Discovering and Understanding Charisms

Charisms, also known as spiritual gifts, are unique qualities and abilities that the Holy Spirit bestows upon individuals to enable them to serve others and build the church. Each person possesses different charisms, and understanding them can lead to a deeper awareness of how the Holy Spirit is actively at work in their lives. When we discern our charisms, it unlocks a pathway for us to embrace our role in sharing God’s love with the world.

Embracing the Lenten Season for Discernment

The Lenten season offers a significant period of reflection and spiritual growth. It is a time when many people choose to abstain from certain distractions, creating space for deeper discernment and reflection. This time of intentional focus can provide an excellent opportunity to embark on a discernment journey to better understand and embrace our charisms. As we commit to aligning our discernment process with the Lenten season, we can use this period to seek ways to serve the church and our communities using our unique spiritual gifts.

Responding to Suffering and Hardship

A crucial aspect of understanding and embracing our charisms is recognizing how we can use them to bring God’s love and comfort to those experiencing suffering and hardship. The world is filled with individuals facing various challenges, and our charisms can serve as a vehicle for us to embody God’s presence in their lives. Whether it’s consoling the bereaved, supporting the marginalized, or uplifting the downtrodden, our charisms provide us with the means to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others during their most trying times.

Living in the Present Moment

It’s important to remember that grace is not confined to the past or the future; it is with us in the present. When we encounter unfamiliar or daunting situations, we should learn to rely on the grace available to us through our charisms. By acknowledging that grace is essential in navigating challenging moments, we can approach these situations with a readiness to serve others and bring God’s love into their lives.

Building a Strong Connection with God

A vital foundation for effectively embracing our charisms lies in maintaining a deep and intimate bond with God. Prioritizing regular confession, engaging in personal conversations with God, and participating in the sacraments strengthen our connection with the divine. This, in turn, enhances our ability to utilize our charisms to bring love and comfort to those in need, ensuring that the lines of grace are unobstructed and readily accessible in moments of difficulty.

The journey of embracing our charisms involves recognizing the unique gifts bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit, aligning our discernment with the Lenten season, responding to the suffering of others, living in the present moment, and nurturing a strong connection with God. By doing so, we can harness the power of our charisms to bring comfort, love, and hope to those who need it the most, ultimately manifesting God’s presence in the world.

Jill Simons:

Hello, and welcome to Charisms for Catholics. My name is Jill Simons, and I’m the executive director at Many Parts Ministries where we equip the Body of Christ by helping people learn about and discern their charisms, which is really another word for spiritual gifts. When you discern your charisms, you’re are able to see how the Holy Spirit is already active in your life and where he is inviting you to further build the Church. Let’s dive in. Hello, and happy Lent. I hope that you had a great Ash Wednesday yesterday and that you are ready and raring to go for a spiritually growth filled Lent. A lot of people have asked us if we are doing a special program for Lent and we are not doing anything that is very specific to Lent, but this is an incredible time for you to really focus on discerning, especially if you’re cutting other things that that kind of otherwise take up time out of your life. This is a great time to go through a really, aware discernment process that leads to a great commitment process that you can line up with passion or with Palm Sunday or Holy Week or Easter itself and just have a really beautiful jumping off point into committing to charisms really beautifully.

Jill Simons:

Today, we’re gonna be talking about how we can use our charisms to really make God present to the suffering in the world. How we can make God present to as love to people that need him. I think this is a really empowering way need to view your charisms and also a great road map when you’re in deer in the headlight situations where you don’t know what it is you’re supposed to do. This is going back to this idea of what it is that you bring into a room and also thinking about what it is that God tells Moses when he is equipping him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He tells Moses, don’t worry about what it is you’re gonna say. Don’t preplan. Don’t get this all power pointed out in advance. I want you to stay in the moment with me because that is where I’m gonna provide for you.

Jill Simons:

Said another way, Grace is not in the past. Grace is not out in the future where we can’t get it. It is in this moment with us. And so thinking about, like, oh, in this situation, I’m gonna exhaustively plan what I’m gonna do is frequently not helpful because the situation often ends up being different than what you imagined and that is really relying on your own power in those situations. Now is it good to think through the the social and moral questions that arise in our culture. Absolutely. We want to know what it is that the Church teaches. We wanna know how to express things with charity and love at the center, but preplanning an entire conversation is not what that is it’s simply knowing what it is that the truth is about those situations.

Jill Simons:

So in these situations, we want to occupy that same space that the Lord invites Moses into. We want to be aware of the fact that God’s grace is necessary for us to navigate that situation and that grace is only available to us in the present. We don’t know what it is that God would do with us in the future or, you might see somebody in a really hard situation. Maybe recently, I saw somebody who had lost a spouse that I was just, like, oh my gosh. I I can’t even fathom. I can’t even interact with being in that situation, But that is because I’m not in that situation. God’s grace is available in the assessment. And so the grace that that woman who lost her husband has available to her is not grace that I have available to me right now because I’m not in that situation.

Jill Simons:

And so more than anything, I want to build your faith and build your hope that in these most acute challenging moments, our only job is to rely more fully on grace. And to make sure that we are formed in a way where that our reaction is going to be informed by the truth. So when we are receptive to grace in the present moment, it can still be confusing about what we’re supposed to do. Right? You can say, okay. Like, I’m here, God. I’m listening to you, but, like, I don’t know. I’m not hearing you say anything, and I don’t know what it is exactly that we’re doing here. That is where knowing your charisms and being able to rely on them is incredibly, incredibly helpful because those are the spheres where grace is poured out in an extra abundance on you on a regular basis.

Jill Simons:

So for instance, I used a lot of examples that are, like, conversations that’s probably not the most accurate because there’s gonna be a much greater variety of situations that arise, that are going to line up with a much greater variety of charisms. So whatever it is that you find yourself in, when you’re In the present moment, when you’re see you know, frantically, mentally searching for God, what it is that you want want me to do here. The fallback place can be where God has told us that we can anticipate to receive his grace. So for Moses, he was really aware that he was gonna need to speak. He was going to need to go before Pharaoh and speak, and that freaked him out. But that is also where God told him explicitly that he could expect to receive grace. Right. I will teach you the words that you should say.

Jill Simons:

So, therefore, when he went into those situations, he was able to rely on just opening his mouth and expecting, believing that the promise was gonna be fulfilled there and that the grace was going to come, which it absolutely did. It is the same in our charisms. Not everyone is gonna align with having a conversation, but all of them are the places where we know that we can receive grace. And so as we’re going into these unexpected situations, especially as they’re arising in this moment itself and we have no idea what it is we’re supposed to do. You can bring to mind the question, how do I do the action of my charism here in this moment? How do I serve? How do I teach? How do I share wisdom? How do I lead? How do I pastor? How do I give? Whatever the situation is that is your specific charism. What is it that I can do that really brings grace into the situation and therefore, makes Christ present. Because that is the greatest way that we can love people.

Jill Simons:

We bring them to God. We will their good, which is the real meaning love to will the good of another. And by bringing God to them through the grace that we have received in our charisms, we have the greatest ability to love them in the way that God loves them because we were making God present to them in a unique way. So I want this more than anything to share some peace with your are to allow you to experience that fruit of the spirit that in these moments where we have no context for, we can rely on the grace of God very concretely specifically in our charisms, And keeping that in mind, living from that place, bringing that into the room, we can surrender even more greatly to what it is that God is doing and focus much, much less on what it is that we can think to do in that situation. That is going to be one of the most loving roads we can take. And of course, this place comes from got real connection and relationship that we have from God. You might have a charism for something, but if it’s if it’s been years since you have have been to confession, had a good conversation with God, taken advantage of sacraments like the Eucharist, you’re gonna still really struggle because those lines of grace are corroded. There’s a lot of stuff in the way, But if we’re taking advantage of the sacraments, if we’re going to confession, if we’re receiving the Eucharist, if we are having those intimate personal conversations and connections with God, those lines of grace are going to be slick and ready to run when the moment comes, when the hard thing arises, when we are completely out of our depth, and we can know that just as grace has sustained us in everything else, grace will sustain us there as well.

Jill Simons:

I hope you have an amazing week and a fruitful Lent and that you take these small opportunities to enter into the hardships of life, the hardships of other people with our Lord, and make him present to those that you meet. God bless you. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode of Charisms for Catholics. If you would like to learn more about your charisms or begin your own discernment journey, head to our website at ManyPartsMinistries.com where you can download our free PDF guide to all 24 charisms and also begin your own journey aim by taking our charism assessment