In the Book of Isaiah 11:2-3, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are described. In the passage the gifts are considered ones that the Messiah would have possessed. Through Jesus, we also receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Wisdom helps us recognize the importance of others and the importance of keeping God central in our lives.
Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of God's message.
Knowledge is the ability to think about and explore God's revelation, and also to recognize there are mysteries of faith beyond us.
Counsel is the ability to see the best way to follow God's plan when we have choices that relate to him.
Fortitude is the courage to do what one knows is right.
Piety helps us pray to God in true devotion.
Fear of the Lord is the feeling of amazement before God, who is all-present, and whose friendship we do not want to lose.
Courage, a Gift of the Holy Spirit
The dictionary defines courage as the ability to confront fear in the face of pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Christians identify courage as the virtue of fortitude, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1808) says “enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions.”
When Archbishop Oscar Romero spoke out for the poor of El Salvador, he knew he was putting his own life in danger, and he was strengthened by the courage that is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
When Saint Isaac Jogues returned to the New World after having been tortured for 13 months by the Mohawk Indians, he knew he was returning to a life-threatening situation and he was strengthened by the courage that is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
When Mrs. Augusta Gervay and Father Emilian Novak ran a workshop that produced baptismal certificates used to save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust, they were endangering their own lives and were strengthened by the courage that is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit Memory
The Holy Spirit reminds us; he reminds us of all that Jesus said. He is the living memory of the Church, and when he reminds us, he helps us understand the words of the Lord.
This remembrance in the Spirit and by virtue of the Spirit . . . is an essential aspect of Christ’s presence within us and within his Church. The Spirit of truth and charity reminds us of all that Christ said and helps us enter ever more fully into the meaning of his words. We all have this experience: one moment, in any situation, there is an idea and then another connects with a passage from Scripture. . . . It is the Spirit who leads us to take this path: the path of the living memory of the Church. And he asks us for a response: the more generous our response, the more Jesus’ words become life within us, becoming attitudes, choices, actions, testimony. In essence the Spirit reminds us of the commandment of love and calls us to live it.
A Christian without memory is not a true Christian but only halfway there: a man or woman, a prisoner of the moment, who doesn’t know how to treasure his or her history, doesn’t know how to read it and live it as salvation history. With the help of the Holy Spirit, however, we are able to interpret interior inspirations and life events in light of Jesus’ words. And thus within us grows the knowledge of memory, knowledge of the heart, which is a gift of the Spirit. May the Holy Spirit rekindle the Christian memory within all of us! And there, that day with the apostles, was Our Lady of Memory, who from the beginning meditated on all those things in her heart. Mary, our Mother, was there. May she help us on this path of memory.
—Excerpted from Walking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church by Pope Francis