The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit & Their Meaning

Written by rose sartaguda
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The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit & Their Meaning
The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect our virtues. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Christians receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit during baptism. These gifts make us willing to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit in all we do. It helps us go through life equipped with the necessary virtues that make everything more meaningful. According to EWTN, "The seven gifts perfect the intellectual virtues as well as the virtues of the will and appetites."

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Wisdom ranks highest among the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Having the gift of wisdom allows us to view things according to how God views them. We can acquire it by constantly seeking the mind and will of the Lord through regular communication in prayer, Scripture study and cultivating an intimate relationship with him. Wisdom directs us in judging everything according to divine perspective.


Understanding is the gift that gives us better and deeper insight into the mysteries of the Christian faith. It helps us to have a clearer knowledge of the teachings and truths of the church. According to St. John Roman Catholic Church Website, "It gives great confidence in the revealed word of God and leads those who have it to reach true conclusions from revealed principles."


The gift of counsel grants us the intuition for doing the right thing under difficult circumstances. It allows us to practice and perfect the virtue of prudence, or knowing what to do and what to avoid in different situations. Second Exodus states, "The Holy Spirit speaks to the heart through the gift of counsel and shows those who have it what to do."


Fortitude is the gift of strength, steadfastness and courage to enable us to obey and do God's will at all times. It helps us overcome obstacles and persevere in our faith, constantly relying on God's divine providence to equip us with the necessary virtue.


With the gift of knowledge, we are able to discern and discover the will of God in all things and judge everything according to this divine perspective. St. John Roman Catholic Church indicates, "The gift of knowledge is often called 'the science of the saints' because it enables those who have it to swiftly discern between the impulses of temptation and the inspirations of grace."


The gift of piety perfects our love for God. It develops this instinctive love for him as our father, allowing us to obey him more naturally, as we trust fully in his love for us.

Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord equips us with a dread of sin and dread of offending God. It is not due to fear of punishment from the Lord but springs naturally from our deep love and respect for God.

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