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FR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS I recently received the Sacrament of Confirmation as an adult. Although I know that I received the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and know their names, I do not really know what they are. Could you please explain them in one of your columns?
The revelation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is rooted in the prophecy of Isaiah about the coming Messiah: "But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord" (Is 11:1-3). While the prophecy of Isaiah pertains specifically to the Messiah, the Tradition of the Church is that these gifts are extended to all of the faithful through the sacraments of Baptism and especially Confirmation (Catechism, No. 1303). St. Paul taught, "For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son ..." (Rom 8:29), indicating that through the grace of these sacraments a person takes on an identity with Christ and shares those gifts proper to His role as the Messiah (at least those which are communicable to us).
Confirming this belief, St. Ambrose in De mysteriis taught, "Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God's presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with His sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed His pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts" (7, 42).
The faithful are reminded of the bestowal of these gifts in the liturgy. In the Mass of Pentecost, when the faithful remember the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, the faithful pray the Sequence, saying, "On the faithful, who adore and confess you evermore in your sevenfold gift descend."
In the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop prays, extending his hands over the confirmandi, "All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen." Then, the bishop confirms each candidate, making the sign of the cross with holy chrism on his forehead, and saying, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit."
counsel. piety. they are supernatural gifts operating in a supernatural mode or manner. these gifts help a person attain sanctification and bring to perfection virtues.. With the foundation from last week regarding the nature of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. wisdom and fortitude. A genuine relationship with God is based on love.. Gregory the Great. we rise to piety. not fear. plentitude and covenant. in the Old Testament. this gift entails a profound respect for the majesty of God who is the Supreme Being. traditionally the seven gifts are listed as fear of the Lord. Moreover. from strength counsel. Thomas Aquinas asserted. These are not gifts one simply invokes in times of emergency. adding "piety" and eliminating the repetition of "fear of the Lord. and with intelligence towards wisdom and thus. these gifts are present to the person as long as he remains in a state of sanctifying grace. This gift of fear arouses in the soul a vibrant sense of adoration and reverence for the majesty of God and a sense of horror and sorrow for sin. (Note that while the Hebrew text of Isaiah lists only six gifts with fear of the Lord being mentioned twice. In this sense. 1830-31). They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. as St. Therefore. The Catechism underscores this point: "The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The basic definitions which follow are quoted from Father Aumann's classic work. This gift is sometimes misunderstood because of the word fear." Moreover. from piety then to knowledge. a person realizes his "creatureliness" and dependency upon God. and temperance). These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. hope and charity) and the infused virtues (prudence. The fear referred to here is not a servile fear whereby a person serves God simply because he fears punishment. Spiritual Theology. Therefore. The Gift of Fear of the Lord enables the person "to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God. They are properly termed "gifts of the Holy Spirit" because the Holy Spirit bestows them. we can proceed to each gift.Given this basis. and never would want to be separated from this loving God. understanding. rather.. Here. justice. who tried to capture the spiritual dynamic which the Holy Spirit imparts to the soul through these gifts: "Through the fear of the Lord. with counsel we move towards understanding. now in this life and for eternal life. a child should not . They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations" (No. II 7. The idea here is that these gifts help a person to share in the very life and nature of God. signifying their indwelling presence and operation." from the Latin habitus. this "fear of the Lord" is a filial or reverential fear which moves a person to do God's will and avoid sin because of love for God. by the sevenfold grace of the Spirit. who is all good and deserving of all of our love. the order followed was composed by Pope St. whether some sort of temporal punishment in this life or the eternal punishment of Hell. both the theological virtues (faith. knowledge. the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations list seven. fortitude. they are in the fullest sense "habits.7). In a similar way. As such. the term "gift" needs to be clarified.) First. there opens to us at the end of the ascent the entrance to the life of Heaven" (Homiliae in Hiezechihelem Prophetam." Primarily. seven is the number of perfection. from knowledge we derive strength.
which seeks to use all things wisely. not to the excess. he wants to be joined with God forever in Heaven. the person is not only motivated by the requirements of strict justice but also by the loving relationship he shares with his neighbor. At the same time. "Happy the man who fears the Lord. Moreover. chastity is a virtue of temperance which respects the goodness of one's own sexuality. who greatly delights in His commands" (Psalm 112:1) and "The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord" (Sirach 1:12). we fulfill the commandments not simply because they are commandments but because of our love for the Heavenly Father and for our brothers and sisters in the Lord. this gift also perfects the virtue of temperance. a person moved by the Gift of Fear strives to live a chaste life because God is the creator of those goods and such a life gives glory and praise to Him. like a devotion. even though this should not be the motivating factor for loving God. the person rises to the Gift of Piety: "to give filial worship to God precisely as our Father and to relate with all people as children of the same Father. but because of love and respect. Moreover. this gift is a special illumination. and respects others as children of God precisely because that is what they are. This gift is also the launch pad for the other gifts: As Sacred Scripture attests. is in accord with the faith even though he may never have had a formal theological education. enabling the person to see the state of his soul. one should have a healthy sense of fear for the punishment due to sin. the soul views them as instruments for union with God. the Gift of Piety perfects the virtue of justice. Therefore. detachment from material things. sensus fidei. As such. Knowledge is the gift that enables a person "to judge rightly concerning the truths of faith in accordance with their proper causes and the principles of revealed truth. enabling the individual to fulfill his obligations to God and neighbor. and in moderation. and the sanctity of marital love. a person sees how to use created things rightly and even in a holy way.) The Gift of Fear brings to perfection primarily the virtue of hope: a person respects God as God. instead of seeing created things as obstacles to union with God. (Nevertheless. and ." Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Temperance is related to the Gift of Fear because one's awareness and respect for the sanctity of God motivates a person as a creature to give glory to God by being temperate in actions and desires. For example. One should fear hurting a loved one and violating that person's trust. With the Gift of Fear. more than one should fear punishment.be motivated to obey a parent's moral guidance or commands simply because of fear of punishment. which enables the person to realize the emptiness of created things in themselves so that they do not become roadblocks to union with God. especially those sensible pleasures." Here a person shows reverence for God as a loving Father. meaning that the person has a divine instinct about whether or not something. temperance controls the passions. With reason enlightened by faith. This gift produces several effects which have great value for sanctification of the soul: introspection. the gift gives to the person a sense of faith. Secondly. trusting in His will and anchoring his life on Him. As such. the sanctity of marriage. the human intellect makes correct judgments regarding earthly things and how they are related to eternal life and Christian perfection. As such. For example. it enables the person to see through created things to the God who created them.
counsel can deal with the immediacy of the situation. This gift not only assists in penetrating revealed truths. using the example of St. With the Gift of Fortitude. and to penetrate the depths of those truths. St. but is linked also to the perfection of prudence. "Will this act lead to holiness? Will this act lead to Heaven?" Clearly. and helping to give counsel to others. it brings a confidence of success to the virtue. Maximilian Kolbe not only had great fortitude to offer promptly his life in exchange for another and to endure a horrible death. operates in several ways: disclosing the hidden meaning of Sacred Scripture. however. Thomas taught that the Gift of Knowledge brings to perfection the virtue of faith. to overcome all lukewarmness in the service of God. but also had the confidence of success that he would overcome the powers of evil and gain everlasting life. Moreover. The Holy Spirit aids a person to grasp truths of faith easily and intimately. For example. but also natural truths in so far as they are related to the supernatural end. perseverance and promptness. or as evil and ought to be avoided. the Gift of Fortitude enables the individual to live the other virtues heroically.repentance for the misuse of material things or when they have been allowed to become obstacles to God. the Gift of Counsel operates under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This gift brings the virtue of fortitude to perfection. not as a transitory enlightenment but as a permanent intuition. For example. the counsel given may be that which reason would not be able to give an explanation. The counsel is made in view of one's own personal sanctification and one's ultimate supernatural end. this gift enables a person to judge individual acts as good and ought to be done. Paul seeing Christ as fulfillment . The essential quality of this gift is a "penetrating intuition" . while the virtue of prudence operates in accord with reason as enlightened by faith. this gift is linked with the virtue of prudence. reasonable course of self-preservation. especially in matters of personal sanctification and salvation. This gift. Therefore. the moving beyond the surface. through the Gift of Counsel. the Holy Spirit helps a person in a dilemma reconcile the necessity of guarding a secret with the obligation of speaking the truth. a person is able "to overcome difficulties or to endure pain and suffering with the strength and power infused by God. and gives strength to the person to resist evil and persevere to everlasting life. Lastly." As with the other gifts. Maximilian Kolbe. St. such an act of self-sacrifice for another is the right thing to do but does not necessarily follow the normal. this gift prompts the person to ask himself. Also. For example. The Gift of Counsel is "to render the individual docile and receptive to the counsel of God regarding one's actions in view of sanctification and salvation. This gift also has great effects: preserving a good conscience.in a sense. Counsel aids the virtue of prudence. and brings it to perfection." Primarily. revealing the significance of symbols and figures (like St. fortitude operates under the impulse of the Holy Spirit." Illuminating the mind to truth. penetrating the truths of faith. Consequently. charging it with energy. justice and temperance. to suffer with patience and joy. providing solutions to difficult and unexpected situations. Understanding is a gift "to give a deeper insight and penetration of divine truths held by faith.
Pope John Paul II said. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are without question great gifts essential for our sanctification and salvation. and accept them with equanimity. This gift has great effects: With this gift a person will see and evaluate all things . the Gift of Wisdom gives value to martyrdom. showing the hand of God at work in a person's life. For example. Here a person arises above the wisdom of this world. it is also a practical wisdom. Our Holy Father." The Holy Spirit aids the contemplation of divine things. and revealing the spiritual realities that underlie sensible appearances (like penetrating the mystery of the Lord's sacrifice in the ritual of the Mass). all things. and lives in the love of God.of the rock of the Exodus account that poured forth water to quench the thirst of the Israelites (1 Cor 10:4). Therese of Lisieux had no formal education in theology. The last of the seven gifts is that of Wisdom: "to judge and order all things in accordance with divine norms and with a connaturality that flows from loving union with God. "With gifts and qualities such as these. Each baptized and confirmed Christian should implore the Holy Spirit to inflame in his soul these gifts. for this reason. 3). "In this very life. Consequently. q. when the eye of the spirit is purified by the gift of understanding. This gift brings the virtue of faith to perfection. St. even in the most mysterious or troublesome events (like suffering). a. pleasure and pain. Accordingly. Thomas said. St. With Wisdom. one can in a certain way see God" (Summa theologiae II-II. are seen as having a supernatural value. For this reason. we are equal to any task and capable of overcoming any difficulties. success or failure . even the worst.from God's point of view. ad. For example. and yet was wise to the ways of the Lord." . While this gift contemplates the divine. it also directs human acts according to the divine. the Gift of Wisdom brings to perfection charity.both joy and sorrow. even an "uneducated soul" can possess the most profound knowledge of the divine. enabling the person to grow in union with God. 2. With this gift. It applies God's ideas to judge both created and divine matter. she has been declared a Doctor of the Church. 69.
Excerpts from Regina Coeli by John Paul II on Sunday April 9. piety. creator of all. the Spirit of truth. knowledge. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit according to Isaiah 11:2 are wisdom. fortitude. 17. the Son redeemer of all and the Holy Spirit. April 2. 1989 …We want to reflect together on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Is 11:1-2). he will teach you every thing and remind you of all that I told you" (Jn 14:16. Almighty God. understanding. which the Church's Tradition has always proposed on the basis of the famous text of Isaiah regarding the "Spirit of the Lord" (cf. Excerpt from Regina Coeli.. by John Paul II.Three persons in One The Father. A spirit of counsel and of strength. .. 1989. a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD Isaiah 11:2-3 From the Editor The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity. and fear of the Lord. counsel. WISDOM . The following are the excerpts of the teachings by John Paul II on the gifts of the Holy Spirit: WISDOM UNDERSTANDING KNOWLEDGE COUNSEL FORTITUDE PIETY FEAR OF THE LORD …There is a close connection between Christ's mission and the Gift of the Holy Spirit promised to the apostles shortly before the Passion. the Lord the giver of Life. and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. as a fruit of the sacrifice of the Cross: ''I will ask the Father.The Gifts of the Holy Spirit The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: A spirit of wisdom and of understanding. Sunday. 26).
2 ad 1). .The first and greatest of these gifts is wisdom. is caught up in the breath of the Spirit. through which the truly wise person is not simply the one who knows the things of God but rather the one who experiences and lives them. Through this gift the Holy Spirit who "sees into the depths of God" (1 Cor 2:10). the Christian is able to see into the reality of the world. by means of which the soul becomes familiar. This sapiential awareness further gives us a special ability to judge human things according to God's standard. q. to understand thoroughly. as it were. Jn 14:26. This higher wisdom is the root of a new awareness. gives us precisely this special gift of intelligence and. and prudence was given me. Now. This supernatural intelligence is given not only to individuals. 1 Jn 2:20 and 27). we read in Sacred Scriptures: "Therefore I prayed. with divine things. are heirs to the specific promise made to them by Christ (cf. May she whom pious tradition venerates as the "Sedes sapientiae" lead each of us to taste interiorly divine things. and tastes them. Through this gift the entire life of the individual Christian. but it is also search in the desire to know the revealed truth more and better . I preferred her to sceptre and throne." II-II. so to say. possess a special "sense of the faith'' (sensus fidei) which guides them in their concrete choices. I pleaded and the spirit of wisdom came to me. St Thomas speaks precisely of "a certain taste of God" ("Summa Theol. intuition of the divine truth. a knowledge permeated by charity. which means "to read within". they said to one another: "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us? (Lk 24:32). having recognized the Risen Lord in the breaking of the bread. as successors of the Apostles. it is a special sharing is that mysterious and highest knowledge which is that of God himself. The word "intellect" derives from the Latin "intus legere". 45. no one is better able to appreciate the authentic values of creation.Excerpts from Regina Coeli by John Paul II on Sunday April 16. with all its events. In fact. a. We find a fascinating example of this superior understanding of the "language of creation" in St Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Creatures". Enlightened by this gift. Once again the experience of the disciples of Emmaus is renewed. thanks to the "anointing" of the Spirit (cf. opening the heart to the joyous understanding of God's loving plan. and to the faithful who. in God's light. 16:13). such an interior urge comes to us from the Holy Spirit who. but also to the community: to pastors who. hopes. and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her" (Wis 7:7-8). beholding them with the very eyes of God. to penetrate. with faith. who permeates it with Light "from on high"… In all of these souls the "great things" that the Spirit did in Mary are repeated. UNDERSTANDING . 1989 We know very well that faith is adherence to God in the chiaroscuro of mystery. and achievements. communicates to the believer a glint of such a penetrating capacity. plans. which is a light which we receive from on high.
in fact. and thanksgiving. Holy Spirit. praise him in the heights. "Praise the Lord from the heavens.. signs of God! 3. "Summa Theol. was able to read tirelessly the: deep meaning of the mysteries which the Almighty worked in her (cf. and infinite Love which is God. and the firmament proclaims his handiwork" (Ps 18 :2. and consequently he feels impelled to translate this discovery into praise. The contemplation of the wonders of God will also be for us the source of inexhaustible joy: "My soul glorifies :he Lord. Praise him. One can even arrive at prophetically interpreting the present and the future: signs of the times. prayer. Let us invoke him through the intercession of Mary Most Holy. Beauty. let us turn to the Holy Spirit with the words of the Liturgy: "Come. This happens especially when it is a matter of riches. and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour" (Lk 1:46 f. while it sharpens the understanding of divine things. pleasure and power. 9. sun and moon. Who does not recall some instances of this raising of the soul to God? "The heavens are telling the glory of God. renders ever more clear and penetrating the understanding of human things. praise him. II-II. the Holy Spirit aids people with the gift of Knowledge. manifestations of the Truth. cf.). all you shining stars!" (Ps 148:1. by which we are granted to know the true value of creatures in their relationship to the Creator. KNOWLEDGE . in the light of the Spirit. Thanks to it.. a. the listening Virgin who. 1989 …Knowledge. seeing things as true and real. come! And from your celestial home shed a ray of light divine!" (Sequence of Pentecost). These are the principal idols before which the world too often prostrates. he runs the risk of absolutizing and almost divinizing them to the extent of making them the supreme purpose of his very life.". Ps 8:2). Dear faithful. is particularly exposed to the temptation to give a naturalistic interpretation to the world. This is what the Book of Psalms suggests so often and in so many ways. man does not esteem creatures more than they are worth and does not place in them the end of his life. . but in God (ct. Thanks to it one sees better the many signs of God which are written in creation. although limited. as St Thomas writes. He thus discovers the theological meaning of creation.The light of the Spirit.Excerpts from Regina Coeli by John Paul II on Sunday April 23. In order to resist such subtle temptations and to remedy the pernicious consequences to which they can lead. 3). Lk 2:19 and 51). We know that modern man. It is this gift which helps them to value things correctly in their essential dependence on the Creator. 4). Before the manifold magnificence of things. Thus is discovered the not merely earthly dimension of events of which human history is woven. q. their complexity. which indeed can be drawn from material things. variety and beauty. song. precisely because of the development of the sciences.
in the forefront. COUNSEL . what is more fitting for the soul (cf. their intrinsic limitation. when. especially when it is a matter of important choices (for example. as the Book of Wisdom says (9:14). In fact experience confirms that "the deliberations of mortals are timid. in particular those expressed in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Holy Spirit. to make arduous and agonizing decisions.Excerpts from Regina Coeli by John Paul II on Sunday May 14." That is to say. by the demands of their work. an eye which acquires. Thus the conscience becomes like the "healthy eye" of which the Gospel speaks (Mt 6:21). or about a path to be followed among difficulties and obstacles. Let us ask for it through the intercession of her who. come and "on us who evermore Thee confess and thee adore. through sin. "Collationes de septem donis Spiritus Sancti". for the pastors of the Church. Mother of Good Counsel. 1989 Continuing the reflection on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. in the litany. The gift of Counsel acts like a new breath in the conscience. . It is given to the Christian to enlighten the conscience in moral choices which daily life presents. In this commitment to moral restoration the Church must be.to obtain especially the help of light from on high. a new pupil. VII. and of introducing healthy positive elements into it. A need that is keenly felt in our days. by which he enriches and perfects the virtue of prudence and guides the soul from within. and is. Mt 5:7). is greeted as "Mater Boni Consilii". so often called. the danger that they can present. Holy Spirit!" Dear brothers and sisters. by means of which it is able to see better what to do in a given situation. this is the invocation which insistently and confidently arises from the whole Church today. as it were. Let us therefore ask for the gift of Counsel! Let us ask for it for ourselves and.of all of us . of responding to a vocation). one is aware of the necessity of neutralizing certain destructive factors which easily find their way into the human spirit when it is agitated by passions. today let us consider the gift of Counsel. Aided by this gift. the Christian penetrates the true meaning of gospel values. he makes improper use of them. man discovers at the same time the infinite distance which separates things from the Creator. hence the prayer that arise: from the hearts of her members . and unsure are our plans". enlightening it about what to do.Excerpts from Regina Coeli by John Paul II on Sunday May 7. disturbed by not a few crises and by a widespread uncertainty about true values. St Bonaventure.Enlightened by the gift of Knowledge. what is becoming. FORTITUDE. 5). 1989 "Come. The Spirit of God responds to this plea through the gift of Counsel. It is a discovery which leads him to realize with remorse his misery and impels him to turn with greater drive and confidence to Him who alone can fully satisfy the need of the infinite which assails him. 2. in particular. suggesting to it what is licit. no matter how intricate and difficult. the Solemnity of Pentecost: Come. if that which is called "reconstructing consciences.
All have been victorious thanks to this gift of the Spirit. It is the virtue by which one does not compromise in fulfilling one's duty. Mk 14:38). Then we will be able to repeat with St Paul: "For the sake of Christ. engaged in every area of apostolic and social work who in all times. piety. like Jesus in Gethsemane. are widespread in economic. and laity. When. There are many of Christ's followers . Among these gifts of the Spirit there is one on which I wish to dwell this morning: the gift of Fortitude. we experience "the weakness of the flesh" (cf. hardships. This virtue finds little room in a society in which surrender and accommodation on the one hand. Mt 26:41. PIETY . which is one of the four cardinal virtues on which the whole structure of the moral life rests. of the void which earthly things leave in the soul. Let us ask Mary. whom we now greet as Queen of Heaven. or of one who is arrogant and overbearing towards the defenseless. In fact. but also in normal difficulties: in the struggle to remain consistent with one's principles: in putting up with insults and unjust attacks: in courageous perseverance on the path of truth and uprightness. it is necessary to have the virtue of fortitude. religious.Excerpts from Regina Coeli by John Paul II on Sunday May 28. and calamities. in intimate union with the Mother of Sorrows beside the Cross. especially in the spiritual and moral sphere. priests. to the extent of also approving the extreme forms of violence. or rather. insults. The experience of one's own existential poverty. I am content with weaknesses. is expressed in prayer. not only on exceptional occasions such as that of martyrdom. including our own. as a truly filial attitude towards God.With thy sevenfold gifts descend" (Sequence of Pentecost). they result repeatedly in the distressing sight of one who is weak and cowardly towards the powerful. and domination and toughness on the other. man has daily experience of his own weakness. social and political relations. The gift of Fortitude is a supernatural impulse which gives strength to the soul. have experienced and experience martyrdom of body and spirit. With it. the Spirit heals our hearts of every form of hardness. for when I am weak.pastors and faithful. Precisely to resist these multiple stimuli. we should ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of Fortitude to remain firm and decisive on the path of goodness. yielding to the impulses of internal passions and external pressures. persecutions. Perhaps today as never before the moral virtue of fortitude needs the support of the corresponding gift of the Holy Spirit. Timidity and aggressiveness are two forms of lack of fortitude which are often found in human behaviour. Tenderness. In our time many extol physical force. in spite of lack of understanding and hostility. gives rise to . then I am strong" (1 Cor 12:10). to obtain for us the gift of Fortitude in all the vicissitudes of life and at the hour of death. then. 1989 Our reflection on the gifts of the Holy Spirit leads us today to speak of another important gift. of human nature subject to physical and psychological infirmities. and opens them to tenderness towards God and our brothers and sisters.
therefore. that we might receive adoption.. However. As proof that you are children. Ps 50  :19). This was the state of mind which. especially when he reflects upon his own infidelity and the danger of being "found wanting" (Dan 5:27) at the eternal judgement which no one can escape. hide "themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden" (Gen 3:8). However. making his heart participate in some manner in the very meekness of the Heart of Christ. enriching it with sentiments of profound confidence in God. 26). Tenderness. and nourishes feelings of understanding. The gift of piety directs and nourishes such need. Sacred Scripture affirms that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 110  :10. that does not mean an irrational fear.. . listed last in the enumeration. Nonetheless. what kind of fear does it mean? It certainly is not that "fear of God" which causes people to flee from every thought and memory of him. an authentically fraternal openness towards one's neighbour.. Prov 1: 7). at the root of that new human community which is based on the civilization of love..the need to have recourse to God in order to obtain grace. as something or someone who disturbs and upsets. In this sense St Paul wrote: "God sent his Son. With the gift of piety the Spirit infuses into the believer a new capacity for love of the brethren.. The believer goes and places himself before God with a "contrite spirit" and a "humbled heart" (cf. is manifested in meekness. entrusting our prayer to the intercession of Mary. trusted as a good and generous Father. but a sense of responsibility and fidelity to the law. O loving. Mt 25:28. and therefore our brothers and sisters. sublime model of fervent prayer and maternal tenderness. The gift of piety further extinguishes in the heart those fires of tension and division which are bitterness. tolerance. ". O sweet Virgin Mary!"." (Gal 4: 4-7. Among these gifts.. 3. cf. made our first parents. anger and impatience. Such a gift is. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for a renewed outpouring of this gift. FEAR OF THE LORD . it is a sincere and reverential feeling that a person experiences before the tremendous majesty of God. crying out. 'Abba. is the gift of the "Fear of the Lord". after their sin. knowing well that he must await his own salvation "with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12). and pardon. He feels urged to treat them with the kindness and friendliness which are proper to a frank and fraternal relationship. May she. this type of fear is not the true concept of the fear which is the gift of the Spirit. Rom 8: 15).Excerpts from the Angelus by John Paul II on Sunday June 11. God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. called to be part of the family of God which is the Church. Here it is a matter of something much more noble and lofty. teach us to adore God "in spirit and truth" (Jn 4: 23) and to open ourselves with meek and receptive hearts to all who are her children. Let us ask her in the words of the "Salve Regina". The "pious" Christian always sees others as children of the same Father.O clement.. Father!' So you are no longer a slave but a son. help and pardon. This was also the sentiment of that unfaithful and wicked servant of the gospel parable who hid in the earth the talent that he received (cf. whom the Church salutes in the Litany of Loreto as the "Singular vessel of devotion". 1989 Today I want to complete with you the reflection on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. according to the Bible.
although perturbed by the unimagined responsibility that was being entrusted to her. The soul is now concerned not to displease God. It is a warning for all of us who sometimes. "was greatly troubled" (Lk 1:29) and. to "abide in him" and grow in charity (cf. . making holiness perfect in the fear of God" (2 Cor 7:11 ).All this is what the Holy Spirit takes up and elevates with the gift of the Fear of the Lord. The practice of the Christian virtues and especially of humility. whom he loves as a Father. Jn 15:4-7). but mitigates it with faith in the divine mercy and with the certitude of the fatherly concern of God who wills the eternal salvation of each one. at the message from the heavenly messenger. not to offend him in anything. chastity and mortification of the senses. Let us recall the exhortation of the Apostle Paul to his Christians: "Since we have these promises. With this gift. It certainly does not exclude the trepidation that arises from an awareness of the faults committed and the prospect of divine chastisement. ignoring or defying his chastisements. beloved. obedience and love. united in the soul with love for God. Let us invoke the Holy Spirit. depends on this holy and just fear. let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit. the Holy Spirit instills in the soul most of all a filial love which is a sentiment rooted in love of God. temperance. transgress God's law. that he may generously pour out the gift of the holy fear of the Lord on the people of our day. was able to pronounce the "fiat" of faith. so easily. Let us invoke him through the intercession of her who. however.
the gifts help lead us to our destiny. The gift of knowledge perfects the virtue of hope. and wisdom. . fortifies hope. learning about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and using them will help. the virtues help us live in accordance with reason and faith (1834). and it embodies all the other gifts. Knowing the true value or worth of created things enables us to use them for their true purpose. The gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus. Piety transforms religious practices and worship into joyful service to God. and the "Novena to the Holy Spirit" published in The Catholic Family Book of Novenas provide some helpful information about these gifts. transcendent. Understanding helps us grasp the truths of our faith. The gift of counsel perfects the virtue of prudence. inactive faith and transforms it into a powerful testimony. It enlightens the mind and directs it to that which is eternal. The primary function of these seven gifts is to purify us and make us docile to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. There are two main categories of gifts. This gift fills us with awe and reverence for God. and perfects charity. complete and perfect the virtues (1831). and divine--God. It makes us dread the thought of displeasing God because of our love for Him. these seven gifts are sometimes poorly understood or utilized. When the Catechism speaks about the gifts completing and perfecting the virtues. and it strengthens us against our natural fears. Counsel is like supernatural common sense. It is the highest and most perfect of the seven gifts. A rightordered and healthy fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. it is referring to these specific gifts. They are fear. It inspires us to respect and love all persons and things for God's sake. and they dispose us to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity (1840). The gift of fear perfects the virtue of temperance. So if you want a deeper relationship with God. It enables us to see them for what they are and place them in proper relation to God. It enables us to penetrate the deep layers of truth and discover rich meaning in our faith. It enables us to persevere when we are confronted with difficulty or danger. The gift of fortitude perfects the natural virtue of fortitude. Understanding inspires sterile. Unfortunately. Fortitude provides us with the energy and resolve to endure even lifelong tribulation. Counsel enables us to apply the gifts of knowledge and understanding in the actual circumstances that confront us in our daily life. understanding. fortitude. The gift of wisdom perfects the virtue of love. knowledge. The Glories of Divine Grace.According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The gift of piety perfects the virtue of justice. The gift of understanding perfects the virtue of faith. piety. and it reveals the emptiness of created things in themselves. The first category includes the seven gifts which are found in Isaiah 11:2-3. counsel. and it fills us with a loving affection for God as our father. Wisdom strengthens faith. It helps us to make proper judgments. Father Matthias Scheeben's book. especially revealed truth.
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