As a pastor, Fr. McGivney knew of sacramental graces like the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit received in Confirmation. Wisdom, Piety, etc. As a preacher he knew of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians (Gal. 5:22-23): Love, Joy, Patience, Kindness, etc. Both the Seven Gifts and the Fruits are ways we grow in our “interior life,” that is, becoming more “Christ-like.” We are inspired to find deeper ways to love God and Neighbor. But those spiritual gifts are ones that we keep. They are food for our own soul. There are also gifts to be given away!
WHAT ARE “CHARISMS?” In the glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 870, there is a summary: CHARISM: A speci!c gift or grace of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly bene!ts the Church, given in order to help a person live out the Christian life, or to serve the common good in building up the Church. That’s a mouthful—but there is an important point we might miss. Serve. Others. Charisms are really not that helpful if we don’t use them. And we use them by giving them away in serving others, building up the Body of Christ. In essence, charisms are outbound gifts of the Holy Spirit. We might see charisms as part of our spiritual personality. For example, we know that it is more dicult for an introvert to give a speech. So a person who is an extrovert probably has the personality to speak in front of a crowd. We might begin to understand our charisms this way. They are enablers. They inspire.