What is a charism? The charism is a gift from God that calls us to participate in His own life and mission. It is not something that we have invented or chosen, but it is a reality that has captured us as we are made to belong to Christ. It is a gift that we must not take for granted, but that we must constantly rediscover and renew in our personal and communal experience. But how can we rekindle the gift of the charism in our lives? How can we keep it alive and fruitful? How can we avoid losing its original freshness and vitality?
In this post, we will explore some ways to rekindle the gift of the charism in our lives, based on the example of Timothy and Simeon from the Scriptures. These two men were both recipients of the charism, but they had different ways of responding to it. Timothy was a young disciple of Paul who needed encouragement and guidance to fan into flame the gift of God that was in him (2 Timothy 1:6). Simeon was an old man who had been waiting for the consolation of Israel and who recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promise (Luke 2:25-35). Both of them teach us valuable lessons on how to rekindle the gift of the charism in our lives.
1. Rekindle the gift of the charism by faith and choosing
Timothy was an excellent shepherd of the Church, who had received the gift of the charism at his ordination when Paul laid his hands on him and conferred on him the Holy Spirit. But this gift was not a static possession, it was a dynamic reality that had to be constantly revived by Timothy’s faith and choosing.
Paul exhorted him to “rekindle the gift of God that is within you” (2 Tim 1:6). He reminded him that God had not given him a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim 1:7). He encouraged him to hold fast to the sound teaching that he had learned from Paul and to guard the good deposit entrusted to him (2 Tim 1:13-14).
We too need to rekindle the gift of the charism by faith and choosing. We need to believe that God has given us a unique and precious gift that makes us partakers of his divine life and mission. We need to choose to live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, to follow his inspirations and not our own preferences, to seek his will and not our own interests.
We also need to hold fast to the sound teaching that we have received from our founders and from the Church and to guard the good deposit entrusted to us by living it faithfully and joyfully. We need to be aware of our responsibility and accountability before God and before our brothers and sisters.
2. Rekindle the gift of the charism by love and hope
Simeon was a man who had been formed by the desire for salvation, which is the desire to be united with God. He was “righteous and devout” according to the Gospel (Lk 2:25), and he was waiting for “the consolation of Israel” (Lk 2:25). The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (Lk 2:26).
And when he saw him, he embraced Christ Jesus in his arms and blessed God, saying: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation” (Lk 2:29-30).
Simeon’s embrace of Jesus was an embrace of the charism, which is a gift of the Spirit to recognize and embrace Christ. Simeon was not a puppet of the Spirit, but a free and docile person who followed his inspirations. He was not moved by curiosity or ambition, but by love and hope. He was not satisfied with his own ideas or expectations, but he opened himself to God’s surprises and promises.
Simeon shows us how to rekindle the gift of the charism by love and hope. We too need to rekindle the gift of the charism by love and hope. We need to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We need to hope in God’s promises and plans for us and for all people. We need to be open to his surprises and generous in His service.
We also need to recognize Christ in every person we meet, especially in those who are poor, marginalized, suffering, or in need. We need to embrace Christ in every situation we face, especially in those that are challenging, difficult, or painful. We need to thank God for every grace we receive, especially for his presence and action in our lives.
3. Rekindle the gift of the charism through gratitude and generosity
Gratitude and generosity are two attitudes that are conducive for living out our charism. Gratitude is the recognition of God’s gifts and blessings in our lives. Generosity is the willingness to share God’s gifts and blessings with others.
The charism is a free gift from God, who calls us to participate in his own life and mission. Everything is free from God, but everything also demands a response from us. We are not passive recipients of the charism, but active collaborators with God’s grace.
We are called to recognize our charism as a gift from God to enrich us personally and communally. To be grateful for what we have received and generous in sharing it with others. To be joyful witnesses of Christ’s love for us and for all people.
As Saint Paul said: “The one who ministers ministers with joy” (2 Cor 9:7). We desire for our life to be useful for God’s glory and for our neighbor’s good. But this desire can only be fulfilled if we do not take credit for ourselves or seek our own interests. We do not work for our own glory or satisfaction, but for God’s pleasure and will. We do not hoard the gift of the charism, but we offer it as a gift to others. We do not use the gift of the charism to dominate or manipulate others, but to serve and empower them. We do not hide the gift of the charism, but we proclaim it with courage and conviction.
The charism is a gift from God that calls us to participate in his own life and mission. It is not something that we have invented or chosen, but it is a reality that has taken hold of us as we are made to belong to Christ. It is a gift that we must not take for granted, but that we must constantly rediscover and renew in our personal and communal experience.
We can rekindle the gift of the charism in our lives by faith and choosing, by love and hope, by gratitude and generosity. By doing so, we will experience the joy and peace that come from living in communion with God and with one another. We will also contribute to the growth and vitality of the Church and the world.
I hope that this has been helpful to rekindle the gift of the charism in your own life. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me below or tweet them to at @PaulWagle. I would love to hear from you.