The Gifts of the Holy Spirit in General
by Rev. William G. Most
Grace is any gift from God to us. There are two great categories or groups of graces:
sanctifying, and charismatic.
Sanctifying graces are those that are aimed at making the recipient holy. They
include: actual grace, a grace He sends me at this moment, to lead me and to enable
me to do a particular good thing here and now, and habitual grace (also called
sanctifying) which actually does make the recipient holy. It gives the soul the radical
ability to take in the face to face vision of God in the next life. Increase in
sanctifying grace means an increase in that capacity--for since the vision is infinite,
our capacity can never reach the limit of growth.
The other category is called charismatic. These graces are not aimed directly an
making the recipient holy. They are for some other sort of benefit to the individual or
the community. There are two kinds of charismatic graces: ordinary and extraordinary.
Where do the Gifts of the Holy Spirit fit in? There are two groups of them, one in the
sanctifying, one in the charismatic category.
In the "sanctifying category" we find the seven gifts, which are given
along with sanctifying (habitual) grace.
In the "charismatic" category we find both the ordinary gifts--e.g, the gift
to be a good parent or a good teacher--and the extraordinary gifts, those which are
or seem miraculous, such as the gifts of healing, tongues, or miracles.
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