Teaching on Charisms From “Vita Consecrata” ‘Soul Institute’ Faithfulness to the charism

John Paul II writes in ‘Vita Consecrata’ “Faithfulness to the charism. In the first place, there is the need for the fidelity to the founding charism and subsequent spiritual heritage of each institute. It is precisely in this fidelity to the inspiration of the founders and foundresses, and inspiration which is itself a gift of the Holy Spirit, that the essential elements of the consecrated life can be more readily discerned and more fervently put into practice.

Fundamental to every charism is a threefold orientation. First, charism leads to the Father, in the filial desire to seek his will through a process of unceasing conversion, wherein obedience is the source of true freedom, chastity expresses the yearning of a heart unsatisfied by any finite love, and poverty nourishes that hunger and thirst for justice which God has promised to satisfy. (Mt 5:6) Consequently the charism of each institute will lead the consecrated person to belong wholly to God, to speak with God or about God, as is said of Saint Dominic, so that he or she can taste the goodness of the Lord (Ps 34:8) in every situation.

Secondly, the charism of the consecrated life also leads to the Son, fostering an intimate and joyful communion of life with him, in the school of his generous service of God and neighbor. Thus the attitude of consecrated persons ‘is progressively conformed to Christ; they learn detachment from external, from the tumult of the senses, from all that keeps man from that freedom which allows him to be grasped by the Spirit….”

St Cyril of Alexandria in a homily writes, “The Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their lives. With the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely other-worldly in outlook, and for cowards to become men of great courage.”

“Finally, every charism leads to the Holy Spirit, insofar as it prepares individuals to let themselves to guided and sustained by him, both in their personal spiritual journey and their lives of communion and apostolic work.”

John Gresham PHD in his book ‘Holy Spirit 101’ writes, “While Saint Paul frequently associates charisms with the Holy Spirit, he uses Trinitarian language to fully describe these manifestations of grace. Saint Paul associates these gifts with the Spirit, the Son, and the Father.” St Paul tells us, “Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there varieties of activities, but it the same God who activates all of them.” (1 Cor 12:4-6)

Prayer for Day
Holy Trinity Father Son and Holy Spirit
Pour the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon me and the Church
Help me to live my charism faithfully to the glory of the Father Son and Holy Spirit

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