Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

6/9/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Perhaps the most important thing that we need to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit is that they are real; and the more we learn about them, and the more we are open to them, and the more we use them for love of God and neighbor, the sooner we will find rest in God and embrace our destiny.

It is our destiny to rest in God for eternity. This means that we were made for God and to be in relationship with Him. The gifts of the Holy Spirit help facilitate this relationship. When we are open to these gifts, and we use them for love of God and neighbor, we will grow closer to Him and find rest in Him.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are fear, piety, fortitude, knowledge, understanding, counsel, and wisdom.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are fear, piety, fortitude, knowledge, understanding, counsel, and wisdom.

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/9/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Charismatic gifts, Catholic Church, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - It is our destiny to rest in God for eternity. This means that we were made for God and to be in relationship with Him. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the gifts of the Holy Spirit facilitate this relationship by completing and perfecting the virtues (#1831), and the virtues help us live in relationship with the Trinity (#1840). So if we want a deeper relationship with God, it is important to learn about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

With this thought in mind, we will now look at the two main categories of gifts: the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and the charismatic gifts. The first category focuses on the sanctification of the individual, and the second focuses on building up the Body of Christ.

The first category includes the seven gifts which are found in Isaiah 11:2-3. They are fear, piety, fortitude, knowledge, understanding, counsel, and wisdom. The primary function of these seven gifts is to purify us and make us docile to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When the Catechism speaks about the gifts completing and perfecting the virtues, it is referring to these specific gifts.

Unfortunately, these seven gifts are poorly understood and utilized. Father Matthias Scheeben's book, The Glories of Divine Grace, and the "Novena to the Holy Spirit" published in The Catholic Family Book of Novenas provide some helpful information about these gifts. I have summarized this information below:

The gift of fear perfects the virtue of temperance. This gift fills us with awe and reverence for God. It makes us dread the thought of displeasing God because of our love for Him. A right-ordered and healthy fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

The gift of piety perfects the virtue of justice, and it fills us with a loving affection for God as our father. It inspires us to respect and love all persons and things for God's sake. Piety transforms religious practices and worship into joyful service to God.

The gift of fortitude perfects the natural virtue of fortitude, and it strengthens us against our natural fears. It enables us to persevere when we are confronted with difficulty or danger. Fortitude provides us with the energy and resolve to endure even lifelong tribulation.

The gift of knowledge perfects the virtue of hope, and it reveals the emptiness of created things in themselves. It enables us to see them for what they are and place them in proper relation to God. Knowing the true value or worth of created things enables us to use them for their true purpose.

The gift of understanding perfects the virtue of faith. Understanding helps us grasp the truths of our faith, especially revealed truth. It enables us to penetrate the deep layers of truth and discover rich meaning in our faith. Understanding inspires sterile, inactive faith and transforms it into a powerful testimony.

The gift of counsel perfects the virtue of prudence. Counsel is like supernatural common sense. It helps us to make proper judgments. Counsel enables us to apply the gifts of knowledge and understanding in the actual circumstances that confront us in our daily life. 

The gift of wisdom perfects the virtue of love, and it embodies all the other gifts. It is the highest and most perfect of the seven gifts. It enlightens the mind and directs it to that which is eternal, transcendent, and divine--God. Wisdom strengthens faith, fortifies hope, and perfects charity.

The second category is the charismatic gifts. The charismatic gifts are subdivided into two groups--the ordinary and extraordinary. However, when we think of these gifts, we usually think of the extraordinary because they appear filled with miraculous power. So we will look at these first.

We are most familiar with the extraordinary gifts from the writings of Saint Paul, especially 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. Some of the extraordinary gifts are wisdom (not to be confused with wisdom above), faith, healing, mighty deeds, prophecy, discerning spirits, the gift of tongues, and interpretation.

The gift of wisdom enables one to teach about higher mysteries. The gifts of faith, healing and mighty deeds support the teaching gifts. The gifts of prophecy, discerning spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation are used to enlighten and exhort the faithful and confound unbelievers.

Unlike the extraordinary gifts, the ordinary gifts are a part of our everyday life. And they are more concerned with temporal affairs. Saint Paul also mentions them in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12.

Some of the ordinary gifts are the gift of knowledge, which enables one to teach about the truths of the faith, and the gifts of assistance and administration. These last two are concerned with works of charity and governance. In the most generalized sense, the ordinary gifts might include all gifts that help us fulfill our state in life: intelligence, good health, good parenting, and many others.

So how do we know which gifts we have received? The answer depends on which gifts we are talking about.

We have all been given a share in each of the seven gifts mentioned above. We received them when we were baptized, and they were strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation. But they may not be felt immediately. They may lie dormant for years.

A major factor involved in the timing has to do with how well we have prepared our soul. This is one reason why a devout prayer life is so important. The more we pray, the more we are open to God's graces. If we want these gifts to manifest themselves in our lives, then we need to pray always and remain in a state of grace.

If we are talking about the extraordinary charismatic gifts, it is a different matter. Not everyone receives these gifts. During the Apostolic Age the extraordinary gifts were quite common, and they helped the early Church persevere and grow during the persecutions. But they have not been very common since that time, although some people believe that may be changing. 

The extraordinary gifts are also different in the sense that God gives them to saint and sinner alike. There is nothing we can do to acquire them. All we can do is be aware that they are real and be open to them. If we think that we may have an extraordinary gift, it is best to seek the counsel of a holy priest.

It is just the opposite for the ordinary charismatic gifts: They may not appear miraculous, but we have been given these gifts in abundance. Each of us has received different and often multiple ordinary gifts. However, for many of us, it seems like one or two are usually dominant.

Do you know your dominant ordinary gifts? One way to discern them is by looking at your passions, desires, interests, abilities, circumstances, and opportunities. One of my favorite quotes is by Saint Teresa of Avila. She says, "Do whatever most kindles love in you." The things we love can tell us much about ourselves, including which gifts God has given us. 

Perhaps the most important thing that we need to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit is that they are real; and the more we learn about them, and the more we are open to them, and the more we use them for love of God and neighbor, the sooner we will find rest in God and embrace our destiny.


-----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain, at the street corner, We ask for dignity, not for charity.'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Learning Lessons for Life from Zaccheus and that Sycamore Tree Watch

Image of Zaccheus climbed that tree in order to see the Lord, not to be seen by Jesus. He did not care what the crowd thought of a grown man climbing a tree! He went after the encounter with Jesus Christ with a childlike simplicity and a reckless abandon. Do we?

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Sycamore tree created a clear line of vision for Zaccheus. It helped him to rise above the crowd and see the Lord clearly. It placed him in the right position for the invitation that would follow. Jesus told him to come down for he was coming to his house! ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Calls us to Recognize His Visitation Watch

Image of The Cross, an instrument of torture, will become the sign of peace, for those who find their refuge under its shadow and embrace the One who stretches out His arms to embrace the whole world. There Jesus will deal definitively with the great enemy of peace, the sin which impedes it in each of our lives. With tenderness He looks out from the Mount of Olives and sees the Holy City of Jerusalem. How he loves that City. Then, Jesus weeps. He knows the City will soon be overtaken and destroyed by the armies of Titus. He weeps the tears of Love and cries compassion from His Sacred Heart

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus shows His disciples - and He shows us us, because we are His disciples in this hour - the pattern of living in a continual communion with the Father. He invites them - and He invites us - into this very communion of love which He has with the Father, in the ... continue reading


Children deserve both father and mother, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that

By CNA/EWTN News

Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that "the family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The Pope made these remarks on Nov. 17 at ... continue reading


Here are 10 Very Interesting Facts About the Catholic Church You Probably Didn't Know! Watch

Image of Pope Francis commands the world's smallest professional army.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How much do you know about the Catholic Church? Here are 10 fun facts you might not know. See how many you know and post your result in the comments! 1.    Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world! With a population around 500 people and a ... continue reading


Study: Latin Americans abandoning Catholic Church for evangelical, Protestant churches Watch

Image of Protestants now make up 19 percent of the Latin American population, while another eight percent now profess no religious affiliation, a figure reaching 37 percent in Uruguay.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Church is losing members in Latin America at an increasing rate. According to the Pew research Center, many Latin Americans are leaving the church for Pentecostal, Protestant churches. There is even a growing number of Latin Americans who now ... continue reading


Living Faith: Learning How to See from a Blind Man Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The people to whom we are introduced in the Gospel accounts have been selected from among many others who encountered Jesus - for a real purpose. They can put us in touch with the Lord, with ourselves, and with the meaning of our own lives.Through prayerful ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter