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Charisms of the Holy Spirit

Charism is simply the Greek word used in the New Testament for "favor" or "gratuitous gift." Charisms, or spiritual gifts, are special abilities given to Christians by the Holy Spirit to enable them to be powerful channels of God's love and redeeming presence in the world. Whether extraordinary or ordinary, charisms are to be used in charity or service to build up the Church (CCC 2003).

There are gifts of the Holy Spirit that we are given to keep and gifts we are given to give away. The additional "seven gifts of the Holy Spirit" and the fruits of the Spirit are gifts given to us to keep. They are part of our inner transformation as Christians and provide the inner "Christ-likeness" necessary for the effective use of our charisms (CCC 1830-1832) Charisms, on the other hand, are gifts given to us to give away.

Charisms are always focused outward: they enable God's love and goodness to reach our neighbor through us.

ADMINISTRATION empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God's wisdom by providing the planning and coordination needed to accomplish good things.

CELIBACY empowers a Christian to be most fulfilled and spiritually fruitful by remaining unmarried and celibate for the sake of Christ.

CRAFTSMANSHIP empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God's goodness to others through artistic or creative work that beautifies and/or orders the physical world.

DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God's wisdom by accurately perceiving a divine or demonic presence in certain people, places, or things.

ENCOURAGEMENT empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God's love--nurturing others through his or her presence and words of comfort, encouragement, and counsel.

EVANGELISM empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God's love by sharing the faith with others in a way that draws them to become disciples of Jesus and responsible members of His Church.

FAITH empowers a Christian to be an effect agent of God's purposes through an unusual trust in the love, power, and provision of God and a remarkable freedom to act on this trust.

GIVING empowers a Christian to be a cheerful channel of God's provision by giving with exceptional generosity to those in need.

HEALING empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's love through whom God cures illness and restores health when healing is unlikely to occur quickly or to happen at all.

HELPS empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's goodness by using his or her talents and charisms to enable other individuals to serve God and people more effectively.

HOSPITALITY empowers a Christian to be a generous channel of God's love by warmly welcoming and caring for those in need of food, shelter, and friendship.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER empowers the intense prayer of a Christian for others to be the means by with God's love and deliverance reaches those in need.

KNOWLEDGE empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's truth diligent study and intellectual activity that enables us to better understand God, ourselves, and the universe.

LEADERSHIP empowers a Christian to be an agent of God's purposes by sharing a compelling vision of a better future with others and by directing the overall efforts of a group as they work together to make the vision a reality.

MERCY empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's love through practical deeds of compassion that relieve the distress of those who suffer and help them experience God's love.

MISSIONARY empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's goodness to others by effectively and joyfully using their charisms in a second culture.

MUSIC empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's creative goodness to others through writing or performing music for the delight of others and the praise of God.

PASTORING empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God's love and build Christian community by nurturing the relationships and long-term spiritual growth of a group.

PROPHECY empowers a Christian to be a channel of divine truth and wisdom by communicating a word or call to individuals or a group through words or actions.

SERVICE empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's purposes by recognizing the logistical gaps or unmet needs that can prevent good things from happening, and by personally doing whatever it takes to solve the problem and meet the need.

TEACHING empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's truth and wisdom by enabling others to learn information and skills that help them reach their fullest spiritual and personal potential.

VOLUNTARY POVERTY empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's loving presence by living a life of cheerful, voluntary simplicity or poverty to identify with Jesus and the poor.

WISDOM empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's goodness through remarkable insight that enables him or her to come up with creative solutions to specific problems and make good decisions.

WRITING empowers a Christian to be a channel of God's creativity by using words to create works of truth and beauty that reflect the fullness of human experience and bring glory to God.

PUBLIC TONGUES empowers a Christian to speak of a divinely-inspired message in a language they have never learned.

The information above was taken from The Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory, written by Sherry Weddel of the Siena Institute (contact 888 878 8798 or www.sienna .org) Used with permission.

Notes by Mark Nehrbas:

1. Interpretation of Tongues empowers a Christian to interpret a tongue spoken aloud in a gathering into the vernacular. There are two kinds of tongues:

Glossolalia: A tongue spoken by a person in a language that is unintelligible to the person and is not known on earth

Xenololalia: A tongue spoken by a person which is the language that is intelligible (i.e. Japanese, Hebrew, Greek) but is completely unknown to the individual speaking it.

2. Word of Knowledge empowers a Christian to see and verbalize what God is doing in a person to bring healing or a greater spiritual freedom in his or her life.