Down to the Wire: Just $8,148 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CHARIS

The basic term in the New Testament for "grace," especially in the letters of St. Paul. Building on the profane sense of attractiveness or charm, the biblical meaning designates the goodness of God, which is at once generous and gratuitous, undeserved by humans and sanctifying by God. Charis is closely identified with the whole Gospel. Ultimately it determines why the Good News is good, because God's favor raises humans to a share in God's own divine nature (Ephesians 1:6), redeems humans from sin (Romans 5:15), and enables them to practice virtue after the example of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:4). In the language of St. Paul charis differs from charisma as a divine favor that sanctifies the person, differs from a spiritual gift that enables its receiver to perform some office or function in the Church for others. (Etym. Greek kharisma, favor, divine gift, from kharizesthai, to favor, from kharis, grace, favor.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 2 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 5 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 9 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said 11 hours ago
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - 13 hours ago