For the whole of this week we are preparing ourselves for the wonderful celebration of Pentecost – the power of the Holy Spirit being given to the apostles. Yesterday we saw in the Acts of the Apostles the courage of St Paul as he journeyed towards Jerusalem. Courage (or Fortitude) is just one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the others being Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel and Fear of the Lord.
The problem for some of us is that this is just another list of things to remember! The church seems really good at lists: 3 theological virtues, 4 cardinal virtues, 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, 8 Beatitudes, 10 Commandments, 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit – and I am inclined to add, “and a partridge in a pear tree!” Lists are not useful unless we understand them. So maybe taking one thing at a time can be helpful.
St Thomas Aquinas, that great philosopher and Doctor of the Church, spoke much of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He tells us that the seven gifts are designed to be used in the world for the purpose of transforming that world for Christ.We all receive the gifts of the spirit at Baptism but they can lie dormant in our soul unless they are activated by the most important of the Theological Virtues – Charity, sometimes called Love. Our closeness to Christ ignites the other gifts in us.
Today I would like to focus on the gift of Counsel, which many of us need in these times. Counsel allows a person to be directed by God in matters necessary for their salvation. And don’t we need direction as we travel through the uncertainty of the next few months or years? Counsel leads us to a place of safety, of conviction and a stronger relationship with God and our fellow travellers through life. Be open to the gift of Counsel – it gives clearer answers than many of the worldly theories do.
Pray that the Holy Spirit may enrich you more and more this week.
God Bless. Stay safe. Dc Mike