Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are without question GREAT GIFTS, necessary and important to be holy and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.  Each baptized Christian received the Holy Spirit, God's “first gift to those who believe.” (Eucharistic Prayer IV)  Although we cannot see the Holy Spirit, we can see what He does. The Divine Spirit guides the Church, is our advocate and makes us holy. The gifts of the Holy Spirit help us become stronger followers of Jesus, act as His disciples and share the good news about Jesus with others.
The Seven Gifts are called “gifts of the Holy Spirit” because the Holy Spirit gives them to us. Therefore they are supernatural gifts, working in a supernatural way in us. These are not gifts just for times of emergency, rather these are gifts that are present in us as long as we are in the state of grace (the soul is free of serious sin). The Seven Gifts assist us in living a life of holiness and virtue. They perfect the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity and the other infused virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. These supernatural gifts give us a share in the very life and nature of God, help us be attentive and open to the Spirit and make us docile and obedient to His divine inspirations. The catechism identifies the seven gifts as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.  (CCC 1830-31)
Through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation “we put on Christ,” and the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit become our gifts so that we may become signs of God's presence in the world.
Pope John Paul II said, "With gifts and qualities such as these  we are equal to any task and capable of overcoming any difficulties."

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.

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