May 27, 2020frjohnma


The most beautiful experience, however, is discovering how many different charisms there are, and with how many gifts of the Spirit the Father fills His Church. This must not be regarded as a cause for confusion or unease: they are all gifts that God gives to the Christian community, so that it might grow harmoniously, in faith and in His love, like one body, the body of Christ. The same Spirit that grants this diversity of charisms also constructs the unity of the Church. Pope Francis — General audience, St. Peter’s Square, Oct. 1, 2014

The second avenue that the Holy Spirit sanctifies, unifies, beautifies and diversifies the Church and the world is CHARISMS. Charisms are supernatural power/endowment that flow from baptism and confirmation. They are the Spirit’s manifestations on us. Charisms can be understood from two dimensions. First they are gifts given “for the common good” (1Cor. 12:7). Second, charisms are gifts given to one or to some and they are not equally given the same way as faith, hope and love are given. The two dimensions of understanding of charisms must not be separated. Charisms are also given to support our particular vocations. Hence, today the priestly life, the religious life, the marital life, virginity and singlehood are considered as charisms. In sum, charisms are meant for two purposes: common good and personal sanctification.

Sometimes there is the confusion of the place of talents in our spiritual life. Talents are strictly speaking inherited gifts at birth but charisms are charismatic gifts that the Holy Spirit endows us at baptism and confirmation. However, we do not need to fix ourselves in confusion by way of separating natural talents from Charisms. To do so is to be guilty of the fallacy of dualism. Our talents are our natural giftedness and if we understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, then they can be graced because our simple theology says “Grace builds on nature.”

There are traces of charisms in 1 Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14 but inexhaustible. Charismatic gifts are classified into three broad categories:

  1. Gifts of Grace/the word gifts: Prophecy, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues.
  2. Gifts of Service/the revelation gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Discernment.
  3. Gifts of Works/the power gifts: Faith, Miracles, Healing.

Finally, there is a history of craving for charisms just to massage our egos. And some also allot charisms to people in the name of the Holy Spirit and others arrogate charisms to themselves. Please let us be careful! Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Comments (7)

  • Prince Alfred

    May 27, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Thank you so much Padre for the teaching. I am more enlighten.

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    May 27, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thank God for this amazing work of the Holy Spirit in channelling His diversity of gifts and charisms, which He gives to individuals, towards achieving the unity of the Church. May God grant us the grace to play our respective roles accordingly for the common good; whether as clergy or religious or virgin or married or single. I once heard this beautiful analogy of how each vocation signifies a particular flower in a spiritual garden. I really want to appreciate you too Father for this spiritual enlightenments. Thank you and remain a supe-carrier of His gifts and inspiration through the maternal guidance of Mary, His well beloved Spouse.

  • Stanley-Mary Osegbo

    May 27, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    May the good Lord be praised and glorified both now and forevermore for the gift of you Fr.! Thanks for the wonderful teaching!

  • AndyMarie

    May 27, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    The power of the Holy Spirit through your enlightenment. Thanks alot for the broad explanation of the gift of the Holy Spirit and it’s differentiation from personal talents.
    As student in the school of the Holy Spirit, I pray you to help clarify the issue that the grace of faith, hope and love are equally given unlike charism.
    Ones again thank you for this wonderful teaching of the diversification of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the common good of the church.

    1. Fr John-Mary Atep

      May 27, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      “There is one Body, one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, over all, through all and within all” (Eph. 4:4-6). Everybody that is baptized and confirmed is given the same faith, hope and love of the Lord. The foregoing are based on essentiality. Recall that the three gifts are meant for us to live here and in eternity. In ultimate eternity, faith and hope will cease and love will prevail forever. Charisms are temporarily given for the good of others and they will decline with time. But love will remain here and beyond. So, we are all given the opportunity to access the same faith, hope and love but Charisms are allotted based on their need by the Holy Spirit.

  • Louis Mathias

    May 27, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Holy Spirit please give us the right disposition to develop our Talents and Chrism for the common good of humanity and Sanctification of our souls. Thanks so much for sharing Fr

    1. AndyMarie

      May 28, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Padre for the clarification

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