The Gift of Counsel

On the seventh day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit, we seek the gift of Counsel: the grace “to judge promptly, correctly and, as it were, intuitively” especially in difficult situations. (Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. The Counsel)

When we have the gift of Counsel, we see with clarity the road ahead; we understand how God wants us to proceed. It is like looking at our decisions through a magnifying glass.  Of course, this glass is comprised of trust in God and the Church. I have made bad decisions in my life. I can tell you that in those instances, I lacked the trust in both. However, as I have become more trustful in God and the teachings of the Church, my judgment has improved. I also have learned that we do not seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit in isolation; they are meant to be experienced with others: the “Gift of Counsel, is not only counseling myself, it is also the Gift of Counsel for others.” (Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J)

Case in point; today, I meant to write this blog, as I always do, early in the morning. However, I was interrupted by my son because he was upset. The iron-on t-shirt he designed was not ready to wear. In addition, my wife was hosting a celebration in our home. I have to make a decision on whether to continue to write my blog or support both my son and my wife. In the past, I would have been upset that they were interrupting me, especially doing God’s work. However, I decided, without any guilt or hesitation, to stop the blog efforts and focus on them. It was a liberating moment, because I felt I was doing God’s will. God wants me to be as good of a father and husband as I can be.

Like with all the others gifts of the Holy Spirit, my judgment is better now because of the people in my life. I am fortunate to have great friends, a spiritual director, and a great spouse who love me. Whenever I am weak in any of these gifts, I seek in them the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to bless us with the gift of Counsel today and forever. Have a blessed evening!!!

The Gift of Knowledge

The Novena of the Holy Spirit continues today with the petition to receive the gift of Knowledge: to open our hearts and minds to know our Father.

It is impossible to know a person when we make no effort to interact with them. Fruitful relationships are built in knowing each other. The same is true with God. If we want to know God, we have to make an effort to get to know him.

The gift of Knowledge empowers us to use our hearts, minds, and social faculties to seek and find God. Through prayer, meditation, and contemplation, we fall in love with him. Through the study of the Scriptures, Tradition, and teachings of the Church, we open our minds to his Word. Finally, through our interaction with others, we witness and experience his love for us.

May the Holy Spirit bless us with the gift of Knowledge today and always.

Have a blessed day!!!

The Gift of Fortitude

“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1)

As we enter the fourth day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we ask for the gift of Fortitude: “the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1808)

We all experience difficult situations in our lives. The good news, however, is that those who are blessed with the gift of Fortitude are able to cope with life’s sufferings, temptations, and fears in divine ways. Filled with the gift of Fortitude, they place their trust in God: “Because always, even in the darkest moments, in moments of sin, in moments of weakness, in moments of failure, I have seen Jesus, and I trusted Him … He has not left me alone” (Pope Francis, Sept 22, 2013)

Through the gift of Fortitude, our suffering unites us with the pain experienced by Jesus, Mary, all the Saints, and countless brothers and sisters. It is through the gift of Fortitude that on a certain day we will be joyful to say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Have a blessed day!!!

The Gift of Piety

On this the third day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we ask for the gift of Piety: total devotion and obedience to God.

As the adopted children of God, we ought to hope to imitate Jesus Christ’s example of obedience to the Father: “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38)

Of course, to imitate Jesus’s piety is to be willing to go beyond prayer. It means to give alms and to fast; to care for those in need and to seek detachment from the earthly desires that enslave us:

If we imitate our Lord Jesus, he will lift us up just like his Father lifted him up: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40)

Have a blessed day!!!