What is the Catholic Churches official teaching on God given gifts and talents?
Some priests emphasize that we all have gifts and talents given to us by God and that we can all use them to do Gods will and make a major impact in this world.
Some priests never say anything about this.
Some priests say we can all do Gods will with our skills and talents. One priest when I was growing up said that Gods will is to simply not sin.
In church some parishioners are confused about gifts and talents. My mom even said she has no clue what the priest was talking about. She said she was never told anything about God given talents in church in the past. She thinks the priest was just grabbing this info out of his you know what.
I remember seeing something once on EWTN where a nun was saying that wanting to be a doctor, police officer, etc. can be wrong, since people will be distracted in their lives and will put themselves above God. I took this nuns message as it is sinful to have career ambitions.
I am confused on this matter. How can one say use Gods given talents for Gods will and another say that having talents and career ambition is sinful?
God-given talents are charisms. His will is that we cooperate with His gifts. Consider the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) to indicate what we are expected to do with the talents (charisms) we receive by the Holy Spirit. This takes discernment on the part of the believer, and spiritual direction, if need be.
Interesting. This is just my two cents here. But I think the question is a matter of purpose and priority?
If you’re using your talent for selfish and self-serving purposes, then you’re misusing your talents and are sinning. If you’re using those same talents first and foremost for the glory of God, then you’re using the talent correctly.
I’m going to use an artistic analogy, since I’m an artist and personally think of the arts when I think of “talent.” So, for my example:
Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, and Antoni Gaudi all used their artistic talents for the service of God. Michelangelo even made a good living, yet sometimes also worked for free, but his primary purpose was to serve God through his work. Fra Angelico lived as a monk and used his talent for painting for the sole purpose of serving God. Antoni Gaudi was a very successful and famous architect, but then became devoted to building la Sagrada Familia and basically lived as a poor man, devoting all of his effort to the building of the Church. He even built it without financing from the state, wealthy, or church… he built it all from donations, depending upon God to provide the funds.
To contrast-- and I can’t judge the state of his soul and can only go by what I see-- it seems to me that Picasso was the exact opposite. His primary purpose was for fame and fortune and getting as many women as possible.
We ALL have gifts given to us by God! Some might be artists or musicians, however, it might just be something as simple as being a good listener. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says that sola fide is true, if faith is not opposed to charity, because in fact, we do good work whenever we are not opposed to charity. This is no different than saying, “sola fide is true, so long as faith incorporates obedience.” And this is what the Catholic Church has taught since her conception.