Before the resurrected Christ left this mortal coil, He promised that although —
“the world will not see me anymore . . .
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.”
John 14:19, 18, 16-17
1 Corinthian 12:4-11
Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
In Christian theology, the gift of the Holy Spirit is a “charism” — an extraordinary grace given by God, not for our personal edification, but to use for the good of others and to build up God’s Church.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
- Wisdom: The capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones.
- Understanding: Comprehension of how we need to live as followers of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
- Counsel: The ability to exercise right judgment by knowing the difference between right and wrong, and choosing to do what is right, and so avoid sin.
- Fortitude: Having the courage to overcome our fears and stand up for what is right in the sight of God, to do good and endure evil, even if it means unpopularity, rejection, verbal abuse, physical harm, or even death.
- Knowledge: The ability to know and understand more than an accumulation of facts, but to discern and choose the right path through life.
- Piety: Having reverence or a deep sense of respect for God, and to come before Him with humility, trust, and love.
- Fear of the Lord: Having a sense of wonder and awe for the glory and majesty of God, knowing that He is perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. St. Thomas Aquinas called this gift a fear of separating oneself from God — a “filial” instead of “servile” fear,” like a child’s fear of offending his father, rather than a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
So which gift(s) of the Holy Spirit did you receive? Use it well!
Galadriel: This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way no one will.
Frodo: Then I know what I must do. It’s just I’m afraid to do it.
Galadriel: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
–From Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
May the joy and peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!