Reflection on charisms and sacraments from the ‘Soul Institute’ the Bow is an image of the hierarchical and charismatic gifts working togther

Vatican 2 said that God renews His Church through the hierarchical and charismatic gifts. Vatican 2 was restoring the theology of charismatic gifts to the Church’s vocabulary. However, so often hierarchical gifts and charismatic gifts of the spirit are places in opposition to each other. As if we have to choose one or the other.

In truth there is no opposition between the hierarchical and charismatic gifts. I hope this image help illustrates my point. The bow is an image of the hierarchical and charismatic gifts of the spirit working together. The bow is an image of stability and tension working together. The bow needs the stability of the firm piece of wood and the tension of the string working together to make a prized bow.

Another example, at a recent talk by Father Cole OP, he mentioned how a priest is called to use the charisms when he is hearing confessions. In order for confession to be more fruitful the priest is called to exercise charisms such as; encouragement, reading hearts, discernment of spirits and many others. This example of using the charisms can be applied to any of the sacraments. Not only are charisms and sacraments not in opposition, they are meant to work in unison together.

Another thought. In the Church’s teaching on prayer she teaches that contemplation is a gift from God. That no one can merit the gift of contemplation. It is a pure gift of God. When the Church teaches that contemplation is a gift from God, she is saying that contemplation is a charism of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer from the day
Holy Spirit grant me the charism of contemplation in prayer
I know that I do not deserve this wonderful gift
But I know that you greatly desire to pour this gift on your sons and daughters
Holy Spirit teach me to be still in prayer
And pour into my heart today the gift of contemplation in prayer

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