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Saint John Roman Catholic Church

19 St. John Sq., Middletown, Connecticut, (860) 347-5626 ........... Reverend Father Michael Phillippino

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Isaiah told us the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Is 11:2 “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”   

 

 

  

They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These seven gifts, part of sanctifying grace, complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make us docile in obeying divine inspirations without need for reflection but always with full consent.

         

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are greater than the theological and cardinal virtues. The virtues operate to the limits of human power and volition, but the gifts bring divine assistance.

                 

 

We are to pray to the Holy Spirit and ask for one of these gifts. If He gives us a gift, we may ask for another, and so on.       

                 

            

The practice of virtue, enabled by the gifts seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, bring us the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit.         
  
            

 

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

 

                                                                                         

                                                                                         Wisdom


The gift of wisdom leads the soul of those who have it to see things from God’s perspective. Wisdom is fullness of knowledge through affinity for the divine, as when a person comes to know Christ’s Passion through suffering. It is also love, which inspires contemplative reflection on what we believe and directs the mind to judge according to its precepts. The gift of wisdom supplements the virtue of faith and shields us against folly. 

          

The virtue of charity is part of wisdom; it inspires contemplative reflection on the divine mysteries, enjoys thinking about them, and directs the mind to judge all things according to their right principles. 

          

Wisdom is distinct from faith. Faith is assent to the defined articles of Catholic belief. Wisdom goes farther to a certain divine penetration of these truths. 

            

Wisdom is first and highest among the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Wisdom is also one of the Five Intellectual Virtues. 

                                                                                                      

       

 

Understanding

     


             

The gift of understanding gives to the mind of those who have it a charisma for apprehending Christ’s public revelation easily and profoundly. 

                     

More specifically, the gift of understanding helps those who have it penetrate to the heart of revealed truth even when they do not fully understand its entire meaning. It gives great confidence in the revealed word of God and leads those who have it to reach true conclusions from revealed principles. 

                           

Understanding is greater than faith. Faith is assent to the defined articles of Catholic teaching. Understanding goes farther because it gives insight into these defined articles of belief. The gift of wisdom exceeds the gift of understanding in that it shows us God’s perspective.  

                                  

Understanding is also one of the Five Intellectual Virtues.

             

Counsel  


 

The gift of counsel perfects in those who have it the virtue of prudence. It enables them to judge promptly and rightly, as by supernatural intuition, what should be done in difficult situations. It primarily enhances one’s own prudent conduct, and only secondarily that of others.

         

The Holy Spirit speaks to the heart through the gift of counsel and shows those who have it what to do. Christ gave His followers a gift like counsel when He told them, Mt 10:19 “When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

      

 

Fortitude   


Cardinal Virtue

           

The virtue of fortitude, or courage, is firmness of spirit, steadiness of will in doing good despite obstacles in the performance of our daily duty. It suppresses inordinate fear and curbs recklessness. Because fortitude also moderates rashness, it is the special virtue of pioneers in any field.

Fortitude is the obverse of temperance. Where temperance limits inordinate desire for major pleasures such as food and drink or the marital act, fortitude limits inordinate rashness and fear in the face of major pain that threatens to unbalance human nature. 

            

Fortitude is one of the Four Cardinal Virtues; the others are prudence, justice, and temperance.
 

                                   Gift of the Spirit

 

The gift of fortitude brings to those who have it a dauntless spirit of resolution, firmness of mind, and indomitable will to persevere with a quiet faith in God’s providence that overcomes all obstacles. It also brings courage to persist in the practice of virtue despite trials, illness, persecution or external failure. A Catholic who becomes fervent in God’s service will soon be condemned by the world, but the gift of fortitude will sustain him as he walks toward the Cross. 

              

 

Knowledge


          

The gift of knowledge perfects the virtue of faith. It enables those who have it to judge the whole spectrum of creatures and objects from a supernatural viewpoint. Through infused knowledge the faithful can see God’s providence in whatever enters their lives and put creatures to the right use. 

        

The gift of knowledge is often called “the science of the saints” because it enables those who have it to swiftly discern between the impulses of temptation and the inspirations of grace.

                 

 

Piety

         


 

The gift of piety perfects the virtue of justice toward God. It infuses an instinctive love for God and devotion to those who are consecrated to God. Piety arises from the Holy Spirit’s supernatural communication, rather than from effort or acquired habit.

         

The gift of piety enables those who have it to see God as a loving Father. St. Paul told us, Rom 8:14 “All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, ’Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

          

 The gift of piety also infuses in those who have it an affectionate obedience to God because they love Him so much.

 

              

Fear of the Lord


The gift of fear of the Lord confirms in those who have it the virtue of hope and infuses profound respect for God’s glory and selfless love for God. It protects from sin through dread of offending God. 

     

This gift has nothing to do with servility or fear of punishment. We express fear of the Lord in a perfect Act of Contrition. 

            

             

         


 

Holy Spirit Christmas Ornament

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Holy Spirit themed
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Additional Links for More Information on the 7 Gifts of The Holy Spirit:

     

 

American Catholic
              

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit - This prayer was written by St. Bonaventure
             

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit According to St.Thomas Aquinas
             

The great outpouring of the Holy Spirit - By Archbishop John Vlazny 
              

The Dignity of the Human Person - The Vatican  

 

Book on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Blessed Raymond Lull
             

To listen to each day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit 

           

National Catholic Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit: - New!

    Part 1    Part2    Part3    Part4    Part5    Part6    Part7  and  Part8

 

Mark Shea Series on The Holy Spirit:

Follow the links for Introduction: Part 1; Wisdom:  Part 2Part 3; Understanding: Part 4Part 5Part 6;

Counsel: Part 7Part 8; Fortitude: Part 9Part 10Part 11; Knowledge: Part 12Part 13 and Part 14.

 

7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit Gift Shop

(Help Support our Parish)

 

            


Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts

The Graces of Perfection

 

FOREWORD

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. 

   

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

To be recited daily during the Novena

   

On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

    

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

To be recited daily during the Novena 

   

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 on 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. 

   


The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.


FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)
   

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!
   

The Holy Spirit
   

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin· Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."
   

Prayer
   

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
  

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


SECOND DAY (Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)
  

Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live! 

   

The Gift of Fear 

   

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls." 

   

Prayer 

   

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

                    

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter or transferred Ascension) 

   

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow. 

   

The Gift of Piety 

   

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor. 

   

Prayer 

   

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.                                

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter) 

   

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe. 

  

The Gift of Fortitude By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved." 

   

Prayer 

   

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter) 

   

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill! 

   

The Gift of Knowledge 

   

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it." 

   

Prayer 

   

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Fatherand Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts



SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter) 

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill. 

 

The Gift of Understanding

 

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God." 

 

Prayer 

        

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter) 

 

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away. 

 

The Gift of Counsel 

 

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth." 

 

Prayer 

 

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)
 
Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!
 
The Gift of Wisdom
 
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
 
Prayer
 
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost) 

 

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen 

 

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit 

 

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign. 

 

Prayer 

 

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

                  

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts