How to Cultivate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Friends in Christ, tonight we conclude this 4 part series on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This Paraclete, this Consoler, is very much on our minds as we prepare for Pentecost. We have spoken before about how the Gifts of the Holy Spirit work in us, as divine inspirations, movements in the soul, which in a moment give us an idea, or a strength, or the desire that we need, all at once.
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Maybe at times we’ve experienced these passing wisps of grace, an inspiration while on a visit to the Blessed Sacrament or on a retreat, a sudden courage to say or act – or an unexplained burst of fervor and love.
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Today we wish to speak of how to draw more of these Gifts down upon us – how to cultivate the Gifts of the Spirit in our life.[i]
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The Gifts are present in the soul whenever we are in the State of Grace. They exist there as supernatural faculties. It is incredible that there are some people who, during long periods of their life do not access them. In order that we might come to a full supernatural development, we need these Gifts to be actualized in our soul.
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St. Thomas says: ‘The moral virtues precede the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in order to acquire the docility which the Gifts confer, we must conquer our passions and vices and form habits of prudence, humility, obedience, meekness, chastity – we must be living the moral life. One cannot follow the inspirations of grace, if a person is troubled by anger, or lust, or stubbornness.
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Before being led by the motions of grace, one must be observing the commandments and have triumphed over pride. This is the teaching of St. Teresa and so many others as well. Cajetan says, a person must tame his passions, cultivate meekness, patience and humility in order to rise to the contemplative life.
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So in other words, accessing Gifts of the Spirit in our life, requires first, a good person, to build on. We must be a good – a virtuous person first, in order to bring alive in us the great Gifts of this Holy Spirit.

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[i]  see Tanquerey, pp. 612-614.

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