Grace to you!
In preparation for the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit this Sunday, we have been prayerfully reflecting on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Our particular focus this year is on the charismatic gifts. Today, I will provide a list of gifts so as to jumpstart your prayerful considerations in identifying your own gifts and hopefully in using them for the glory of God and for service.
If we understand that the gifts, especially the charismatics gifts, are given by the Lord for service, we have to know that the list below isn’t exhaustive. God gifts, depending on the need of each time, hence the commonly known gifts, don’t exhaust what God gives. God gives more than we know.
Here is a spiritual principle you have to bear in mind. In terms of charismatic gifts, God gifts willing human instruments when the need for a particular gift arises. Are you ready to be that willing instrument the Lord would use to provide for your church and community? Are you going to be like Saint Paul, for instance, who applied the gifts of discernment, wisdom and elocution in testifying to the power of the resurrection before a heated up and antagonistic audience (Acts 23:6-11)? Are you going to be that person through whom God’s glory and gifts shine in the community? It’s joy to say yes to God.
You may use an economics analogy of demand and supply to elucidate this idea. When need arises, the Lord, the provident God, supplies “according to his richness in Christ” (Phil 4:19). No one outdoes God in generous provision.
The list below is drawn from Scripture and magisterial writings. Namely, Is 11:1-2; 1 Cor. 12; Rom 12:6; Eph. 4:11; Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium nn. 4and 12; Catechism of the Catholic Church nn.767-801;851, 2003-2004;2702-2703. As you go through the list, see if you can identify some of your particular gifts. I won’t explain each of the gifts or give a detailed theological treatment on the nature and structure. This is a project for another work in the making.
You may want to keep an inventory of how you have been putting the gifts to work in service of God and your neighbor. Remember that gifts given are not to be hidden. They are generously given by the Lord to be used to serve.
I would begin with the seven traditional gifts of the Holy Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear or awe of the Lord. In the previous year, I had reflected on these traditional gifts. Other gifts include administration, teaching, preaching, evangelization, leadership, discernment, power of reading souls, faith, healings, miracles, exorcism, deliverance, prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, giving or almsgiving, mercy (compassion), service or ministry, exhortation, elocution, holy levitation, bilocation, helping, intercession, encouragement, and numerous others which arise depending on the need situation.
A word of encouragement as you pray for the renewing and gifting presence of the Holy Spirit. One of the things you have to avoid is allowing fear in your mind. Entertaining fear could discourage you from using your gifts. Learn from the saints and great men and women who have led the way in this matter. No need to second guess yourself when you know the gifts you have received. Every gift comes with a hazard. Don’t be deterred because of the hazards. Get to work. Serve the Lord and one another with your gifts.
Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, give me the grace to identify my gifts and the willingness and courage to use them for your glory and for service. Amen.
Continue praying the Novena, Come Holy Spirit.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday Easter Week 7: Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Jn 17:20-26]
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.