The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part II)

Friends in Christ, again today, in the Acts of the Apostles, we see the Holy Spirit is guiding the early Church. St. Paul says, ‘Compelled by the Holy Spirit, I go to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me.’
We wish today to continue our study of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Having covered the 3 Intellectual Gifts of Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom – today we wish to discuss Counsel, Piety, Fortitude, and Fear of the Lord.
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The Gift of COUNSEL gives us a certain ‘instinct’ to make the right decision in difficult circumstances. While normally we have to reason out our decisions, by the Gift of Counsel, the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart, and in an instant, makes us understand what we must do. Fr. Tanquery[i] tells us, by the Gift of Counsel, the soul is able to see the way; it goes with confidence up steep and daunting paths, and it knows how to wait for the acceptable time.
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Then we have the Gift of Fortitude. This Gift gives a supernatural impulse to the will, enabling it to do great things joyfully and fearlessly despite obstacles. Unlike the virtue, also called Fortitude, Fortitude as a Gift of the Spirit is not the result of our effort, but rather, the Spirit takes hold of the soul and acts. It also enables us to persevere in difficult activity.
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The Gift of PIETY helps us to love God as our dear Father, to have a child-like trust in his Providence, and to obey him because we love him. Living the Gift of Piety means that our tasks and duties of life, however difficult, are done with the joy of pleasing our Heavenly Father. This Piety leads us also to a trusting, faithful love for holy Mother church, for the Blessed Virgin and the saints, who are all part of the family of God.
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The Gift called FEAR OF THE LORD is not a fear of God’s anger or of hell. Fear of the Lord is a Gift of the Holy Spirit, who does not want us in any way to dread our Dear Father in heaven. Fear of the Lord is the wholesome fear that a child has who loves his Papa very much, and would never dream of disobeying him or displeasing him. If you hear a person say, ‘well, its only a venial sin, go ahead….’ you are hearing a person who does not have this Gift at all. Acting on the Gift of Fear of the Lord means wishing to never displease God in even the smallest way.
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So let’s pray in these coming days, and ask the Holy Spirit to grant us a special grace. 

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[i] see The Spiritual Life, by Tanquery, p. 624-629

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