The charisms of the Holy Spirit are essential for the building up of the heavenly Kingdom and still remain painfully ignored in the life of the Church. I find it helpful to return to the body as an organism, analogous to the the mystical body of the faithful on earth to see why. One often hears the dialectic, that the most important thing are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, as an argument to somehow justify paying scant attention to the charisms. Along with this often goes the argument that we should practice mortification to be purified and merit the visitation of the Holy Spirit. There also tends to be an attitude that it is somehow greedy or self interested to desire the charisms of the spirit among the Catholic faithful. The excesses of the Charismatic Renewal are often pointed out as a justification for this. Of course Satan constantly tries to sow division, and there are excesses and wants wherever gatherings of fallen human beings occur. It is not a reason to shut down society though.
A Church focused only on the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit would be somewhat like a well nourished body with a keen mind with all it's senses active, knowing the truth. But without the Charisms of the Holy Spirit it would be like the same body with palsied limbs and a severe speech impediment, crippled in the building up of the Kingdom. If we truly love and are in pain for the salvation of other souls and the possibility of their eternal ruin, we would beg God for the Charisms of the Spirit, especially that we would deliver the prophetic word for the salvation of the one God puts before us. That desire should start with me personally, to make love my aim and earnestly desire the gits of the Holy Spirit, especially that I may prophecy - speak the word of God with power into the "now" moment of another persons life (1 Cor 14:1), so that they may be saved. I would pray also that this prophetic word be accompanied by the signs and wonders of the early Church (Acts 2:43), also accepting, however, the persecution that would come with it. What about that other point though - mortification - Is that important? Absolutely! it is important and important that it is understood also in it's proper context.
The word of the Lord came to me in prayer this morning in regard to the Charismatic gifts. He showed me a field with good soil and rocks with both wheat and weeds growing together. In this image the field was the interior life of prayer and the wheat was the charisms of the Holy Spirit. The weeds were the desires of the flesh (and also the pride of disbelief that God would act through a weak vessel like me). We don't merit these charisms. God always acts first. The wheat is sown in the life of every baptized Christian, but the weeds of sin and the desires of the flesh are present also to choke duplicate and confuse the manifestation of these gifts. So what the Lord showed me was that the field needs to be tilled and purified. The more this occurs the more pure will be the manifestation of the charisms and the less likely will be the sprouting of human words and non-prophecy. This tilling of the soil is mortification of the putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom 8:13), which, of course, also bears fruit in sanctity and in every aspect of a person destined for eternal glory. I find it greatly encouraging to focus not on the difficulty of putting to death the deeds of the flesh but rather on what God, who can never be outdone in generosity, gives in return.
For many on Earth, this will be the last Pentecost of their lives. Make it count. Welcome the Holy Spirit in totality. Make love your aim and earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit.