- What gives life meaning to you?
- What gives you that fire to get up every morning
- What gives you the motivation to do the little things and face the big things in life?
A charism is an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit for the good of the church and the world, given as different ways of living out the Gospel. It is a gift from God that enables us to make sense of life and motivates us to live life fully. It touches the very core of our existence and colours everything that we do.
Charism can be described as the spirit of the community. Like the strong, driving wind in the Pentecost story, it is a powerful energy that permeates through the community members and the way in which they do their ministries. It does not define what they do, rather it defines why and how they do it.
Every charism is rooted in the Gospel. The Gospel message is too rich to be contained in any one charism. Like a mosaic or a quilt, which requires many diverse pieces to create a beautiful, unified image; so, the Church needs many ways of expressing the Gospel.
Charisms are partially defined by the founding of the community, but also the on-going deep story of community – how the charism plays out through time, in particular places and circumstances, is also an important part of defining the charism. It is often said that charism is ‘caught’ rather than ‘taught’.