Listen to the Spirit … adapt as needed … stay longer where you are drawn …
“I wish and desire, and it is my deliberate decision, provided only that it is for your greater service and praise, to imitate you in bearing all injuries and affronts, and any poverty, actual as well as spiritual, if your Most Holy Majesty desires to choose and receive me into such a life and state.” – Spiritual Exercises #98
We are often held back from recognizing or sharing our gifts because of a narrow definition of “talent.” We may think “talented people” are extraordinary achievers or have easily identifiable gifts, such as a musical ability or artistic talent. However, we must remember that each one of us was created by God and was given the ability to serve God and each other in some way.
Talents include being a good listener, being able to organize people, relating well to children or teens, being patient with others and numerous other less-recognized gifts. Our gifts often change during our lives and by recognizing that God has created each one of us with unique abilities and attributes, which includes personalities, interests, motivations, life experiences, talents and skills, hopes and dreams…we begin realizing who we are….we are one of a kind creations of God with unique contributions to make in this world.
Our lives have real meaning only when we use our gifts in accordance with God’s will. As we grow in stewardship, we grow in our relationship with God. We grow in our ability to hear and accept God’s call and to let our life be guided by God’s will, not our own desires and impulses. By placing God at the center of our lives, we are provided with many opportunities each day to be good stewards. We just need to be aware of the choices we make and the significance of our decisions.
As we recognize that our gifts of talents and skills are meant to be cultivated and shared with others, beginning with our family and friends, with our parish community, and with the world, it becomes an expression of gratitude for being created as unique and gifted. When we regularly pray about our gifts and how God is calling us to use them, we are more likely to be fulfilled in our lives…
Suggested Song: Strength, Courage, and Wisdom by India Arie
Grace to seek/ask: To let our gifts be used in accordance with Your will for us…
Try to keep this short, focused on how people’s hearts are as they come to the meeting.
There doesn’t need to be something written for this for each meeting, but if there is a way of checking in that would be helpful in setting the theme for the meeting, include it.
“Our talents are the gift that God gives to us…what we make of our talents is our gift back to God.” – Leo Buscaglia
Peter 4:10 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
Timothy 4:14 – Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Corinthians 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts…
Listening and Sharing
What are my gifts and talents? How do I use them in service to others?
What makes a “gift” a gift? When I think about the last time I worked, did I get to do what I truly do best at all that day?
What are opportunities in my life that makes me who I am?
These are questions that allow community members to listen to and share about what is moving within them after the focus exercise. Specific questions about the focus exercise can be included here, but facilitators may choose to approach it differently such as with more open ended questions.
- What has struck you as you have been listening to others share? Do you notice any patterns or similarities?
- How have you been feeling throughout the meeting? Comfortable? Anxious? Curious?
- Is there anything you would like to share after listening to another person share?
- What is remaining with you? What do you hope to return to in prayer at another point in the week?
Give us the strength and courage to be Your good and faithful servants,
to use your gifts well and not bury them,
so that we may be a part in Your joy. Amen.