Just a caveat, I'm somewhat new to the topic, but what makes me most skeptical is the charismatic movement (I agree it is not a "rite") that 1) It is new and untried, as John and a few others have mentioned, and the Church is very circumspect about these things 2) the fact that it removes the emphasis from God and adoration of Him to focusing on humans and their levels/manifestations of God's grace. and 3) the idea that this emotional feeling and response is a sign of faith/grace/God's love etc. Does this mean that those who do not manifest in the ways charismatics do are not recipients or not equal recipients of God's love and grace and that He is not working in their lives?
I am not denying that some people may have very powerful experiences with faith, or may manifest their joy in some of the ways describved, but for it to be such a central focus of one's spiritual life strikes me as not only unhealthy, but dangerous.
Even the greatest saints have had "dark nights of the soul". St. Francis de Sales was at one point so confused over a heretical teaching that was sweeping his area (The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, if I recall correctly, and the Calvinists also believed that God's decision was reflected in the person's material and physical wellbeing while on earth, which strikes me as somewhat like charismatics' belief that His favor/grace/love are reflected outwardly so often) that he prayed to Our Lady that even if he WAS destined to spend eternity in Hell cursing God's name, he be granted a long life on earth with which to praise Him, regardless of how spiritually abandoned he felt. THAT is faith. and grace. How would that have turned out had St. Frances been fully entrenched in the charismatic tradition? "Oh, I don't feel God, He must not love me." ?? The emphasis on feelings rather than truth seems to me to be very shaky ground. Satans knows our frail human hearts and motivations SO well, he can surely manipulate them for his own ends. God loves us, even when we can't feel it, and the Holy Ghost is in us if we are in a state of grace. How we poor mortals feel at any given moment is of little consequence except to ourselves.
Heidi, have you ever been to a Charismatic prayer group or a Charismatic Mass or a Charismatic Conference? From reading your comments, I sincerely doubt it.
Especially regarding your 2nd point. The entire focus of the Charismatic Movement is on God and adoring him and praising him. I have no idea where you got the ideas you have, but they are simply incorrect. And, honestly, I have no idea what you are saying in your 3rd point. As for God's grace, it is given to all who ask for it (and sometimes to those who don't even ask for it). And, as for God's love, as far as I know, he loves all of us. So, what you are saying makes no sense, and I never heard any of that said at any Charismatic prayer group, Mass, or Conference. I have no idea where you got the idea that Charismatics believe that God's favor/grace/love is reflected outwardly. Again, I never heard such a thing, and I have attended a Charismatic prayer group, a Charismatic Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, and a Charismatic Conference for 2 days which was filled with adoration of God and prayers (nothing heretical as far as I could see and this was the first Charismatic event I had ever been at.)
Also, you might want to read Fr. Cantalamesa's book which I'm sure has been previously referenced in this thread. Since he is part of the Vatican, I would think you might consider his book to be worthwhile reading. I would suggest that instead of judging the Charismatics as you appear to be doing here, that you might want to educated yourself about the Charismatic movement by reading Fr. Cantalamesa's book and possibly attending a Charismatic Mass.