Catechism of the Catholic Church

212 Part One 798 The Holy Spirit is “the principle of every vital and truly saving action in each part of the Body.” 247 He works in many ways to build up the whole Body in charity: 248 by God’s Word “which is able to build you up”; 249 by Baptism, through which he forms Christ’s Body; 250 by the sacraments, which give growth and heal- ing to Christ’s members; by “the grace of the apostles, which holds first place among his gifts”; 251 by the virtues, which make us act according to what is good; finally, by the many special graces (called “charisms”), by which he makes the faithful “fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church.” 252 Charisms 799 Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world. 800 Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms. 253 801 It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submit- ted to the Church’s shepherds. “Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,” 254 so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together “for the common good.” 255 247 Pius XII, encyclical, Mystici Corporis: DS 3808. 248 Cf. Eph 4:16. 249 Acts 20:32. 250 Cf. 1 Cor 12:13. 251 LG 7 § 2. 252 LG 12 § 2; cf. AA 3. 253 Cf. 1 Cor 13. 254 LG 12; cf. 30; 1 Thess 5:12, 19-21; John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 24. 255 1 Cor 12:7. 737 1091-1109 791 951, 2003 894 1905