Friday, November 20, 2009


1.Von Balthasar –“Charism” in “You Have Words of Eternal Life”, Ignatius, 1991.

a. Charism = a spiritual gift – with a view toward a mutual exchange where both members are strengthened – Romans 1:11-12.

b. Charis = the same thing –2 Cor. 1:15.

c. The “gift” God gave Paul in saving him from death, benefits the churches – 2 Corinthians 1:11.

d. Charism=a vocation to a particular status in the Church that benefits the entire community – 1 Cor. 7:7.

e. Charism= the equivalent of the word “Calling” [Klesis] – 1 Cor. 7:17-24.

f. Both words occur side by side in reference to Israel’s Election – “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable –Romans 11:19, 29.

g. Charism also exists as a giving of “God’s grace” that contrasts with the human fall into sin, - Romans 5:15.

h. Charism=”God’s bestowing of eternal life” in contrast to “the wages of sin, which is death” – Romans 6:23.

i. Charis also refers to the charity inaugurated by the collection taken up for the Jerusalem church – 2 Cor. 8:4, 6-7, 19, described as “grace”, and “commonality” and “service” (2 Cor. 8:4).

j. The gift of grace (=charisma) can be a unique or repeated rescue from death where the Church assists only through prayer (2 Cor. 1:11).

k. Each member of the Church can receive various aptitudes of both a natural and supernatural character that presuppose an underlying grace (charisma) to be employed for the good of the whole community (Romans 12:3-8).

l. Among these aptitudes, service to the congregation (diakonia) receives specific mention.

m. The gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, based on the situation there, includes those that fall within the scope of common Christian experience (wisdom, Knowledge, discernment of spirits, faith) while others are more unusual and unique (healing, working miracles, tongues, and interpretation, prophecy (=the ability to describe the will of God in a specific situation-propheteia).

n. If one wishes to describe the charismatic life Christians encounter, one needs to keep in mind this entire range of meanings.

o. This colorful collection is delimited along two sides – they all come from God and they are for the Church, or put more broadly, for eternal life.

p. Graces given to an individual are never exclusive. Someone who can expound God’s word, can discern spirits as well. The same applies to teaching. The gift of leadership or pasturing also includes an ability to teach, and the latter involves knowledge and wisdom. Charisms are anything but specializations.

q. The Apostolate in the broad sense pre-supposes many gifts of grace –1 Corinthians 12:28.

r. In the Pastoral Epistles, when speaking of a church office,they mean the entire cluster of gifts needed to exercise the office properly. – 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 1:6.

s. No vital Christian will attempt to tie himself down to a single charism. To do so would impede the Spirit who leads them.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin