LETTER : The impact of Charismatics' radical approach

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The Independent Online
From Ms Cathleen Wood

Sir: After the recent revelations of scandal in the Church of England in South Yorkshire, it is easy once again to blame the Charismatic Movement for allowing such things to happen.

Yet, just as many a fond couple look back on their courting days as the time when they were "in love", so within the Church, there are many who remember their Charismatic experiences as a kind of falling in love with God. However, as in marriages, feelings have to give way to the learning- to-love process of daily living, so Peter Mullen is right to point out that the essence of religion is not some spiritual "high", but "the sanctification of the everyday" ("Priests who get high on power", 23 August). St Benedict knew this well when he wrote his Rule.

But the great masters of prayer all speak of a deeper, more lasting joy, which comes from loving perseverance in the ordinary, just as in some older couples, there is a oneness which is far more truly joyful than the first excitement of falling in love. The Song of Songs describes beautifully this whole process, both in marriage and in the realm of spiritual experience.

Yours sincerely,

Cathleen Wood