Seven Gifts

On Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Pope Francis concluded a series of talks he began in early April at his Wednesday General Audiences on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  While the Holy Spirit is certainly not limited to gracing us with only seven gifts – one recalls for example the many charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit – the Church has long reflected on the gifts bestowed on the Messiah mentioned Isaiah 11:2-3.

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.  And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.  He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear.”

The gifts are classically listed as:  Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that they make us “docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit”  and that they “complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.” [CCC 1830-1831]  “Docile” in this context means “teachable” and “obedient.”

I have found the Pope’s words on these gifts to be short, provocative, and well worth my time.  Check them out.

1)  Wisdom, April 9, 2014

2)  Understanding, April 30, 2014

3)  Counsel, May 7, 2014

4)  Fortitude, May 14, 2014

5)  Knowledge, May 21, 2014

6)  Piety, June 4, 2014

7)  Fear of the Lord, June 11, 2014