I had written the article Nine Charisms and I present now some excerpts of the spirited address of Pope John Paul II on the Feast of Pentecost in 1998 to an estimated worldwide crowd of five hundred thousand members of lay movements. The Holy Father intended his words to be spread far and wide throughout the Church with a deep sense of urgency.
“Today, I would like to cry out to all of you gathered here in St. Peter’s Square and to all Christians: Open yourselves to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gratefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us.”
The Bishops of the Second Vatican Council had “rediscovered the charismatic dimension” of the Faith. There has emerged a more lively expectation that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit which were so visible in the lives of Jesus, the apostles and the saints, are meant to be manifested in the lives of all baptized.
The pontiff stated that the rediscovery of the meaning and the role of the charisms in the life of the Church have been essential, indeed irreplaceable on the renewal of the Church’s life and mission in our time:
“In our days too, many signs and great witness have been given to individuals, groups and movements generously dedicated to the apostolate. They show that the marvels of Pentecost have not ceased, but are renewed abundantly in the Church today. It is obvious that in addition to a considerable development in the doctrine of the charisms, there has also been a new flowering of active lay people in the Church: it is not by chance that the two facts occurred at the same time. All this is the work of the Holy Spirit…”