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When we think of spiritual gifts, we may think of things like wisdom, faith, or healing. But there are also gifts referred to as charisms, which are often overlooked in our discussions of spiritual gifts in the Church.

This begs the question: why do we not hear more about charisms in the Church?

One reason for this might be the lack of understanding or emphasis put on the Holy Spirit in modern-day Christianity. The early Christian Church placed a great emphasis on the Holy Spirit and its manifestation in their lives. The Holy Spirit was seen as the guide and facilitator of the early Church’s mission. But as the Church grew and became more institutionalized, there was a shift towards building hierarchies and addressing theological issues. This shift caused a natural move away from focusing on the Holy Spirit’s immediate presence to long-term goals and teaching specific truths. Charisms were seen as important in the early Church, but became less central as the Church developed.

Another reason might be the lack of vocabulary and theory to talk about spiritual growth and charisms. While pastors and theologians may have knowledge of spiritual gifts and their importance, the average churchgoer may not have had the opportunity to learn about these topics. This can make it difficult to recognize and identify the charisms that the Holy Spirit has given them.Additionally, fear and shame can play a role in preventing individuals from sharing about their charisms. Some may feel like their gifts are not good enough or fear being judged by others. Others may not even realize they have a charism because it is not something that has been emphasized in their faith community.

So how can we bring more attention to charisms in the Church? It starts with education and intentional conversations about the Holy Spirit and its role in our lives. It also requires creating a safe and welcoming environment where individuals can share about their charisms without fear of judgment or shame. It’s important to have a vocabulary and theory to talk about spiritual gifts and charisms so that people can identify, value, and invest to bring the Holy Spirit with them and help bring change in the church.It’s time for the Church to reclaim its emphasis on charisms and empower individuals to pursue the expression of their charisms.

Let’s encourage each other to identify the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given us, invest in them, and use them for God’s glory.

Start your own charism discernment journey by taking our Charism Assessment right here.

LEARN ABOUT THE CHARISMS

Tap here to learn more about what charisms are, how we get them, and read through our frequently asked questions.

TAKE A CHARISM ASSESSMENT

Tap here to begin your own journey of charism discernment by taking our online Catholic charisms test.

GO ON A VIRTUAL RETREAT

Tap here to take our full on-demand Charism Discernment Retreat, led by our director, Jill Simons.