June 5, 2022
On this feast of Pentecost we consider, with St. Thomas Aquinas, how the Holy Spirit inspires us and helps us by His gifts, and how we can become more receptive to them. Thus He can transform our life.
This is the first in a series of nine homilies on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The following are the links to all the homilies in this series:
3rd – The Gift of Piety
4th – The Gift of Fortitude
6th – The Gift of Counsel
7th – The Gift of Knowledge
8th – The Gift of Wisdom
9th – Searching for Wisdom
- We’re facing a lot of challenges and trials today. And in times like our own which are difficult and mysterious, we need ever more the help of the Holy Spirit.
- The gifts of the Holy Spirit are called sanctifying gifts, gifts which sanctify us.
- Other gifts from the Holy Spirit are gifts to help people such as miracles, healings, tongues, prophecy and so forth.
- The Holy Spirit’s gifts in action and inspiration help us to be decile to the Holy Spirit, to obey and respond. They help us live our virtues in a more supernatural way and perfect our intelligence and will.
- The gifts of faith, hope and charity are what unites us to God and permit us to have and exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that perfect the natural powers of our soul, that is our will and intelligence are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and the fear of the Lord.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit come from the scripture, the prophet Isiah says, “The Lord will pour out on him a spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, a spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, a spirit of knowledge, and of piety, and he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord.”
St. Thomas says they are called gifts, not just because God gives them, but also because they make us responsive to God’s inspirations, like a Divine instinct. When a person is moved by this Divine instinct or the Holy Spirit, they don’t need to take counsel in human reason, because they’re following a much greater light. St. Thomas says, “the mind of man is not moved by the Holy Spirit unless it is some way united to Him, so those gifts, faith, hope and charity are what unites us to God, and permit us to have and exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
You don’t just get one gift, the gifts, all seven are always present together. Every person who is in a state of sanctifying grace, where the Holy Spirit is dwelling in them has the seven gifts.