Has anyone ever told you “do you?”
They were telling you to be true to yourself.
Maybe you’ve even said it to someone else.
The psychologists tell us being authentically yourself leads to more happiness. So the phrase and mindset have grown in popularity over the past few years.
I can attest to one aspect of my life where this philosophy made me a lot happier.
Remember back in the late 70’s, early 80’s curly hair was “in?” I spent so much time curling my straight hair. Only to have it lose the curl midway through the day or that special evening.
I finally decided my straight hair just wanted to be straight. So I stopped curling it. And I let it be straight.
And sure enough, me — and my hair — are a lot happier! It didn’t hurt that straight hair came back in style too.
It’s kind of a silly example, but it perfectly describes how doing something that is authentic will come very easily, save you time, and ultimately lead to more happiness.
Here’s another example … that is not silly. The Lord has given each of us one or more graces that we are to use to build up the church — known as charisms.
Charisms are different from the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” or the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” that we also receive. Our charisms are meant to be shared with others to enhance the church.
When we discern our charisms and engage them in our lives, it comes very naturally and everything falls into place. Just like how easily Genuflect came together.
This week Genuflect will help you understand exactly what charisms are, how they work, how to discern your charisms, how your charisms can alter your life, and much more.
So you can say you’re “doing you” … with the special graces the Lord has blessed you with.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
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A charism is always deeply connected with our faith and is an expression of our relationship with God. In this way it differs from a natural or learned ability. A charism, exercised correctly, draws other people to God. Here’s how to tell what a charism is, how it differs from the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and examples.
Charisms are gifts of the Spirit used to gather, sanctify, and minister life in the Church and in the world. At least 27 gifts are listed in scripture references (Acts 2, 1 Cor 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4) covering a broad range of gifts. St. Paul lists nine examples of the Spirit’s manifestations in 1 Cor 12:4-11.
What are the charisms of the Holy Spirit, the supernatural gifts of grace, how do we receive and exercise them, and how can be sure that we think are spiritual gifts from God are not just a result of our own imagination and emotion? A theologian answers these questions based on Scripture, Church teaching, and his own personal experience.
How many charisms exist? How do charisms differ from natural talents? Why should I discern my charism? See answers to these and several more important questions about charisms.
Do you follow a Rule of Life? Is there a systematic way that you practice your faith in the public square? Do you share in these same practices with a community through which you find companionship and accountability? Here are the five Rules that have been accepted by the Catholic Church.
God calls each one of us to a work of love that fills your life with purpose and joy. Discerning your charisms can help you discover that call. Charisms are spiritual gifts that are given to us to be given away, to be used and, in the using are a sign of God’s loving presence in the world. Discerning your gifts can be done in “six easy steps.”
The Spiritual Gifts Inventory can help identify which spiritual gifts you have been blessed with and are challenged to use in living out your baptismal call to build up the Kingdom of God. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to take the inventory but a whole lifetime to use your spiritual gifts.
Would you be surprised to learn that you have been given charisms? According to Catholic teaching, it is the faith of the church that you possess one or more of the charisms.
The Holy Spirit gives all baptized Christians particular graces for their benefit and the greater good of all. However a person discerns their charism, it can be one of the most life-changing events.
If we do not live out our charisms, we will not see the fruit God intends in our lives and parishes. Sherry Weddell challenges us to rethink parish life and change its culture. “We have observed over the years that the cultural norm in place in most parishes unintentionally suppresses and impedes the spiritual growth and conversion of many.”
Carrie Manabat shows us how to distinguish charisms from the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit which come to us sacramentally in Confirmation, and how to identify the particular charisms with which we have been gifted by the Holy Spirit: those particular individual powers which we are called upon as lay people to use for the good of the Body of Christ, his Church.
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