instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, May 11, 2014

H_0: I am not wise.

As those of you with eidetic memories who read aloud every post I write will recall,
My results from taking the Catherine of Siena Institute charism self-assessment indicate I might work on discerning whether I have the charisms of knowledge, writing, wisdom, teaching, and encouragement.
When I was invited to join my parish in a six-week charism1 discernment program, I decided I would attempt to discern whether I have the charism of wisdom, since it was the highest scoring implausible charism on that list. (Frankly, it hardly matters whether I have the charisms of knowledge, writing, or teaching, since either way I'm going to keep on doing the things that gave me high scores on the self-assessment; encouragement was lower scoring and is even less plausible than wisdom.)

In Catherine of Siena Institute parlance, the charism of wisdom is defined as "insight that comes up with creative solutions to specific problems and enables others to make good decisions." (The key feature that wisdom is practical is what makes it implausible that I have the charism.)

CSI's charism discernment process involves looking for indications of the presence of these three signs (quoting from "Discerning Charisms: A Workbook for Navigating the Discernment Process"):
  1. An unmistakable inner experience of peace, energy, and joy when you're using the gift
  2. Unusually effective and successful results in what you're trying to accomplish
  3. Other people's direct or indirect recognition of the gift's presence
The idea is to repeatedly arrange circumstances in which I could make use of a charism if I had it, and then discern how often the signs were present. In my case, the basic question is, what happens when I am presented with someone else's specific problem?

If you have a specific problem you'd like some help with, let me know, and I'll give it a whirl. (Most of my readers these days seem to be Chinese hackers, but there's no reason we can't be interfaith about it.)

That said, I do wonder whether I've been tricked into doing this by St. Catherine. The saint, I mean, not the institute.

1. "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." Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 799.