Charismatic Gifts: The Gifts You Receive to Give Away

An altar piece of a dove. Text: by Erin Butler

When we receive the sacrament of Confirmation, each of us is blessed to receive the sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit:

  1. Wisdom
  2. Understanding
  3. Knowledge
  4. Counsel
  5. Fortitude
  6. Piety
  7. Fear of the Lord

But did you know that there are other gifts that the Holy Spirit can bestow? These are known as charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, and they can include (but are not limited to) gifts such as:

  • healing
  • working miracles
  • prophecy
  • discernment of spirits
  • tongues
  • interpretation of tongues
  • service
  • teaching
  • acts of mercy

St. Paul talks about these gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and Romans 12:6-8, and many individuals throughout the Church’s history have shown their own use of a variety of gifts to the glory of God.

Having a particular charismatic gift does not mean that a person is holier than someone else. The Holy Spirit bestows charismatic gifts as he sees fit, and these gifts are always given to help us fulfill the individual mission God has given us. For example, a person might have the gift of prophecy, and God will call that person to use prophecy in a special way on his or her journey of holiness. That person has not received the gift of prophecy for his or her own benefit or for some worldly good; rather, that gift is meant to be given away to bring even more people to Christ. God uses all his gifts for good, and we can participate in that when we let the Holy Spirit work through us.

The beauty of the Church is that each person, with his or her individual gifts, contributes to a cohesive whole: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Each part of the body has a special function, and the body can only work as a whole when all the parts are present and working together.

As we approach the feast of Pentecost and remember that first descent of the Holy Spirit, we pray for the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church. May we open our hearts to all the gifts the Holy Spirit wishes to bestow so that we might glorify God and draw all his people to him.


Charismatic Gifts: The Gifts You Receive to Give Away