Charism

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Not to be confused with chrism.
The term charism denotes any good gift that flows from God's benevolent love.[1]

In Christian theology, a charism (in Greek: χαρίσμα; plural: charismata) in general denotes any good gift that flows from God's love to humans. The word can also mean any of the spiritual graces and qualifications granted to every Christian to perform his or her task in the Church. In the narrowest sense, it is a theological term for the extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others.[1]

These extraordinary spiritual gifts, often termed "charismatic gifts", are the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, increased faith, the gifts of healing, the gift of miracles, prophecy, the discerning of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). To these are added the gifts of apostles, prophets, teachers, helps (connected to service of the poor and sick), and governments (or leadership ability) which are connected with certain offices in the Church. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to individuals, but their purpose is to build up the entire Church.[1]

The charismata in this narrowest sense are distinguished from the graces given for personal sanctification, such as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit.[1]

Social meaning[edit]

The word is also used in secular circumstances within social psychology. In that context, charism is defined as personal influence on other people individually or as a group.

Religious orders (generally Catholic) use the word to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics of their mission or values that might be exhibited as a result of the vows that they have taken and the orientation of the order to which they belong. An example might be the works of a teaching order as compared with that of a missionary order or one devoted to care of the poor or the sick.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wilhelm, Joseph (1908). "Charismata". The Catholic Encyclopedia III. Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 6 July 2010.