After Jesus ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the world. This outpouring of the Spirit was promised by Jesus at the Last Supper when he said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Advocate, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16). The coming of this Advocate, the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost changed everything. Life was not “business as usual” any more.
The Holy Spirit was poured out as Jesus promised, coming with gifts to enflame the world, everything and everyone in it. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are without question abundant gifts essential for our sanctification and salvation. They equip us to live virtuous and holy lives that we may bear much fruit for the good of others and the benefit of the Church and the world.
1. Wisdom is highest gift of the Holy Spirit because it is the perfection of faith. Through wisdom, we come to value properly those things which we believe through faith. The truths of Faith are more important than the things of this world, and wisdom helps us to order our relationship to the created world properly, loving Creation for the sake of God.
2. Understanding allows us to grasp, at least in a limited way, the very essence of the truths of the Faith. Through understanding, we gain a certitude about our beliefs that moves beyond faith.
3. Counsel is the perfection of prudence. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we are able to judge how best to act almost by intuition. Because of the gift of counsel, we need not fear to stand up for the truths of the Faith, because the Holy Spirit will guide us.
4. Fortitude gives us the strength to follow through on the actions suggested by the gift of counsel. It goes beyond what we normally think of as courage.
5. Knowledge, in a limited way, allows us to see the circumstances of our life the way that God sees them. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we can discern God’s purpose for our lives and live them accordingly.
6. Piety is the perfection of the virtue of religion. It takes our willingness to worship and to serve God beyond a sense of duty, so that we desire to do it out of love.
7. Fear of the Lord gives us hope, trust, and the desire not to offend God. It bestows on us the certainty that God will supply us the graces that we need. Our desire not to offend God arises out of awe-inspired love.
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa made her first Monastic Profession in August 2009 and on July 11, 2012, she made her Perpetual Profession. Her first ministry was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is the Mission Integration Manager of the Benedictine Health System. See all of Sister Lisa’s posts.