Dear Father Matthew,
I have read the posts in the above Subject on The Continuum with great delight. Personally, for many years now I have taken it quite for granted that the Charismata are an essential part of our ministry in Christ to the world in the Anglican expression. Ever since experiencing the power of the Holy Ghost, having asked to receive the gifts of the Spirit at a Jesuit run retreat, now decades ago, my life has been in heavily reliance on Him for guidance and comfort. Prayer language is a normal for proper balance in prayer life. Our disciplines of Prayer Book and Breviary are well complimented by glossolalia. There are times when there is no other appropriate expression than glossolalia when I am using the Anglican Breviary in Oratory. There is nothing to fear when the Holy Spirit Himself prompts in public either.
In the Philippines ministry the healing and glossolalia gifts were not uncommon. Many miracles were witnessed as a result of Holy Unction and Holy Mass.
I have witnessed men healed instantly from addiction by laying on of hands and prayer, in other countries too. The men wanted to be delivered.
I have seen in America communicants healed by the Blood of Christ, in one case from the holy chalice administered as 'the healing cup of salvation' (not the authorized administration admittedly, but one prompted by the Spirit for the occasion). As if in a message in confirmation of gifts in God's grace, the man communicated came back the following Sunday to witness personally to healing of mind in his search for employment. He had been unemployed for almost a year flunking many interviews. He had obtained excellent employment after the administration of the Blood of Christ. Only one example of so many healings know, not accounting for many unknown.
Lana [the Bishop's wife] had the damage to her eye caused by a sharp stick healed without the necessary opthalmic surgery. A miracle of healing that set her on the path to 13 years of healing prayer ministry at the Church of the Resurrection, Dallas Texas. Her neighbour came to her after the accident in her home and prayed for the healing of her eyes and God answered the prayer that night to the amazement of hospital emergency attendants the next morning. God used Lana in His special way for His ministry to the sick in mind, body or spirit. She introduced the Order of St. Luke the Physician into the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
In Kenya we have taught the ministry of healing from Scripture, reason, tradition, and from Agnes Sanford's The healing gifts of the Spirit ISBN 0-06-067052-5. Esther Ndegwa, the wife of Fr. John Ndegwa heads up the healing ministry at Good Shepherd in the slums of Korogocho in Nairobi Kenya. Many miracles of healing are taking place in that distressed country.
It is better to have a confident faith in the Gifts of the Spirit, obviously, than to disparage them, or worse still, abuse the gifts of the Spirit. But even then, God often chooses whom He chooses and heals when He wills. An over concern for protocols of liturgy can backfire. In an Episcopal congregation in Dallas, TX the vestry appointed a committee (flies on the back wall as they became later known) to vet any attempt at prophesy from the nave. All prophesy ceased thereafter and many other spiritual gifts as well. A president confident in the Spirit should be able, in his spirit, to discern when God chooses to move in His Spirit. There is a holy hush that comes upon the congregation at such times, and the Spirit is not going to disrupt His own worship. On rare occasions someone of vocal compulsion might stand to deliver a word not from God, but there being no interpretation, the person is seated by silence without recrimination. It is most likely to be the humble quiet person that God chooses to give prophetic utterances during a worship service and the voice will be clearly heard in every corner. If God chooses to do this in the middle of Holy Missal Mass so be it. Even though Holy Mass in the Anglican Missal exudes the Holy Ghost, it is but a liturgy, the best man can devise. We must be careful to worship God in the fullness of the Spirit and not worship the liturgy. All in good order. The blessed Apostle was addressing some gross misbehaviour in the church of his time, most unlikely in an Anglican Catholic congregation properly instructed.
All of these experiences really came as no surprise after reading the Venerable Bead's History of the English Church. The miracles he recorded in gifts of the Spirit date much later that the lifetime of the Apostles. Such wonderful Anglican precedents exist for application of the gifts of the Spirit in our continuum. Bishops, should, because of the charismata of both ordinations and consecration, be active instruments of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But the gifts are not limited to the ordained alone. The gifts of the Spirit are given to the priesthood of believers who seek them of the heart, as God's chosen vessels. First they must hear and/or read about the gifts of the Spirit and believe. To be so chosen after prayerful request is no occasion for pride. One simply does what he is called to do, such as has been told to us by Jesus Christ and handed on to us in the traditions of the Church. Normal Christian practice to the glory of God.