Monday, 9 June 2014

The 7 Gifts Of The Holy Ghost.


Roman Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Roman Catholics are advised to note that this Article is taken from Wikipedia and, if they have any doubts about the veracity of any of the content, herein, they should liaise with their Parish Priest in the first instance.



English: Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 
Spirit of Holy Fear. Painter: Peter Horemans (1753).
Deutsch: Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Sieben Gaben des Heiligen Geistes: 
Der Geist der Gottesfurcht. Maler: Peter Horemans (1753).
Latina: Spiritus timoris Domini.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Hermetiker.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost are an enumeration of Seven Spiritual Gifts originating with Patristic authors, later elaborated by five Intellectual Virtues and four other groups of ethical characteristics.

The Seven Gifts are: Wisdom; Understanding; Wonder and Awe (Fear of the Lord); Counsel; Knowledge; Fortitude; Piety (Reverence).

The source of the enumeration of "Seven Gifts" is often given as Isaiah 11:2-3. The term "Holy Ghost" does not appear, but the "Spirit of the Lord." In the Hebrew Saint Petersburg Codex text, only three Spirits, with two characteristics each, totalling six, are mentioned, and Fear is mentioned twice in a concluding comment.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of Wisdom and of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and of Power, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord — and he will delight in the Fear of the Lord. — NIV.

Later Christian usage conforms to the Latin Vulgate, which takes the list from the Septuagint. In the Septuagint, the first "Spirit of.. Fear of the Lord" is "Spirit of... Godliness" (πνεῦμα ..εὐσεβείας), the second "Fear of the Lord" is Fear of the Lord (πνεῦμα φόβου θεοῦ).


File:Holy Spirit as Dove (detail).jpg

English: Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Dove of the Holy Spirit (circa 1660). Stained Glass. 
Throne of Saint Peter. Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican, Rome.
(circa 1660, trono di San Pietro, basilica di San Pietro, Vaticano).
Date: Circa 1660.
Source: Istorija umetnosti, Gianlorenzo Bernini.
Author: Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Seven Latin terms are:


Timor Domini.


In Mediaeval Christianity

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost are one of several works in Mediaeval Christian devotional literature, which follow a Scheme of Seven.

The Seven Gifts were often represented as Doves in Mediaeval texts and especially figure in depictions of the Tree of Jesse, which shows the Genealogy of Jesus. In many such depictions, the Doves encircle a bust of Christ.


File:Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Bilder 03.jpg

English: Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 
Spirit of Wisdom. Painter: Peter Horemans (1753).
Deutsch: Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Sieben Gaben des Heiligen Geistes: 
Der Geist der Weisheit. Maler: Peter Horemans (1753).
Latina: Spiritus sapientiae.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Hermetiker.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism teaches that Initiates receive these Seven Gifts at Baptism, and that they are strengthened at Confirmation, so that one can proclaim the Truths of the Faith: "The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of Baptismal Grace."[88]. For "by the Sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptised] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Ghost. Hence, they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the Faith by word and deed."[89] (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1285).

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Understanding: In Understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as followers of Christ. A person with Understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The Gift of Understanding perfects a person's speculative reason in the apprehension of Truth. It is the Gift whereby self-evident principles are known, Saint Thomas Aquinas writes.

Counsel (Right Judgment): With the Gift of Counsel/Right Judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with Right Judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.


File:Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Bilder 06.jpg

English: Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 
Spirit of Piety. Painter: Peter Horemans (1753).
Deutsch: Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Sieben Gaben des Heiligen Geistes: 
Der Geist der Frömmigkeit. Maler: Peter Horemans (1753).
Latina: Spiritus pietatis.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Hermetiker.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Fortitude (Courage): With the Gift of Fortitude/Courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with Courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or physical harm. The Gift of Courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil.

Knowledge: With the Gift of Knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The Gift of Knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts.

Piety (Reverence): With the gift of Reverence, sometimes called Piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with Reverence recognises our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Piety is the Gift whereby, at the Holy Ghost's instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, Saint Thomas Aquinas writes.



English: Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 
Spirit of Strength. Painter: Peter Horemans (1753).
Deutsch: Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Sieben Gaben des Heiligen Geistes: 
Der Geist der Stärke. Maler: Peter Horemans (1753).
Latina: Spiritus fortitudinis.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Hermetiker.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): With the Gift of Fear of the Lord, we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with Wonder and Awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This Gift is described by Saint Thomas Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the Gift as a "filial fear," like a child's fear of offending his father, rather than a "servile fear," that is, a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom (Prov 1:7) because it puts our mindset in correct location with respect to God; we are the finite, dependent creatures, and He is the infinite, all-powerful Creator.

Wisdom: It is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones.

Relation to the Seven Virtues

Saint Thomas Aquinas says that four of these Gifts (Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel) direct the intellect, while the other three Gifts (Fortitude, Piety, Fear of the Lord) direct the will toward God.

In some respects, the Gifts are similar to the Seven Virtues, but a key distinction is that the Virtues operate under the impetus of human reason (prompted by Grace), whereas the Seven Gifts operate under the impetus of the Holy Ghost; the former can be used when one wishes, but the latter operate only when the Holy Ghost wishes. In the case of Fortitude, the Gift has, in Latin and English, the same name as a Virtue, which it is related to, but from which it must be distinguished.


File:Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Bilder 04.jpg

English: Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 
Spirit of Understanding. Painter: Peter Horemans (1753).
Deutsch: Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Sieben Gaben des Heiligen Geistes: 
Der Geist der Einsicht. Maler: Peter Horemans (1753).
Latina: Spiritus intellectus.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Hermetiker.
(Wikimedia Commons)


In Summa Theologica II.II, Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts the following correspondences between the Seven Capital Virtues and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost:

The Gift of Wisdom corresponds to the Virtue of Charity;

The Gifts of Understanding and Knowledge correspond to the Virtue of Faith;

The Gift of Counsel (right judgment) corresponds to the Virtue of Prudence;

The Gift of Fortitude corresponds to the Virtue of Courage;

The Gift of Fear of the Lord corresponds to the Virtue of Hope;

The Gift of Reverence corresponds to the Virtue of Justice.


File:Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Bilder 01.jpg

English: Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 
Spirit of Counsel. Painter: Peter Horemans (1753).
Deutsch: Heilig-Geist-Kirche (München) - Sieben Gaben des Heiligen Geistes: 
Der Geist des Rates. Maler: Peter Horemans (1753).
Latina: Spiritus consilii.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Hermetiker.
(Wikimedia Commons)


To the Virtue of Temperance, no Gift is directly assigned; but the Gift of Fear can be taken as such, since Fear drives somebody to restrict himself from forbidden pleasures.

The Rev. Brian Shanley contrasts the Gifts to the Virtues in this way: "What the Gifts do, over and above the Theological Virtues (which they presuppose), is dispose the agent to the special promptings of the Holy Ghost in actively exercising the life of the Virtues; the Gifts are necessary for the perfect operations of the Virtues, especially in the face of our human weakness and in difficult situations."


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