The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

To enable Catholics to participate in the life of God, the Holy Spirit bestows seven supernatural gifts that allow man to go beyond the limits of human reason and human nature, to grow in holiness, and to prepare for Heaven.

Also known as sanctifying gifts of the Spirit, these particular gifts of grace work together, perfecting the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance, along with the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

It was prophesized that the Savior would possess these seven traits and Jesus possesses them like no other. Jesus shares them with members of his Church at their Baptism and strengthens them at their Confirmation.

Catholics are given the gift of wisdom to see things from God’s perspective and to recognize divine truth.

The gift of understanding gives a Catholic the ability to reflect deeply, and to gain insight into God’s message through his Word and in the truths of the Christian faith that are necessary for salvation.

God is able to direct Catholics to make the best choices related to their salvation, knowing what is right and what is wrong, by the gift of right judgement, or counsel.

The gift of fortitude, or courage, gives Catholics the strength to do what is good and to avoid evil. Confident in the promise of Everlasting Life, they will overcome fear to profess and practice their faith.

With the gift of knowledge, Catholics can grasp the information that God reveals about his purpose for them. This gift helps them to choose the path that leads to God and to avoid the obstacles that keep them apart from Him.

Worshipping God and praying to Him are possible with the gift of piety, or reverence. Piety reminds Catholics that God exists and He loves them as his children.

A deep reverence for God and being amazed at his creation is possible by the gift of wonder and awe, or fear of the Lord. This gift helps Catholics respect God and desire to please Him, never wanting to be separated from Him.

Gifts that will bear fruit:


More receptive to the Holy Spirit because of his gifts:


Gifts freely poured out and meant to be used:

Catholic News Service

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.

Isaiah 11: 1-3

Necessary gifts for a virtuous life:

The Religion Teacher

The virtues are perfected by sanctifying gifts:


The gifts and the virtues are united:

Catholic Culture

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1831

Necessary gifts for the good of our souls:

Heralds of the Gospel – USA

Gifts of a higher realm:

The Thomistic Institute

Jesus confers on the Apostles the power to forgive sins, so that they may pass it on to their successors in the Church But this power granted to men presupposes and includes the saving action of the Holy Spirit. By becoming “the light of hearts,” that is to say the light of consciences, the Holy Spirit “convinces concerning sin,” which is to say, He makes man realize his own evil and at the same time directs him toward what is good. Thanks to the multiplicity of the Spirit’s gifts, by reason of which he is invoked as the “sevenfold one,” every kind of human sin can be reached by God’s saving power. In reality-as St. Bonaventure says-“by virtue of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit all evils are destroyed and all good things are produced.

Pope John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem, 18 May 1986

The gifts of the Holy Spirit work together:

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Serving God in ordinary life:

Prelature of Opus Dei

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