What is a Charism?
"A spiritual gift or charism is an endowment or extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit. These are the supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the Church."
Charisms of The Holy Spirit: Spiritual Gifts For Disciples on Mission
The Catechism of the Catholic Church opens the chapter on the Holy Spirit by telling us, “Life in the Spirit fulfills the vocation of man….It is graciously offered as salvation” It further details the importance of “living in the Spirit” by saying, “Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation.”
We can conclude two things from these statements. First, none of us can be fulfilled in our vocation unless we “live in the Spirit” and secondly, none of us can be on our journey to our Heavenly Father until we learn about and practice obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If indeed "Life in the Spirit" is offered as salvation and the Spirit’s promptings help us on our way to heaven, then every pastoral plan, every pastoral team, every ministry, every minister, and every parishioner, every person, must not only know this but must also live out the truths found only in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. These truths, revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, are given to us for two purposes, for our personal holiness and for our God-ordained ‘mission”.
The Church proclaims that the Holy Spirit enriches the entire Church with different charisms, also called spiritual gifts. As St. Paul tells us that every Christian receives these Charisms of the Holy Spirit when he writes, “to each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for some purpose.” The purpose is to equip us to reveal Jesus to others. These charisms or manifestations of the Spirit are infused into each baptized person’s life. Our charisms are meant to be used intentionally to manifest Jesus to others, yet most Christians are unaware of their charisms. The work of discovering one’s charisms, learning about them, talking about them, and using them intentionally, is exciting and life-changing for many. That is what the Catholic Spiritual Gifts Book titled Charisms of the Holy Spirit: Tools for the New Evangelization is all about. And this is what the Spiritual Gifts Retreat titled “In Search of Buried Treasure” is all about. The retreat is typically a full day experience or can be broken into smaller segments of time.
The book has a Rescript (Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat) by The Most Reverend Leonard Paul Blair, STD Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn. In it you will learn about your God-given Catholic Spiritual Gifts - YOUR CHARISMS. This book will guide you through the steps to discern, learn about, and use your Charisms of the Holy Spirit in your family, your workplace, your community, your ministry, and your parish.
Pastors and pastoral leaders will find this book and other catholic discipleship resources invaluable in helping parishioners discern, learn about and use their charisms of the holy spirit catholic knowledge in parish ministries. It outlines the charism of the holy spirit discernment process and once complete, the book serves as an interactive parish resource to continually guide pastors and pastoral leaders in calling forth their parishioners according to their spiritual gifts.
View Excerpt of Charisms of the Holy Spirit
HOW IS THE BOOK ORGANIZED?The core content of Charisms of the Holy Spirit: Tools for the New Evangelization is divided into two main areas as previously mentioned: Personal Holiness and Corporate Holiness. Personal Holiness topics include Grace and Conversion and Active Contemplation. Corporate Holiness describes 20 (twenty) charisms.
HOW DOES JESUS EXPRESS IT?These examples are often used analogously. This means they may not literally be reflective of the charism but nevertheless, they may show some similarities that support an analogous use of the Scripture passages thereby helping the reader to make connections to the charism.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?These statements illustrate the significance of the charism in the lives of the faithful—in the Church, the family, the work place, and community. The importance of the charism is always centered on the person operating in the charism as an expression of God’s love—love for God and love for neighbor.
HOW WOULD SOMEONE EXPRESS IT?These entries are designed to heighten our awareness of the charisms of the Holy Spirit that are present in our brothers and sisters. Some of us may be surprised to learn about the expressions and manifestation of the Holy Spirit that are present in our brothers and sisters, but the Lord wants us to not only know about these manifestations but also encourage them, support them, and be thankful for them in others. The Lord wants us to consider their gifts, to be His gifts for us – touching our minds, our hearts, and our souls in intimate and holy ways.
WHAT COULD A PARISH OR COMMUNITY DO TO CALL IT FORTH AND/OR SUPPORT IT?This section encourages pastors, pastoral leaders, and those in leadership positions in the parish or community to recognize and record their people’s manifestations of the Spirit. More than simply taking note and recording however, leaders must have a plan to call forth the charisms of their people on a regular basis and even go so far as to suggest ministries that best support their gifts for the good of the Body of Christ and the world.
SCRIPTURE AND CATECHISM PASSAGESScripture passages in this section are also being used analogously. Again, this means they may not literally be reflective of the charism. Yet they may show some similarities that support an analogous use of the passages, helping the reader to make connections to the charism. At times, of course, the passages cited may relate directly.
CAUTION YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE "NO SIN ZONE""This section cautions us to only and always minister to others under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and most of all it cautions us to never minister for selfish or prideful reasons. A charism is not a charism when it used in ways that do not bring Christ to the world or the world to Christ.
EVANGELIZATION TEAM IDEASEvangelization team notes are designed to help parishes and communities rethink their evangelization ministry formation. It is a daunting task for a parish to find willing individuals who consider themselves “evangelists.” The reason may be that, as Catholics, we do not see ourselves going door to door to tell others about the Lord’s gift of salvation. However, if parishes were to ask the faithful to go door to door with their charisms of hospitality, intercessory prayer, service, helps, etc., in operation, they might be more likely go, and in going, they would surely bring Christ to those they visit and they may just set their parish communities on fire in the process.
AUTHOR'S NOTESAuthor’s notes describe the witnesses I have observed and/or heard throughout my travels of presenting workshops, retreats, and parish mission related to “charism discernment.” They are powerful stories that give witness to God’s anointing of His people. Those sitting in the pews hardly know they are gifted yet they come to learn just how gifted they are by the end of our time together. We should make it our point to get to know them and their charisms as “gift” to us.
WITNESSWitness is a short testimony of a charism retreat/workshop participant who discovered, uncovered, and learned about his/her charisms to aid them in their mission to bring Christ to others.