The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
When chosen by God to be the King of
Israel to replace his father, King David, King Solomon was inspired to ask God
for anything. Solomon did not ask for
riches, fame, nor honor; rather, he asked God for wisdom, for a discerning
heart so that he could rule the people with justice.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism we
have receive the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Knowledge,
Understanding, Counsel, Piety, Fortitude and Fear of the Lord. With
Confirmation these seven Gifts are fortified. According to the Angelic Doctor,
Saint Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit is
that of Wisdom.
In imitation of the intention and
decision of King Solomon we should also beg for an outpouring of the Holy
Spirit in our lives and that the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit become
powerfully manifest in our lives, as was clearly evident in the lives of the
saints. Blessed Pope John XXIII called
the saints, “The Masterpieces of the Holy Spirit.” We are called to be the modern “Masterpieces
of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus commanded
this with these clear but challenging words:
“Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.” (Mt. 5:48)
The saints were filled with Wisdom
In this short essay we will strive to
explain the first and greatest Gift of the Holy Spirit: the Gift of
Wisdom. “Come Holy Spirit, fill the
hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your divine love.” Lord,
breathe forth your spirit of Wisdom upon us!
Of the many sublime and beautiful
titles given to Mary she has been called and invoked as “Seat of Wisdom”. May her powerful prayers of intercession attain
for us Heavenly Wisdom. May the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, rush to our
DEFINITION. A short and “easy to memorize” definition of
Wisdom is the following: “To relish the things of God.” As a child, entering Baskin Robbins on a hot
day, sits licking bit by bit his triple-scoop ice-cream cone, relishing every
lick of the cone until it is gone, so those filled and enamored with the Gift
of Wisdom relish all that pertains to God.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES THAT EXEMPLIFY THE
GIFT OF WISDOM…
“Taste and see the goodness of the
Lord….” From the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek
first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be
given to you beside.” Finally, the
disciples on the Road to Emmaus commented, “Did not our hearts burn within us
as He explained to us the word of God…?”(Lk. 24: 13-35)
MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GIFT OF
WISDOM. If one is filled with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit these Gifts
must become operative, active, and manifest in one’s life. Jesus Himself said
that we can tell the tree by the fruits.
What then are clear signs of the operation of Wisdom in life? Following are a list of manifestations of a
truly “Wise”person! He desires to pray
and does not get tired or bored with prayer but hungers and thirsts for it all
the more. “As the deer yearns for the
running streams so my soul yearns for you, O Lord.” LEARNING! He has a great desire to learn and grow in
his faith. In this “Year of Faith”
(October11, 2012- November 24, 2013) the desire is all the more ardent to make
leaps and bounds in his faith.
Furthermore, he manifests an insatiable desire to drink in the most
abundant source of graces through assistance, participation and reception of
the Most Blessed sacrament of the Altar in Holy Mass. There is no greater desire in his heart than
to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. Spiritual Congresses, Spiritual
Retreats, Spiritual Conferences, TV. and Radio programs that are spiritually
enriching, Mass homilies--- all of these elicit in his heart great consolation,
peace, and joy!
The Wisdom Of St. Teresa of Avila and the Holy Spirit
OPPOSITE OF WISDOM: FOLLY! In one of His short but powerful Parables,
Jesus teaches clearly what “Wisdom” is not! (Luke 12: 16-21) It is the Parable of the Rich Fool! An abundant harvest resulted in tearing down
the barns to build more spacious ones.
Then the attitude of the “Rich fool” is expressed: “Now as
for you, you have many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink
and be merry.” But God said to Him, “You
fool this night your life
will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong? Thus will it be for the one
who stores us treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” What Jesus is clearly saying is that to live
only for the passing pleasures of this world is the heights of folly. Also, we
know neither the day, nor the hour, nor the manner that the Lord will call us
from this life to the next for Judgment which will determine our destiny for
all eternity, either salvation or condemnation. St. Ignatius challenged Francis Xavier with
these words of wisdom, words of Jesus Himself:
“What would it profit a man if he
were to gain the whole world and lose his life in the process. What can a man
give in exchange for his immortal soul?
FIVE SHORT BUT EFFICAIOUS WAYS TO
CULTIVATE THE GIFT OF WISDOM!
Wisdom-- eyes fixed on heaven!
TIME AND ETERNITY. Wisdom can be attained by meditating often on
the transitory, ephemeral, and fleeting character of our life. The Psalmist expresses it concisely: Our life
is like the flower of the field that rises in the morning and withers and dies
in the evening! A wise person has his
feet on earth, but his eyes fixed on eternity!
HEAVEN. Also, with respect to
eternity, a person imbued with the Gift of Wisdom, constantly reminds himself
that Heaven is his ultimate goal. This thought motivates him to put all the
means at his disposition to attain to such a lofty goal--- nothing less than
union with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Saint Dominic Savio
DEATH TO SIN. At times we meet old fools and wise youth! St Dominic Savio, who died, not even fifteen years
of age, was filled with Wisdom at a very tender age. His motto for his First Communion, and he had
not even turned eight, was death
rather than sin!!! True Wisdom is loving
what God loves and hating what God hates. God hates one thing: sin!
SHARING WISDOM. A truly wise person does not keep his “Pearl
of infinite price” to himself. Rather, following the exhortation of Saint Paul,
what we have received freely we are called to give freely! A truly wise person shares his treasure---
God and His treasures—with others! By
sharing heavenly treasures and wisdom one is not impoverished but enriched all
the more! Remember the words of Saint
Paul: “There is more joy in giving than
Savio's love for Mary!
MARY SEAT OF WISDOM. Bring others to Jesus though the Blessed Virgin
Mary. MEETING OF SAINTS! After the death of St. Dominic Savio—14 years
and 11 months of age--- the teenager appeared to St. John Bosco. St. Dominic Savio told St. John Bosco that
the greatest joy he experienced in life was his love for Mary, his devotion
towards her and his promoting devotion towards her. Savio told St. John Bosco
to do the same! True Wisdom can be
attained by cultivating a deep and tender devotion to Our Lady, “Seat of Wisdom”.
Like King Solomon let us all beg for
a great gift this very day. “Lord, grant
me wisdom, a truly discerning heart.” Let us always look to the Lord and be
radiant with joy. This is true Wisdom!