Gifts of the Holy Spirit
“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.”
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are those that many of us are probably familiar with from our process of preparing for Confirmation. They are bestowed unto us for our sanctification. They are God given gifts that make us attentive to God in our lives and help us in living as holy men and women. The Catechism says:
1830 The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit 1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. ( Catechism of the Catholic Church).
With no further ado, let’s dive in and explore these gifts.
The gift of wisdom, by detaching us from the world, makes us relish and love only the things of heaven. (Catholic Encyclopedia)
The gift of wisdom can be defined as the ability to think of the world as a creation of God. It is seeing the world through non worldly vision , but through a spiritual and loving gaze that helps us see the world around us as God wants us to.
The gift of understanding helps us to grasp the truths of religion as far as is necessary. (C.E.)
Understanding the Faith is a challenge on it own, but it can be overcome through fervent prayer by asking for the Holy Spirit’s assistance as well as asking for intercession from the Saints. To understand the teachings of the Church, the reasons we do what we do at mass, what and why we believe what we do requires us to pray for the ability to understand all we learn.
The gift of counsel springs from supernatural prudence, and enables us to see and choose correctly what will help most to the glory of God and our own salvation. (C.E.)
The gift of counsel is what allows us to observe every situation we are in and see what we should do, how we should react, or how we should advise people in doing what is morally right and what would please God. It can be one of the hardest gifts to attain fully only because of its challenges. It’s sometimes hard to do what might not be best for us, but it’s the right thing to do. Likewise, it’s hard to tell people things that they may not want to hear, even though it’s the truth and it’s what God would want us to do.
By the gift of fortitude we receive courage to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that arise in the practice of our religious duties. (C.E.)
We were not given a spirit of fear. In us is a light that will shine brightly. Like a flame, it will overcome every difficulty in our path. People discerning or practicing their vocations need courage when times get rough. There are days we have found yourself between a rock and a hard place and we need a way to fight against the trials. St.Joan of Arc had to be courageous in battle as a faithful woman fighting for God. She prayed often for the courage to do God’s will, and she was rewarded with Sainthood.
The gift of knowledge points out to us the path to follow and the dangers to avoid in order to reach heaven. (C.E.)
Catholic Encyclopedia gives a formal definition of knowledge:
1. Knowledge is essentially the consciousness of an object, i.e. of any thing, fact, or principle belonging to the physical, mental, or metaphysical order, that may in any manner be reached by cognitive faculties.
2. Knowledge supposes a judgment, explicit or implicit.
3. Truth and certitude are conditions of knowledge.
Put simply, knowledge is knowing facts. More importantly, it is knowing what is true and why it is important. Here is an example to help demonstrate the difference between knowledge and wisdom:
Ruki knows the historical importance of Romanesque art in Europe. That is knowledge. An wise old person offers good advice. This is wisdom.
St.John Bosco’s gift of knowledge helped lead so many to a holy life. His knowledge of how to live proper and good lives helped people to be lead to a life filled with love. They understood the importance of confession in order to avoid and combat against sin.
The gift of piety, by inspiring us with a tender and filial confidence in God, makes us joyfully embrace all that pertains to His service. (C.E.)
Put simply, piety is being faithful, prayerful, and worship God as you should. The Catholic Encyclopedia states The chief acts of this virtue are adoration, prayer, sacrifice, oblation, vows; the sins against it are neglect of prayer, blasphemy, tempting God,sacrilege, perjury, simony, idolatry, and superstition. Our acts of duty to our Lord are fulfilled with joy when we devote our lives to Loving Him.
The gift of fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread, above all things, to offend Him. (C.E.)
When we meet people who have fear in God, we can see that in doing every action they are on fire with a deep love of God. An example of how to get your mind around this fear is like a child afraid of disappointing their father. It isn’t the punishment after doing something wrong they fear, but in displeasing their patient and loving parent or in disappointing them. This kind of fear is a loving fear.
St. Gemma Galgani is a good example of someone who had this fear.
We absolutely need these gifts. With these gifts, we are able to make the right choices in every aspect of our lives to lead to the greater glory of God and not only save our souls, but save others as well with our influence. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with these gifts when you pray. They all work together, and in pursuing these gifts, we can come to a greater love of God and our neighbor.
Holy Spirit, divine Consoler, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son. I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints.
I give You my heart and I offer my ardent thanksgiving for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.
O Giver of all supernatural gifts, who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with such immense favors, I beg You to visit me with Your grace and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear, so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me from falling back into my past sins, for which I beg pardon.
Grant me the gift of piety, so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor, follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations, and observe your divine precepts with greater fidelity.
Grant me the gift of knowledge, so that I may know the things of God and, enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk, without deviation, in the path of eternal salvation.
Grant me the gift of fortitude, so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil, and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.
Grant me the gift of counsel, so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.
Grant me the gift of understanding, so that I may apprehend the divine mysteries and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts and affections from the vain things of this miserable world.
Grant me the gift of wisdom, so that I may rightly direct all my actions, referring them to God as my last end; so that, having loved Him and served Him in this life, I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next.
( Prayer by: St. Alphonsus Liguori)
Posted on June 16, 2012, in Catholic, confirmation, counsel, Evangelization, faith, fear, Gifts, Holy Spirit, Jeanne d'Arc, knowledge, Love, Piety, prayer, Saints, St. Joan, St. John Bosco, Virtue, wisdom and tagged Catholic, confirmation, counsel, evangelization, faith, fear, gifts, holy spirit, jeanne d'arc, joan of arc, knowledge, love, piety, Prayer, saints, st john bosco, virtue, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.