The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and What They Mean for Our Life

7th Week of Easter: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and What They Mean for Our Life.

By Fr. Francis Carvajal

2/83.2 The seven gifts. Their influence in the Christian life.

But when the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me.[2152] Our Lord announces this news in the Gospel of this past Sunday, and the liturgy of the Church invites us, in various ways, to get our souls ready for the action of the Holy Spirit.

A resolute battle against every deliberate venial sin prepares us to receive the light and the protection of the Paraclete, by means of his gifts. The light which is bestowed on our intellect makes us know and understand the things of God; the assistance to our will permits us to use successfully the opportunities for doing good which we encounter every day, and to reject the temptations of everything that would separate us from God.

The gift of understanding shows us the riches of the Faith with greater clarity. The gift of knowledge enables us to judge created things in an upright manner, and to keep our heart fixed on God, and on things insofar as they lead us to him. The gift of wisdom enables us to comprehend the unfathomable wonder of God, and it urges us to seek him in preference to all other things, amid our ordinary work and obligations. The gift of counsel points out the paths of holiness to us – God’s Will in our ordinary daily life – and encourages us to choose the option which most closely coincides with the glory of God, and the good of our fellow man. The gift of piety inclines us to treat God with the intimacy with which a child treats his father. The gift of fortitude uplifts us continually, helping us to overcome the difficulties which we inevitably meet on our journey to God. The gift of fear induces us to flee the occasions of sin, resist temptation, avoid every evil which could sadden the Holy Spirit,[2153] and to fear above all the loss of the One whom we love, and who is the reason of being of our life.

These are days to prepare for the celebration of the solemn sending out of the Holy Spirit on the Church, represented by the Apostles foregathered in the Cenacle, along with Mary the Mother of God. We pray constantly that we may be docile to the work of the Holy Spirit in our soul, and that he may not cease to move and inspire the people of these times in which we live, who are particularly hungry for the Spirit,[2154] and so much need his protection and his help. We tell him:

Come, O Holy Spirit, come,
And from thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come, thou source of all our store,
Come, within our bosoms shine!
Thou on those who ever more
Thee confess and thee adore
In thy sevenfold gifts descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward,
Give them thy salvation, Lord,
Give them joys that never end.[2155]
To read the rest of the reflection from this week pick up a copy of
"In Conversation With God."

In Conversation With God

This reflection is one part of a three part meditation taken from "In Conversation with God." To learn more about this rich series of books, or to purchase the volume with this reflection, Click Here

[2152] John 15:26

[2153] cf Eph 4:30

[2154] John Paul II, Redemptor hominis, 4 March 1979, 18

[2155] Sequence of the Mass of Pentecost


Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.