Definition of Charism, the theological term : The word charism or charisma (from Gr. χάρισμα) denotes a gift freely and graciously given, a favor bestowed, a grace. Charism as understood in the Bible is first treated, then its relation to the individual possessing it, and finally its meaning for the corporate Church.

I was wondering what the different categories would be, since evidently they are different. And I have even heard some say that things we would, these days, usually ascribe to pure genetic luck like super smart children (Bethoven for example) are forms of charisms given by God. So I'd like a clarification as well for the natural vs preternatural/supernatural charisms.

Ideally answer with Catholicism in mind, but as long as the categorization is the most exhaustive I'll be validating the answer regardless.

  • cf. this answer to "What is the Catholic concept of grace?," which includes a diagram classifying the different types of grace. Does that help? If not, feel free to edit your question explaining how it differs from that one. – Geremia May 30 '18 at 20:59
  • It is not a duplicate. Charisms are given gratuitously, there is no "tutorial" so to say about how one may be given charisms. They are special graces that cannot be earned in the way one earns for example spiritual growth with a life of prayer. The Question you linked to doesn't go into detail about charismatic graces. – Destynation Y Jun 1 '18 at 2:18
  • "things w̶e̶ [naturalists, i.e., those who deny anything supernatural, like grace]…ascribe [only] to pure genetic luck like super smart children (Bethoven for example) a̶r̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶m̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ [could be] charisms given by God" – Geremia Jun 1 '18 at 18:26

St. Paul enumerates 9 types of charismatic grace (gratia gratis data) in I Corinthians 12:8-10:

  1. "word of wisdom"
  2. "word of knowledge"
  3. "faith"
  4. "grace of healing in one Spirit"
  5. "working of miracles"
  6. "prophecy"
  7. "discerning of spirits"
  8. "diverse kinds of tongues"
  9. "interpretation of speeches"

They are categorized in Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.'s Grace ch. 4, where he commentates on St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica I-II q. 111 a. 4 ("Whether gratuitous grace is rightly divided by the Apostle [in I Corinthians 12:8-10]?"):

division of "gratia gratis data"

However, St. Paul's list is not exhaustive (cf. pp. 796-802, PDF pp. 419-422, of Teología de la Perfección Cristiana by Antonio Royo Marín, O.P.).

  • Brother, I don't think I could have hoped for better, this is excellent! I'll wait it out for 2-3 days then if your answer is still on top I'll validate it, I doubt one can do better. Thanks again. – Destynation Y Jun 1 '18 at 19:38

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