Called and Gifted #I 2017 – A Spiritual Reflection
Over the past two weeks, echoing Pope Francis’ “Year of Mercy,” we have been discussing the effective elements of an apology as well as why, and how, pride might stand in the way of that. One of the items we discussed was knowing yourself and honestly recognizing the real gifts, talent and charisms that you might possess. But in order to do that, one must somehow ascertain what those gifts, talents and charisms are.
Different people have different talents (Duh!). The Gallop Group recognized that this can have implications in the workplace. In recent years, some companies have stopped focusing on trying to address the weaknesses of their employees and, instead, focus on building on the strength instead. Thus they devised an evaluation instrument/book entitled Strength Finders 2.0, to determine what the individual talents of a particular individual might be. Gallop found 34 such as Arranger, Believer, Developer, Learner, Positivity, Restorer, etc…
This has tremendous implications to the church and to the Parish of St. Monica specifically. What did Jesus command that we do? “Love God and Love Neighbor” (See Luke 10:27; Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:36-40). What else did he command? Go. Make disciples. Baptize them. Teach them what I taught you. (Matthew 28:19-20). Notice he didn’t say that just the “professionals” (priests, sisters, deacons, religious staff etc..) should do this. He meant everyone. No exceptions.
What’s a disciple? You are. You are not an accident. You are not matter + time + chance. You were born on purpose – for a purpose! The gifts, talents and charisms that you possess are a key to determining your purpose and answering the question “Why was I put on this earth?” When you exercise the gifts, talents and charisms, inevitably good things will happen and others can benefit. That’s your call. You are called to bring those gifts, talents and charisms into the particular stratum or location of life where you live and play and work. Do that and you will be serving God’s purpose for you and bring about a sense of hope to the people you encounter. These are the last two items of the “St. Monica Parish Mission Statement: “Driven to Serve – Abiding In Hope.”
Now consider the first two items of the Mission Statement of St. Monica Parish: “Called by Name – Gifted by God.” It is critical that you have a clear idea of what your gifts, talents and charisms are – and which ones you do not have – in order to live a fulfilled, thriving and joy-filled life. Like the employees utilizing the Gallop 2.0 survey, you need to build on the spiritual strengths and avoid/ignore the areas where you simply do not possess the talent.
I believe in this and thus asked Siena Institute to come to our parish back in 2014 and hold the “Called and Gifted I” workshop. In 2015, 30 people from St. Monica Parish and from around the area, decided to discern their charisms in greater depth and participated in “Called and Gifted II.”
Meghan Cokeley, Directory of Evangelization for the Archdiocese also believes in the importance of this on a wider scale and is thus supporting it with resources from the archdiocese. This is why St. Monica, in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, have invited the Catherine of Siena Institute to come to Berwyn on June 2 and 3. As a participant, you will learn the classic and ancient teachings of the Church on the charisms of the Holy Spirit and how they work in the life of our parish. You will also learn the five steps of discerning the unique charisms which God has given you. Siena Institute will describe the signs and characteristics of 24 of the most common charisms of the Holy Spirit and specifically provide a tool for you to discern your charisms and how they can change your life and the life of others around you.
Sign up for this. It’s important! My hope is that by discerning and using our charisms, we can help revitalize, transform and grow the Parish of St. Monica and fulfill the Parish Vision: “Discover Jesus in Our Lives – Understand our Life’s Purpose – Develop a Personal Relationship with Christ – Enrich Our Local Community – Impact the Whole World.”