I get a lot of questions about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I welcome them and pray that I who am still learning may be more help than hindrance. I also pray that the Holy Spirit may continue to give me the joy and humility to make my responses winsome rather than polemical. One book that is of help to me gives the patristic (fancy word for the Church Fathers) evidence from the first eight centuries of the Catholic Church for the role of the charisms (gifts) of the Holy Spirit in the Church's sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist). I am currently reading the book and have just finished the section on Tertullian (c. 160- c. 225). The Pope recently spoke about him at his Wednesday general audience; look in the category "Church Fathers" in the side margin for the Pope's recent remarks. Now, the first thing to make clear preemptively about Tertullian is that later in life he separated from the Catholic Church (although some dispute how formal a separation it was). Nevertheless, he was and remains a great and pioneering Catholic theologian during his Catholic period, which some think lasted until about 206 or 208 A.D. Tertullian wrote in Latin; he coined the term "trinitas" for the Trinity. So you can see that he is a seminal figure in Catholicism. Otherwise, the Pope would not have bothered to talk about him at length at his Wednesday general audience in Rome.
The book I am reading carefully and that I recommend highly is Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit by two Catholic priest-scholars, Fr. Kilian McDonnell and Fr. George T. Montague (by the way, the book is also recommended by Paul Josef Cardinal Cordes who works in the Vatican and who also wrote a fine book on the Renewal entitled Call to Holiness that is also available at Amazon.com). The book is now in its second revised edition, published in 1994 by The Liturgical Press in Collegeville, Minnesota. So far, I am very much impressed by the solid, sober scholarly style of the book. Latinists and patristic scholars will love the copious footnotes giving the Latin texts discussed. More ordinary readers need not fear: they will be able to understand the book with ease.
The book's treatment of Tertullian focuses on his treatise On Baptism written during Tertullian's unequivocal Catholic period, sometime during the years 190 to 200 A.D. (some sources give different dates). Tertullian was a North African Christian catechist and preserves the early Baptismal rite of the Church in that region, which also gave us St. Cyprian of Carthage and, much later, St. Augustine of Hippo. Here is an excerpt of an exhortation to newly baptized adults:
Therefore, you blessed ones, for whom the grace of God is waiting, when you come up from the most sacred bath of the new birth, when you spread out your hands for the first time in your mother's house with your brethren, ask your Father, ask your Lord, for the special gift of his inheritance, the distributed charisms, which form an additional underlying feature [of baptism]. Ask, he says, and you shall receive. In fact, you have sought, and you have found: you have knocked, and it has been opened to you.
Tertullian, On Baptism, quoted at McDonnell et al., p. 108, and also found at Sources Chrétiennes, 35:96 (emphasis added by me).
The thesis of the authors of this scholarly but understandable book is that here we have early Catholics praying to receive the charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit as newly baptized converts. That prayer to receive or release those gifts is the heart of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Vatican II was motivated by a desire to return to the early sources of our Catholic faith, especially in the patristic era. In fact, the famous French term for that return to the sources is "ressourcement." The post-Vatican II Catholic Charismatic Renewal is but one expression of that "ressourcement" or return to the sources of our Catholic faith.
This short post is but a brief, initial taste of this scholarly book. I hope, Lord willing, to write more as I read on in the book; but, given the questions I get, I wanted to introduce this source. I always encourage my readers to read and read and read quality books so that they can think for themselves and decide for themselves in true, informed freedom. (Here is the Amazon.com link to the book, along with three customer reviews.) In my opinion, this book is one of those quality books. And, of course, don't limit yourselves, by any means, to the books that I recommend. Seek out the recommendations of others who are, in what I call, the "papal mainstream," that is, those who enthusiastically embrace the teachings and leadership of, especially, our great recent Popes: Paul VI, John Paul the Great, and Benedict XVI. Notice that by "mainstream" I do not mean the "mainstream" of American culture or the "mainstream" of what is necessarily taught in many parishes. I emphatically mean only the Catholic mainstream whose content is what the Popes as our universal pastors teach, embrace, and encourage for us all as Catholics.