At Baptism, we receive seven gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts were freely given to help us live as followers of Jesus and to build up the Body of Christ, the Church.
There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Knowledge- the gift that allows us to see things as God sees them and make informed decisions. It is the ability to see things from God’s perspective as much as we humanly can.
Understanding- the gift that allows us to understand revealed truths. This gift helps us in understanding the difficult parts of our faith, like the Trinity. Understanding isn’t about scientific reasoning, but about faith. But it isn’t blind faith- there will be things we cannot prove, but nonetheless, understand and believe.
Wisdom- the gift that allows us to see and understand God’s plan in our lives and in the world. Wisdom helps us to put into action the truths of our faith.
Counsel- the gift that allows us to judge how a given situation will lead us to or away from God. It is also the gift that allows us to discern God’s call for our life.
Fortitude- this gift is also known as courage. It is the gift that allows us to joyfully endure suffering for Christ. It allows us to follow Christ, even when it is difficult to do so.
Piety- the gift that allows us to be aware of God’s presence in our lives. Piety helps us draw closer to God and seek out time with him and deepen our relationship with the Lord.
Fear of the Lord- the gift that allows us to recognize God’s greatness. This fear is not fear that God will hurt us, but that we might separate ourselves from God. There is a great relief in knowing that God is bigger than us, and a great joy in knowing that God loves us.
These gifts of the Holy Spirit are sealed and strengthened within us at Confirmation. These seven gifts help us to respond to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to make good choices, and to serve God and others.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit help us share in the life and nature of God. These gifts help make us more open and aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.
Read: Isaiah 11:1-3
“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump* of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD…”
The prophet Isaiah shared about these gifts and the Church teaches that in Jesus these words find fulfillment, and the gifts are given to all.
At Confirmation, the bishop will extend his hands over those being confirmed and echo the words of Isaiah as he prays, “All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.”