Precious Blood.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is truly present with us, specially as we proclaim His Word [Mark 16:20].
Many miracles have taken place in our humble ministry following this preceding prayers. Thanks be to God!
By this gift, we receive a feeling inside that tells us wether things are right or wrong. It is very useful when we have to pray for someone, because somehow we receive a special light to guide us in prayer.
Discernment is also very useful when we deal with someone for the first time, or when we listen to a prophecy. There are many voices in the world, we must know which ones we must avoid. We must pray daily for this gift because the devil is the father of lies and he is always trying to find ways to deceive us.
We are bombarded continuously with heresies, blasphemies, lies, false stories and distracting words.
As disciples of Jesus, we must listen only to one voice, His Word. Solomon prayed for Wisdom, and great discernment was given to Him [1 Kings 4:29-30]. Likewise we must pray that God who is Wisdom will fill us abundantly.
Very common during this century is the occurrence of Apparitions of heavenly beings, such as angels, saints, Our Lady and Our Lord.
Throughout the centuries, Our Lord and Our Lady have appeared mainly to the saints in order to pass very important messages or doctrines, such us the doctrine of the Sacred Heart revealed to Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Divine Mercy revealed to Sr. Faustina. Our Lady in the main apparitions such as Lourdes revealed that She was the Immaculate Conception and in Fatima She said that She is Our Lady of the Rosary and that Jesus wants us to have devotions to Her Immaculate Heart.
The Lord prophesied through , [Joel 2:28] And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your
old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
In the Spirit of Elijah, these apparitions are taking place in order to bring people to repentance, to show them the reality of God Who is denied and blasphemed. The Lord in His great Mercy does not want to condemn us but He sends His mother or comes Himself to warn us.
Commonly angels precede the apparitions of Our Lord or Our Lady in order to prepare the visionaries for those great encounters.
This phenomenon has multiplied in this last century, the main theme of the messages is that people must return to God, that they must amend their ways and come to the Sacraments.
Our Lady has been requesting that we pray the Holy Rosary, because this great prayer is a miniature presentation of the main teachings of the New Testament, where we learn to know and love Jesus throughout His life, passion, agony, death, resurrection and Glory.
We are given these devotions to Our Lady in order to also come to know Her Who is our Queen and our Mother, our great Advocate before the Lord; then we can humbly come to Jesus through Her.
As Catholics we have the choice of believing or rejecting these apparitions especially before they are approved by the Church. After approval, we are invited to learn from this heavenly experiences in order to benefit our souls. However the Church teachings are not based on apparitions but on the direct teachings of the Holy Scriptures and the traditions handed out to us through the centuries.
We must be careful regarding messages and apparitions, since the devil is also at work trying to deceive and destroy.
For messages to be authentic, we must make certain that they don't contain anything contrary to the teachings of the Church. The safest way to discern is to accept those messages which have received the imprimatur or approval of the Church.
We don't sin if we accept apparitions and messages which are not approved officially by the Church but we may fall into disobedience by promoting them.
There are three marks pertaining to good Catholics, they are :
Love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Love for Our Lady . Devotions of the Holy Rosary.
Love for Holy Father and acceptance of the official teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.
Any messages and apparitions must conform with these points in order to prove their authenticity and loyalty. Obedience and humility must support them as well. No desire for money or fame must be involved, since that would prove hidden false motives.
Besides the messages received directly in apparitions, there are also messages received in the Spirit of Prophecy, such as dictations or interior locutions. There are also many visions given to those who are seeking the Way, the Truth and the Life, they are all part of the training that God is giving to His people in these times of His great Mercy.
Other phenomenon associated with apparitions and messages is the stigmata, which is given to special victim souls who have the privilege of carrying in their bodies the marks of the passion of Our Lord. [Galatians 6:17] . By sharing in the sufferings of Our Lord many sins are atoned, victims souls contribute with their suffering in the purification of others and they are great intercessors before the Lord.