With an emphasis on the supernatural element of this gift, traditional artistic expressions do not limit craftsmanship. Rather, it empowers individuals to display God’s goodness to the world through the pursuit of beauty and order. We see many examples of this spiritual gift of craftsmanship throughout the Bible, not least of which Jesus and St. Joseph were carpenters.

Embracing the Charism of Craftsmanship

Firstly, craftsmanship is not just about having a natural talent or skill. It is about the extraordinary effects that can be created when the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit is infused into our creative abilities. Versatility reflects the broader nature of this charism, encouraging individuals to invest in greater skill across different areas of craftsmanship. The gift of craftsmanship can be seen in the Bible during the Transfiguration, when St. Peter wanted to construct tents.

Venturing into the Unknown

One noteworthy aspect is the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones to allow the Holy Spirit to work. Obviously, when we venture into unfamiliar realms, where technical knowledge may be lacking, we create a space for the Holy Spirit to manifest in unexpected ways. True creativity flourish here, as the limitations of our understanding are surpassed by divine inspiration. We can see this in the gift of craftsmanship in the Bible, maybe especially when Noah built the ark.

Embracing Imperfection and Failure

Accordingly, perfectionism often plagues those with the craftsmanship charism, as their work is continually put in front of others. Failures and mistakes do not invalidate the charism. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit uses even perceived failures in ways that we may not fully understand. The key is to surrender to the Holy Spirit to allow grace to transform our craftsmanship and bring it to the next level. We see the gift of craftsmanship in the Bible in the disciples who were fishermen and crafting their nets how Jesus asked them to.

Serving the Church and Others

Finally, craftsmanship goes beyond personal satisfaction; it is about serving the larger Church and benefiting others within it. By creating works that reflect the beauty, order, and goodness of God, those with the charism of craftsmanship invite others to experience the divine in tangible ways. In the gift of craftsmanship in the Bible, Jesus and St. Joseph are our models of this through their carpentry.

Craftsmanship, rather, transcends traditional labels and empowers individuals to unleash the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit through their creative abilities. By surrendering to the divine and serving the larger community, those with the charism of craftsmanship can bring beauty, order, and goodness to the world. They continue the tradition of the gift of craftsmanship that we see in the Bible.

Learn more at Many Parts Ministries.

Jill Simons [00:00:00]:

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 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. We are talking about craftsmanship, which is a beautiful charism. It’s one of mine and I’m probably going to make it probably too clear as I record this series which ones are mine because they’re probably the ones that I will speak about with the greatest affection because I’m very aware of the good in them. Though, I know obviously of the good in all of them. But when we look at craftsmanship a lot of people will self select out of craftsmanship because they feel like they don’t fit into this kind of picture perfect, Renaissance sculptor kind of view of what craftsmanship is. But in reality, craftsmanship is a charism about empowering an individual to show God’s goodness to the world very specifically through beauty.

Jill Simons [00:01:23]:

But there’s also the aspect of bringing order to the chaos and helping things to make sense to people through these talents that you are given in the charism of craftsmanship. And this is a great example of where grace builds on nature because typically people will have a natural inclination towards one or several expressions of craftsmanship. Maybe it’s woodworking, maybe it’s dance, maybe it’s hairstyling, maybe it’s graphic design, maybe it’s quilting. Maybe it’s photography. I mean, there’s really just this endless list of possible expressions for pursuit of beauty and order and bringing that into other people’s lives. But there’s this natural inclination on our part typically to one or several of those that then this charism comes and sort of lays on top of. And that’s the best way to think about it, I think, is that you have this natural inclination towards creating beauty in a very specific way. But then when you have the charism of craftsmanship there’s like this cloak that is over that natural talent that just really gives it a lot of extra oomph and the ability to have supernatural effects of that.

Jill Simons [00:02:43]:

There are a few working visual artists that I know that I’m going to embarrass by calling them out. Kate Capado is a painter, a sacred art painter working right now who I think it’s so incredibly obvious from her work that she has this charism. Skillful painter, technically very talented, but what happens to people when they interact with her work and look at her paintings is where we see this charism at play. She is able to co-create with the Holy Spirit when she paints, in a way that allows people to really enter into the experience of what they’re viewing. And she paints primarily sacred images. So images of the Holy Family, images of saints, a lot of bespoke work for churches, things like that. I will link her in the notes here because her work is wonderful and I want to just share it with as many people as possible. But it’s a really great example of what I’m talking about where there is obviously a level of skill in her craft and that is not the automatic,

Jill Simons [00:04:06]:

yes, you have a charism just because you have the skill. The charism is in the effect and really the order and beauty that it’s able to bring into other people’s lives. We’re always returning to that idea of how is it serving the larger Church? How are other people in the Church benefiting from this person doing the thing that the Holy Spirit is asking them to do? And that’s where it is with craftsmanship, is the other people are experiencing the beauty of God, the order of God, those transcendentals, the goodness of God when they interact with what you have brought into the world, what you have created. And so I have this charism. I love using creative ability to be able to bring things into the world. And this has looked different in different parts of my life. And so that’s another thing. I really encourage people with this charism to not say I am a painter and this is my charism.

Jill Simons [00:05:07]:

And so this charism is always going to be expressed through painting or I’m a dancer and it’s always going to be dance. The charism is a lot broader than you are. And so when you invest in greater skill in more areas of craftsmanship, that charism is going to influence all of that. It’s going to come into the whole spectrum of your creative ability and be able to be active in whatever area. And so that’s why we encourage in our thousand and one ways to use your charisms, we encourage people with this charism to use to be artistic, essentially to be creative in ways that are not just their one native way because that opens new doors to the Holy Spirit. And there’s actually something really cool that happens when you venture into a realm where you don’t necessarily have the level of technical skill or technical knowledge that you might about something else. You really create a space where you can be fully aware of how much it’s the Holy Spirit doing the work when you don’t have the technical foundation that you might expect to be necessary to do work at that level.

Jill Simons [00:06:31]:

And so, just like anybody else, I think this is another thing that doesn’t get said enough about all the charisms. Just like anybody else, someone with the craftsmanship charism isn’t going to have every single, creative, beauty-filled endeavor in their lives be a triumph, be successful. They’re going to be dud paintings and bad hairdos and fall in their dance and things like that. Those things don’t invalidate the charism. I come across a lot of people that are very performance-oriented in this particular charism. I think that makes a lot of sense because you’re doing a lot of performance, you’re putting your work in front of people. And so that was where a lot of my struggles sprung from in really having a healthy identity, because I was constantly being in front of people through my works of craftsmanship. And it has been very helpful for me to frequently reflect on the way that a charism is not a guarantee that everything’s going to be perfect.

Jill Simons [00:07:43]:

A charism is a promise that the Holy Spirit is going to show up, and that doesn’t always look like showing up in the perfection. Sometimes the Holy Spirit shows up in the imperfection and does a thing that we did not foresee. Does something different than what we would expect based on our historical data of us engaging in our art. And so I encourage you to not devalue this in yourself. If you are someone who feels like craftsmanship might be one of your charisms, but you can point to places that you’ve failed or you point to duds that you’ve created, that doesn’t invalidate the charism. The Holy Spirit can still use those things that we perceive to be failures in a whole bunch of ways that we don’t even understand. And we’re looking at where is the general trend? If people are encountering goodness and encountering the transcendentals through your work, it’s highly likely that you have a craftsmanship charism. And just like we’ve talked about with all of them, it can be something, regardless of whether it’s your charism or not, that you bring to the Holy Spirit. Maybe it’s something that he’s inviting you to surrender a little bit more before that grace is really fully received to take it to the next level.

Jill Simons [00:09:08]:

And so if this is an important part of your life, if creation of art is something valuable to you, this is something to press into whether you have formally completed your discernment process or not. Because we know that this is somewhere that the Holy Spirit wants to move and that he empowers people to move. And with that courage, that trust of a child, we can just go into it saying, then why not me? Why not use me, Lord? Because I’m here to be a little paintbrush in your hand, and I am ready for you to do whatever you want with that. 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.