Saturday, May 15, 2010

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday is a week from tomorrow. I found this beautiful 1912 novena, a 9 day prayer while awaiting the Pentecost:

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 that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, 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 Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen. HT to Micki

"St. Thomas Aquinas says that four of these gifts (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel) direct the intellect, while the other three gifts (fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord) direct the will toward God.

In some respects, the gifts are similar to the virtues but a key distinction is that the virtues operate under the impetus of human reason (prompted by grace), whereas the gifts operate under the impetus of the Holy Spirit; the former can be used when one wishes, but the latter operate only when the Holy Spirit wishes. The former are like the oars of a boat; the latter, the sails.

In Summa Theologica II.II, Thomas Aquinas asserts the following correspondences between the seven Capital Virtues and the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

* The gift of wisdom corresponds to the virtue of charity.
* The gift of understanding corresponds to the virtue of faith.
* The gift of counsel (right judgment) corresponds to the virtue of prudence.
* The gift of fortitude corresponds to the virtue of courage.
* The gift of knowledge corresponds to the virtue of faith.
* The gift of piety corresponds to the virtue of justice.
* The gift of fear of the Lord corresponds to the virtue of hope.

The seven gifts were often represented as doves in medieval text, and especially figure in depictions of the Tree of Jesse which shows the Genealogy of Jesus. In many such depictions the doves encircle a bust of Christ." ~ Wikipedia


Kristi said...

Im a convert and I never remember hearing about this until Thursday at Mass. I didnt get around to starting it this year. So I hope to do it next year. Im bookmarking you so I dont have an excuse:)

Alexandra said...

Ha, you and I both. ;) I keep up with it all via my blog. I've got a few lady bloggers on my favorites who keep me up to date...glad to pass it along.

The Darling Homemaker said...

Reading your post reminded me of when I used to work at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in McAllen, Tx. I was a teachers aide, and the teachers and I would get together and pray while waiting for Pentecost Sunday. I have beautiful memories of those days...thanks for the post.

The Darling Homemaker said...

I love this...thanks for passing it on. Brings back beautiful memories.

Adrienne said...

God Bless you for your Catholic Witness on the web - I have something for you that I received from Jean @ Catholic Fire:
my post will explain. God Bless you! I home school my 17 year old - one more year to go! It is the greatest k=job in the world; I will be glad to finish, but sad to end. Blessed Mother, Holy Theotokos, keep you under her mantle of protection! - Adrienne

Leslie, the Home Maker said...

Thank God for His gifts to us.
Without them we cannot be light and salt, can we?
Thank you for this very insightful post.
I love the last sentence, "Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit."
I wanna be animated!!!!
Blessings to you today!

Alexandra said...

Blessings to you as well. :)