The Power of a Word of the Year

For many people, choosing a word of the year has become a meaningful practice. It serves as a focal point, guiding and shaping their experiences throughout the year. Whether it’s “growth,” “courage,” or “hope,” these words hold significance and are intended to inspire and bring clarity to one’s journey.

Understanding Charisms

In the context of the Catholic faith, charisms refer to spiritual gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Discerning one’s charisms allows individuals to recognize how the Holy Spirit is actively working in their lives and how they can contribute to building the Church. Embracing charisms is a deeply personal and spiritual process that holds immense value for individuals seeking to align their lives with their faith and purpose.

Charisms as Your Word of the Year

Imagine the fusion of these two powerful practices—a word of the year and the awareness of one’s charisms. By choosing a charism as your word of the year, you bring intentional focus to the manifestation of that particular spiritual gift in your life. This intentional focus can spark a deeper connection with the charism, leading to a more profound understanding of how it can be actively lived out in various facets of your life.

Embracing Active Charisms

When selecting a charism as your word of the year, consider the active aspect of the spiritual gift. For example, if your discerned charism is “healing,” your word of the year could be “heal.” Likewise, if “leadership” is one of your charisms, “lead” could be your word of the year. This approach can serve as a consistent reminder of the partnership the Holy Spirit calls you to engage in, to actively utilize your charism for the benefit of others and the Church.

Alignment and Intention

The conscious choice to align your word of the year with your discerned charism fosters alignment and intentionality in your spiritual journey. It signifies a deliberate effort to integrate your spiritual gifts into your everyday life, increasing awareness and intention in utilizing these gifts for the greater good.

In conclusion, choosing a charism as your word of the year holds the potential to deepen your understanding of the spiritual gifts you have received and how they can be actively lived out. This intentional fusion of spirituality and personal growth can pave the way for a transformative and purposeful year, where your charisms serve as guiding stars, illuminating your path and enriching the lives of those around you.

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.

Jill Simons:

Hello. Welcome to today’s episode of the Charisms for Catholics podcast. I’m really excited to be talking with you today about something I’ve come to really love, which is the practice of doing a word of the year for every year. So I, as many of you know, I own another company that’s called Pink Salt Riot, where we really focus on kind of the identity piece of the puzzle. And at Pink Salt Riot every year for the last, I wanna say it’s been like 5 or 6 years. We’ve been doing custom word of the year pieces where we will use our in house laser to create a custom piece of jewelry that you can wear throughout the year keep your word of the year really close to your heart. And so since we’ve started doing that, I have really taken the practice so much more seriously in my own life. And it’s really interesting because when I look back through my history of words of the year, I really see just everything that that year was about encompassed in that word and it’s really beautiful because I usually spend like December and and if I haven’t been listening particularly well the month of January also listening to what it is that God wants my word to be and then spend the rest of the year kind of walking with that word.

Jill Simons:

And so as I was preparing those things this year, I was thinking about something that I hadn’t really thought about before, which is the idea of using either one of your charisms or kind of the verb have one of your charisms as your word of the year. And this solves a really important problem that a lot of people have with charisms, which is that pesky forgetfulness that we all struggle with after the fall. So many people, for whatever reason, really struggle to remember what their charisms are. And using either the word itself or kind of an adjacent version of the word as your word of the year, can be a really beautiful way to bring that attention, that intention to are living out of that place this year. And so, this isn’t something that I am personally doing this year. My word of the year, though it is adjacent sent to a charism. So I actually did pick a word of the year that is a charism, but not because it’s a charism. It’s because what I feel like God is doing right now in my life, my word of the year for 2024 is healing because there’s a lot of things that just kind of bubble to the surface throughout 2023, especially physical things.

Jill Simons:

So, I had a very traumatic birth with my youngest child who’s 18 months old and there’s just been a lot of physical things since that birth that have really been making a lot of things more difficult than they had been, really, before I had that child. And so, I have really felt God preparing the soil for healing on that front, kind of moving forward from that experience and being able to just kind of, I’m hoping, I’m praying, regain some control and some regularity to how my actual body functions. But I and I really chose it to be in that kind of receiving place, that surrendering place. But if, let’s say, healing was one of your charisms, maybe a great word of the year would be heal. Something that has a little bit more of an active connotation really reminding you of the partnership that the Holy spirit is inviting you to make with him to heal his people. Maybe if, like me, you have a leadership charism, maybe lead is maybe you feel like this is the year that that is really gonna break open for you, that the Holy Spirit has more for you on that front. Maybe throughout 2023 in discernment there was one that really rose to the top or there was one charism that you really wanted to grow in, even if it wasn’t necessarily your most prevalent one at the time. All of these things make great words of the year.

Jill Simons:

And I just really invite you to think about how you can incorporate that into 2024 and maybe you have have a regular word of the year and then a charism word of the year or something like that if you’ve already picked your word of the year, but also like this idea. There’s no law that you can’t have different versions or a couple different options for your word of the year. And I think that all of this is really valuable insofar as it’s a tool for what we’re talking about, a tool for memory. And that is ultimately what we’re looking for all throughout the post discernment process, we’re looking at how can we create tools for ourselves that fit how our brains work, how our lives function, that keep us in that place of remembering that this is the role for us to fulfill because this is where we all get into trouble, right? In the lack of remembering. You don’t have to look any further than the Old Testament to really dig into the the struggles of not remembering. I remember how much it blew my mind when I realized and when I was taught, I should say, that the Israelites in Egypt in slavery had been in slavery so long that they were not, like, waiting for the God of Abraham to rescue them. They had kind of forgotten about him. A lot of them were what I would probably call culturally really maybe worshiped even Egyptian gods and things like that because their family had been there for so long that there was this forgetting of the God of their forefathers, and we see this all throughout the Israelites’ history.

Jill Simons:

Right? They’re forgetting all the time, Forgetting all the things. And so, in the book of Jeremiah, God has a little bit of an antidote to this that he wants them to embrace, which is this idea of taking twelve stones from the Jordan River and setting them up where people will see them and essentially he says, I want your kids to ask you, why are those there? That’s obviously not a natural formation so that you have to tell the story again and again. And that’s what we wanna do with our charisms. We wanna see where can we take and set up the stones in our own lives that bring our awareness over and over again back to what it is that God has done and is doing in us through the gifts that he has given us. Because as as you can imagine, that’s really low hanging fruit for the devil, right? To just just try and like gloss over what you’ve discerned, kind of make it easy to forget, make it something that just kind of slips your mind because if you can’t keep you from discerning it, if you can’t keep you from having it, if you if you can’t keep you from incidentally doing it every once in a while. At least maybe he can draw your attention away, so that your intention is much more diffused, not as aligned with what the Holy Spirit is doing.

Jill Simons:

And so choosing a word of the year that aligns with your charisms is just one of many tools that you might choose to use to continue to draw your attention to what your charisms are and how you can use them. If you choose a word of the year, I’d love to hear about it. I’d love to hear if you do decide to make one of your charisms your word of the year, and you can email me anytime at hello@manypartsministries.com. And speaking of email, I want to finish out this episode by sharing some great news with you that we are growing here at Many Parts Ministries. We are hiring for two virtual positions right now, both are part time, but the option is definitely there for the hours to expand as we grow and how I do things in general as an entrepreneur is I create roles that fit the needs of the company and also the needs of the individual. So if you are have, you know, perfect availability for part time, but you wouldn’t necessarily be interested in something larger, I still encourage you to apply, that is just fine. We would rather create little jobs that fit people perfectly, being able to support their vocation, use their charisms, versus arbitrarily saying one person has to do all of these things and making it something that’s not fit for people. So, regardless of whether you would like more hours or this is gonna be just perfect for you, I encourage you to apply for our open ministries assistant and community manager positions.

Jill Simons:

If you would like to check out more, you can head to e.ManyPartsMinistries.com. The link is also in our description and you can check out the open jobs available. And if you are listening to this episode in the future, when these jobs are long filled, you can always check out whatever jobs we have available at that same link. They will always be posted there whatever openings we have, but we are going to be accepting applications through January 17, 2024 for these positions and then we are going to begin our interview process. So check it out. If it’s of interest to you, we would love to make use of your charisms in helping us continue to grow, reach more people, and equip even more Catholics to live in light of their charisms. I hope that you have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon.

Jill Simons:

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 by taking our charism assessment.