Prayers for all Occasions, Needs, and Intentions
THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Includes the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are seven Gifts which we shall explain in turn. The overall purpose of the Gifts is to bring us into the life of God. To be part of godís life we must be able to act in a "superhuman" manner. The Holy Spirit enables us to rise above the human level of life. He gives our intellects a light to understand truths and reach decisions not by reasoning things out, but by a kind of intuition. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is above reason but not against it. The Spirit gives our wills a power that makes us capable of heroic things. The Spirit makes us aware of the nothingness of the created things of the world before the majesty of God. The Holy Spirit expects us to produce fruits in our lives.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
This Gift moves us to have a loving respect for Almighty God, who is Our Father and whom we adore in His infinite majesty and greatness. The Spirit cause to well up in our hearts such a deep love of God, that we fear our own weakness, which could lead us to offend God. By this Gift, too, we are given a horror of sin.
The Holy Spirit make us realize from within that sin Is still the greatest evil in the world. He protects us from lukewarmness or tepidity In Godís service.
In the sacrament of Penance we experience through this Gift, both sorrow and gratitude. As we dread the danger of sin, the Holy Spirit urges us to the practice of mortification and of reparation to Almighty God, who loves us with an everlasting love.
THE GIFT OF PIETY
By this Gift of the Holy Spirit we are moved to see God as our most loving Father. We rejoice In God for his own sake - because He is what He is. We see all men as fellow-members of the family of God especially those, who, like Our Lady and the Saints, are closest to Him. The Spirit makes us aware that by the grace of Christ and the power of His Spirit, we have truly been made Gods children.
To dispose ourselves to activate this Gift, we must remove all hardness of heart in relation to God or to our neighbor.
The religious aspect of life will be foremost In our estimation, A persons sanctity and closeness to God will rank, as It should, far above the presence or absence of talents or natural gifts. This will be true In particular, In religious life, where we shall understand by the Illumination of the Gift of Piety, that a member who Is close to God Is far more Important for the welfare of the society than one merely gifted with natural talents. Through the influence of this Gift we are at home with God and at peace with Our Father. The Holy Spirit will move us by this Gift to do everything we can to make the world know that God is Indeed a loving caring God, that His laws benefit, not restrict us. By this power of the Spirit we shall become really concerned about the missionary work of the Church. To please the Heavenly Father, to do His will, becomes dominant motivation In life, as it was in the life of the Son of God become man. "I always do what pleases Him. Be it done to me according to Thy word" said Our Blessed Mother.
THE GIFT OF FORTITUDE
By this Gift we find we have the strength to do what God wants, even In very difficult situations, as for instance, when faced with a sudden choice of either heroic virtue or mortal sin, or, when In hostile surroundings, we are urged from within to stand publicly for the faith. St. Paul, who faced many and great hardships for the sake of Christ, said 1 can do all things in Him who strengthens me. This gift may be necessary at all times If we are even to preserve In the state of grace, as well as to grow In grace. Through this gift we shall have the power to conquer, with facility, the attacks of the world, the flesh and the devil, In spite of our many failures. We shall have the strength, even when rebuffed, to continue to offer the Catholic faith to those who have It not, or have It but Imperfectly. To the martyrs this gift is given abundantly, as It was to St. Stephen, a man full of the Holy Spirit, who gladly died for Christ. Fortitude Is especially powerful In giving us the strength perfectly to fulfill daily duty. St. Theresa of Lisieux and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity practiced the "Little Way by the Gift of Fortitude.
THE GIFT OF COUNSEL
At times we can be aware, without reflection or doubt, of what we should do for the best, in particular cases. We can know, for example, how to be gentle yet firm for the truth: how to reconcile affectionate love with perfect chastity: whether we should act Just now or wait for a more suitable time? The Holy Spirit makes us aware, as by a kind of inner instinct, how we should act. Superiors, parents and those in charge of others need to be guided by this gift of the spirit, In guiding their charges to come close to God To dispose ourselves to receive this gift we should avoid precipitate action, and we should follow the Spiritís guidance confidently. It is, of course, necessary that we listen to the yoke of the Spirit, by developing interior silence and attentiveness to Him.
THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE
It is by the power of this Gift of Knowledge that the Holy Spirit makes us immediately aware, in the light of faith, of the emptiness of created things unless they lead to God. By it we can Judge rightly of the use of created things in relation to eternal life. It enlightens us to see God in His creation, which reveals Him in the wonders of nature. Through this Gift, the advances of technology will turn our minds to God, the Author of both the laws hidden in nature, and of manís Intelligence to unfold them. "The invisible things of God are seen through the things that are created" says St. Paul. "The Spirit gives us also, through this gift the, "sense of faithí, by which we are aware instinctively, as it were, whether statements, or a devotion, or a doctrine, advanced, are in accord with faith or opposed to it, even through we may not be able to articulate our position. "The Spirit of truth teaches us all truth. Seeing the essential nothingness of creatures in relation to God, the soul by this Gift becomes detached from the things of earth. At the same time. since they are created by God and so "good", the Gift of Knowledge moves us to use creatures in such a way that they leads us to God. Since we have misused creation by our sins, the gift gives us also a profound sorrow for our past sins.
THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING
By faith, the saint believes only what the ordinary faithful believe, yet the faith of the saints was far more vivid and penetrating, because the saint is more influenced by the Gift of Understanding. By this gift, the Holy Spirit gives us an immediate intuition or perception of the truths of faith and of natural truths in so far as are related to the supernatural. The virtue of faith is made Ďfirm and immovable as a rockí by this Gift. The Holy Spirit, for example, may by this Gift gave us a deeper insight into a passage of Scripture, an understanding we had not hitherto of the mystery of Christ or of Our Ladyís place in Godís redemptive plan. We may feel we have a deeper grasp of the Eucharist Presence of Christ. We can find at prayer a more contemplative approach than formally, and so on. This new "understanding" of the truths of faith is not a mere intellectual apprehension, but is an understanding that is accompanied by the urge to live by this new knowledge. By this gift we can see the divine as in revelation and in the teaching of the Church. Faith is made warm and attractive to us, and our hearts are moved as well as our minds. The Spirit who searches all things, even the deep things of God, makes them know to us too. The activity of the Holy Spirit through this gift, is both frequent and constant. Lust and gluttony are the main vices which hinder the working of the Gift in our souls.
THE GIFT OF WISDOM
By this gift of Wisdom the Holy Spirit of truth and love, gives us awareness of the ineffable mystery and majesty of God in Three Divine Persons. By this Gift, we judge all things in so far as they pertain to God. The Spirit of God shares with us something of His own knowledge and love of the Bless Trinity. He leads us to a profound and loving adoration of God, and fills our souls with a love of Him for Himself alone. By this Gift of Wisdom we want God only. We are glad to have something to suffer for love of Him. By it, too, we see the divine goodness ruling all creation. What the Psalmist said: "Taste and see that the Lord is sweet," we find true for us also, for the Holy Spirit who know the deep things of God, gives us an experiential knowledge of God. By wisdom we come to see everything in life from Godís point of view. God and Christ become very real to us. We are "at home" with the divine. We easily see Godís loving hand in everything. Under the influence of this Gift we can be extremely active, and yet, never lose the awareness of the Blessed Trinity present in our souls through sanctifying grace. Martha and Mary become one, as they should be. Through the power of this Gift also, the neighbor is loved and served with a deep supernatural love.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, to perfect in my soul the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me...
The Spirit of Fear - that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may avoid anything that may displease Him.
The Spirit of Piety - that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable.
The Spirit of Fortitude - that I may bear my cross with You, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation.
The Spirit of Counsel - that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven.
The Spirit of Knowledge - that I may know God and know myself, and grow perfect in the science of the Saints.
The Spirit of Understanding - to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth.
The Spirit of Wisdom - that I may not be attached to the perishable things of this world, but aspire only after the things that are eternal.
Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your spirit. Amen.