Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 26 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Joachim and Anne
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Pentecost: How to cultivate the charisms you’ve been given


bruce mars/Unsplash | CC0

Edifa - published on 05/31/20

Your charisms are different than your talents and must be fanned into flame in order to change the world.

The Holy Spirit has the capacity to attribute spiritual gifts or charisms (wisdom, words of knowledge, increased faith, capacity to heal, perform miracles, speaking and interpreting various tongues, the gifts of prophecy, and discernment).This is exactly what happened to the apostles when the flames descended on them on the day of Pentecost. Whether extraordinary or commonplace, these charisms must be primarily placed in the service of the Lord and of His Church. But first, they must be carefully cultivated!

People have always been fascinated by fire — the wet scent of night, the hiss of logs burning, the crackling flames. A flame is like a living entity. It exists and then it doesn’t. It consumes things around it.

The way the Holy Spirit operates within us is no different: the Spirit kindles, burns, rises, and consumes. It cannot be put out. It’s invisible but illuminates us. When the logs blacken, the Holy Spirit escapes. How intoxicating and frustrating it is!

Distinguishing between talents and charisma

People like talking about charisms. But they don’t always do this with understanding. The charisms are not some form of Christian magic; they’re the fruits of baptism, the sacrament that every Christian adult receives but has forgotten about. But baptism is a sacrament that forever transforms our hearts.Each of us has received charisms from the Holy Spirit. Their manifestations, including the most spectacular ones, are renewed in the sacrament of confirmation. But are we aware of this?

We must distinguish between talent and charisma. A talent is a blessing that can turn one into a saint. A charism is a blessing that gives us the gift of inspiring others to become saints. Often charisms are seen as a complement to our human talents. The Holy Spirit elevates us much higher than we could have ever imagined, but based on what we already are. For example, the silver-tongued St. Paul became an apostle of Christ.

The secrets of cultivating charismatic gifts

Still, it would be wrong to ignore that talents and charisms must be strengthened by virtue. Virtue will put them into use. Prayerfulness is a virtue that must be cultivated daily or it will be lost. A fire doesn’t feed fire, it must be fed.

Brother Thierry-Dominique Humbrech


Read more:
8 Creative ways to celebrate Pentecost as a family

Holy Spirit

Read more:
If you are exhausted, pray to the Holy Spirit for help

Holy Spirit
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
See More