The Gifts of the Holy Spirit


The Sanctifying Gifts of the Holy Spirit for our personal growth in holiness

“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2-3).

 The Tradition of the Church uses the word ‘fortitude’ for ‘strength’ and ‘piety’ for ‘delight in the fear of the Lord.’ The gifts are commonly listed as: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They are given to every Christian through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. These gifts of the Holy Spirit are interior qualities, “permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1830).

These are distinct from the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” The Tradition of the Church adds generosity, modesty, and chastity (CCC 1832). The fruits grow spontaneously in us as a result of our docility to the Holy Spirit.

The Charismsfor building up the Body of Christ and evangelizing the world

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:4-7).

The Catechism describes charisms this way: “Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world” (CCC 799).

Many charisms are mentioned in the Bible in passages such as Rom 12:6-8, Eph 4:11, and 1 Cor 12:8-10.

Romans 12:6-8 Ephesians 4:11 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
  1. Prophecy
  2. Ministry
  3. Teaching
  4. Exhortation
  5. Giving
  6. Leading
  7. Showing Mercy
  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Evangelists
  4. Pastors
  5. Teachers
  1. Tongues
  2. Discernment of Spirits
  3. Word of Knowledge
  4. Word of Wisdom
  5. Prophecy
  6. Interpretation of Tongues
  7. Faith
  8. Gift of Healings
  9. Working of Miracles


The Charismatic Gifts

(1) TonguesPraying in tongues enables a person to pray in a human or angelic language that they do not understand. This is the only form of a charismatic gift that is given for the edification of the person who has the gift (1 Cor 14:4). In this case an interpretation is not necessary. Speaking in tongues is another form of this gift whereby an individual gives a prophetic message to other people in a language they do not know. St. Paul instructs us to pray that it will be followed by an interpretation.

(2) Discernment of Spirits — This is a supernatural ability to instantly know whether something is of God or if it is of human, angelic or demonic origin.

(3) Word of Knowledge — Words of knowledge are supernatural knowledge of facts or about what the Lord is doing.

(4) Word of Wisdom — Words of wisdom are insights into the mystery of God and His plan of salvation, or supernatural wisdom about how to act rightly.

(6) Prophecy — This is the gift of hearing what God wants to say to His people and communicating that message appropriately. A genuine prophetic utterance never contradicts, nor is equal to, the written Word of God or the teaching of the Catholic Church. All prophecies are to be tested (1 Thes 5:20-21).

(9) Interpretation of Tongues — After a message has been spoken in tongues, the gift of interpretation communicates its meaning in the language of those who are listening so that they can understand it.

(10) Faith — Beyond a general belief that God will help, the charism of faith is a supernatural confidence in God and His actions in a given situation. It is an assurance that can move mountains.

(11) Gifts of Healings — “The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord” (CCC 1508). Healing can be physical, psychological or spiritual.

(12) Workings of Miracles — God uses people with charisms of miracles as He intervenes in a supernatural way in the natural world. St. Paul calls this gift “workings of deeds of power” in the original Greek, because God performs such a variety of different miracles.



It should always be remembered that the purpose of the charismatic gifts is to edify the Church, and their distribution within the body is completely dependent upon the discretion of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:11). Our only motive must be building up the Church, not self-gratification. “Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Cor 14:12). And always, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor 14:40).

Love is the standard (1 Cor 13:13), without which charismatic gifts cannot function effectively (1 Cor 13:1-2; CCC 2003). St. Paul expressed that the Church should have a desire for spiritual gifts, but it should always focus on love. “Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts…” (1 Cor 14:1). As we focus on loving God and receiving His love, His Spirit will flow out through us often in the form of the charisms, bringing God’s love to those around us!


Summer Schedule: To give everyone a summer break, we'll only be having Upper Room on 2nd and 4th Fridays through August. At Praise & Worship on 2nd Fridays we'll have prayer ministry, and we'll leave the 4th Fridays flexible for extended praise, testimonies, etc. There will still be a 5:30pm Mass on the other Fridays of the month.
Next Upper Room: Friday, July 27 Come for Mass, bring your dinner, and stay for another evening basking in Our Lord's presence at Praise & Worship!
Upper Room Praise & Worship Pondering, 7/13/18: Praising God enables us to bask in His presence, and to receive His love which is as real as the rays of sun that warm us and bring life!
DIY Praise & Worship: Summer Edition Click on this new blog post to jump-start your own personal praise & worship time with Jesus!
Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit
1 Cor 12:8-10

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