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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Holy Spirit Bestows Seven Gifts at Confirmation

Author: Beth Guide

One of the major aspects of the Sacrament of Confirmation are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that are bestowed on the candidate when they are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The candidate when participating in Confirmation accepts that their mission is to be witnesses of Jesus in their families and communities. And, the reception of those gifts helps each candidate succeed on their mission.

The gifts are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, counsel, piety and fear of the Lord are the seven gifts although the gifts will manifest themselves over the candidates lifetime.

The gift of wisdom gives the confirmed the gift to see the worlds though Gods eyes and viewpoint. This will help us to understand the purpose of Gods plan for us and for the world. The candidate also has the ability to formulate a historical perspective and help have an enlightened view of history and how the present and the past work together and affect the mystery of the future. This is also known as speculative reason according to St. Thomas Aquinas, in Summa Theologica.

The gift of knowledge helps the confirmed use thoughtful reflection and contemplation on the mystery of God. It also helps with the mysteries of the Trinity and as well as the Catholic faith, according to the United States Catholic Catechism. This gift also helps draw the candidate to a meditative prayer, meaning the candidate is open for God to lead them while they are just quietly listening. Often this is practiced during Adoration. This is what Aquinas called practical reasoning.

The gift of understanding is to help the candidate learn themselves and how to grow in knowing God. St. Augustine used the prayer "That I May know You, may I know Myself." We are all made in God's image and as we come to know ourselves we also learn about God and who he is. This is also what Aquinas calls common sense.

The gift of fortitude is also known as the courage. The confirmed can used this gift to stand up for Jesus and his teaching. According to Aquinas, this gift is the firmness that is required to do good and to stand up to evil. This gift is more evident when the good or evil is particularly more difficult.

The gift of counsel is also known as right judgment and is the perfection of practical reasoning. And after the candidates learns though research how the candidate applies the knowledge. As this gift grows and we are faced with moral dilemmas we are more apt to make the better or more moral decision, according to Aquinas.

The gift of piety is the reverence and respect we show to the Father. Reverence may be learned from parents and teachers. This gift is often renewed during liturgy where it is a reminder to teach us reverence. Aquinas says at the instigation of the Holy Spirit we pay worship and duty to God as our Father.

And lastly the gift of Fear of the Lord, allows us the awe of the majesty of God. This also is a what makes us grateful wonder of God and his love for the candidate. According to Aquinas this is also the fear of separating themselves from God.

According to Aquinas the summary of the gifts is that the first 4 gifts direct the intellect and the last 3 direct the candidates will toward God making the confirmed a powerful messenger for Christ and His teachings.

Beth carries a wide selection of confirmation gifts and Holy Spirit Jewelry

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