By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.
Pick up your newspaper any day. You’ll find that most of the sensational headlines print a story of one of the capital sins. Splattered in newsprint is an account of pride or lust, or envy or greed. Read the liturgy of Pentecost Week and you’ll discover the remedy for these moral diseases. That remedy is the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
There may seem to be very little relation between what we read in the headlines and what we know about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. What could these gifts have to do with the world scene – or domestic one, for that matter? Yet, these spiritual gifts have a
profound impact on life in all its phases – personal, social, or political.
First, let’s have a clear idea of our subject. A gift of the Holy Spirit is supernatural habit (a strongly-entrenched disposition of soul) that disposes you to receive and follow
promptly His inspirations. Like a spiritual radar, it makes you attuned to the mind and heart of God. It produces a keen sensitivity to the breathing of the Holy Spirit.
The basic gift is Fear of the Lord. Inspired by a reverential fear, it makes you avoid whatever displeases God or causes you to lose Him and His Presence. This is the foundation of the spiritual structure as it causes us to make the good pleasure of
God the guiding norm of our actions. Imagine what would happen if all the world leaders were well-established in this gift!
Piety makes us reverence God with childlike love-and to love men insofar as they are the images of God. This gift helps the underprivileged, the unwanted, and the unloved more than all social agencies combined. It produces peace at home and throughout the social structure.
The gift of knowledge inspires you to appreciate and use the means of salvation and to reject the obstacles to their use. Life is no riddle to those influenced by this gift. Counsel
carries us a bit further, giving the ability to select and discern those means most adapted to God’s glory and our sanctification. It points out the safest and surest way to Heaven.
Understanding is a gift giving deeper insight into the mysteries of faith. This is the great need of those whose faith seems to be a bunch of answers memorized from the catechism with little or no bearing on their daily lives. It is the solution to the problem of religious unity-for it unites all believers in the oneness of truth.
The queen and crown of all the gifts we have saved until last. Wisdom makes us find our delight in God and the things of God. It is a loving appreciation of all God’s creatures with a wise detachment that causes us to see and use these creatures only in and for God. It often gives a loving taste of God that is a foretaste of Heaven.
You can quickly see how all these gifts-infused into your soul with sanctifying grace-give you a tremendous lift en route to Heaven.
They perfect the various virtues and stimulate the fullest flowering of charity. These are the gifts most needed by the world. They contain the solution to most of your problems. And you should cultivate them unceasingly!
With special thanks to http://www.cukierski.net