The Charisms Of The Holy Spirit ( In Perspective) (Part 3)
Last week we explored the ‘Seven Gifts’ of the Holy Spirit. We learned that these seven gifts manifest in a stronger way when we make our Confirmation. They help us to grow in personal virtue and with making the correct decisions in life.
In part three we want to move on to the Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit as found in (1Corinthians 12). We should not consider that the ‘charisms’ are limited, there are thousands of them, however, here we are discussing those mentioned by St Paul.
The charisms show a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit among us, for instance, healing, deliverance, miracles, prophecy, praying in tongues, speaking in tongues, the gift of faith, knowledge and wisdom, teaching, preaching.
Why Do We Need These Gifts:
We need the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit” because Christian communities across the world face significant difficulties, this is most apparent in the west where we witness a great falling away from Christianity.
They also help administratively, through proper discernment, knowledge and wisdom in making correct decisions according to God’s will.
The Charismatic gifts are proactive as well as protective, and we need to be open to them. They show a direct intervention of the Holy Spirit as we evangelise, teach, preach, pray for healing and seek the direction of God’s will. The gifts help us to serve God and each other the bring encouragement as well as upbuilding to the community of the Church.
They help us recognise every false ideology, false teaching and give us the means to address them.
The Gifts of The Holy Spirit In Context
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are essential in helping us establish a deeper relationship with God. (#1831)
There are two main groupings of gifts. 1) The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. 2) The charismatic gifts. The first group focuses on the sanctification of the individual and the second focuses on the building up of the body of Christ.
The seven gifts Catholics are familiar with when we are making our confirmation can be read in (Isaiah 11:2-3). They are fear, piety, fortitude, knowledge, understanding, counsel, and wisdom. The primary function of these seven gifts is to purify us. They help us to grow in personal holiness or virtue.
They also make us docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and so they form an essential role in preparing us to be open to the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. ( 1Corinthians 12).
The charismatic gifts are the very tools we need to build up the Church community. Some of these extraordinary gifts are faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning spirits, the gift of tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
An understanding of each of these two categories of gifts and how they apply to our lives is essential if we are to make a real impact in the world around us. For example: how can God trust us with the charismatic gift of healing if we are not growing in personal holiness.
We will explore these two categories of gifts a little more in my next article.
The Gifts of The Holy Spirit In Context. ( Part two of three articles). The Seven Gifts Of The Holy Spirit.
The Seven Gifts Of The Holy Spirit -What We Should Aim For
Too often in these times, we see a world out of control. So much corruption, addictions, crime, misunderstanding, greed, immorality. It appears humankind has lost its noble character as well as its sense of dignity as the values that reflect the image of God.
We cannot live without being blessed by God. Virtue then is not an old-fashioned word. Virtue is the perfect balance between the human and the divine. God entrusts every grace to those who work and pray toward growing in virtue.
Catholics believe that the baptised, receive all of the graces. As we grow in our Christian faith, these God’s grace begins to manifest more deeply in our life.
Confirmation means that we are personally acknowledging our belief in the triune God. To help us grow in virtue and make a correct decision in life, the Holy Spirit releases within us the seven gifts fear, piety, fortitude, knowledge, understanding, counsel, and wisdom.
1) The ‘gift of fear’ really means a profound reverence for God. This gift fills us with a sense of deep love for God so much so that we do not want to displease Him.
The gift of fear or (deep reverence) helps us to desire and try to live up to a Christian standard, so it helps us perfect the virtue of temperance. According to Scripture, it is also the beginning of wisdom.(Proverbs 9:10).
2) The gift of piety inspires to respect and love others. It fills us with a loving affection for all things Godly as well as for God. It transforms religious practice into joyful service to God. The gift of piety helps us grow in the virtue of justice.
3) Fortitude means courageous endurance especially in the face of adversity. It strengthens us against our natural fears. Fortitude provides us with the energy and resolves to endure every tribulation in life. It perfect in us the virtue of courage.
4) The gift of knowledge perfects the virtue of hope. This gift enables us to see created things for what they are and place them in proper relation to God. When we know the true value and worth of created things we are better able to use them for their true purpose.
5) The gift of understanding perfects the virtue of faith. Understanding is necessary if we are to discover more profound meaning in our faith transforming it into a compelling testimony to the world around us.
6) The gift of counsel perfects the virtue of prudence (cautiousness) ) This gift helps us to make proper judgements. It also enables us to apply the gift of knowledge and understanding to circumstances that confront us in our daily life.
7) The gift of wisdom is the highest and most perfect of the seven gifts. It brings enlightenment to mind and directs it toward God. The gift of wisdom strengthens faith, fortifies hope, and perfects the virtue of love.
Next Article we will discuss the Charisms Of The Holy Spirit, Their Purpose.