As I have grown in my own journey of intentional discipleship with Jesus, a discernment of charisms has helped deepen my relationship and mission with Him. This discernment of my unique charisms awakened in me how the Holy Spirit presently works in my life for the good of others. Through these unique charisms, the Holy Spirit is working to evangelize others by carrying God’s grace into their hearts. So, to answer the question “How is the discernment of charisms and my journey of discipleship related?”. The answer is mission. Our unique charisms given to us by the Holy Spirit are directly related to the mission of Christ.
“the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, “allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills..By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church. These charisms…are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church.” (Vatican II Document Lumen Gentium)
Since Vatican II each pope has continued to encourage us to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to discern our charisms. Read what Saint [Pope]Paul VI states in his encyclical Apostiolicam Actuositatem about the Holy Spirit, our role in the Church as the laity, and charisms;
“For the exercise of this apostolate, the Holy Spirit Who sanctifies the people of God through ministry and the sacraments gives the faithful special gifts also (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7), “allotting them to everyone according as He wills” (1 Cor. 12:11) to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10)..From the acceptance of these charisms there arise for each believer the right and duty to use them in the Church and in the world for the good of men and the building up of the Church, in the freedom of the Holy Spirit who “breathes where He wills” (John 3:8).” (AA3)
Discerning charisms has helped me understand in a new way my participation with the Holy Spirit in His mission of sanctification. I now see how we will not be fully participating unless we discern our charisms. Saint JPII in his document Christifideles Laici which focuses on our mission as ‘the laity’ states “the discernment of charisms is always necessary.”
Years ago I didn’t even realize that this was something I needed to discern as a Catholic. I was confusing my ‘talents’ that I had been using as those being my ‘charisms’. Now I have learned and discerned they are distinctly different. In my next ‘blog post’ on charisms I will touch upon the difference between ‘talents’ and ‘charisms’.
I will leave you with these words of encouragement from Pope Francis: “The Holy Spirit also enriches the entire evangelizing Church with different charisms. These gifts are meant to renew and build up the Church.” (EG 130)
If you would like to really discover how the Holy Spirit is calling you to be part of ‘renewing and building up the Church’ I would encourage you to participate in the Called and Gifted Small Group process. Just contact me by clicking here and I will be happy to assist you with how to get started.
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