Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who? The Holy Spirit? Who's That? - Part 2



It was on The Feast Of Pentecost that God the Holy Spirit empowered a handful of frightened apostles and disciples hiding behind locked doors with the incentive and the ability to unlock the doors, face the world, and convert the world to faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  On that Feast of Pentecost, over 2000 years ago, the holy Church was born.  And its newborn children, the Apostles and disciples, went forth into the world to preach and teach and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For you and me, 2000 years later, the Sacrament Of Confirmation is the Sacrament of our personal Pentecost.
Confirmation endows us with the capacity to become spiritually mature.
Confirmation summons us to the fullness of living our lives committed to Christ.

We must possess seven qualities or capacities to qualify as adult Christians.
These seven capacities can only be given directly by God as internal spiritual endowments.
We call these The Seven Gifts Of The Holy Spirit (see The Book of the Prophet Isaiah 11:2-3 and The Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11).


THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


WISDOM
  • The spiritual gift of Wisdom helps us see and evaluate our lives in relation to God and in union with God. 
  • Wisdom is the capacity to deal constructively with reality. 
  • Wisdom enables us to distinguish fantasy from reality and live accordingly.


UNDERSTANDING
  • The spiritual gift of Understanding makes us human beings comprehend our brief life on earth and the events of earthly life in relationship to our Eternal God in Heaven. 
  • The spiritual gift of Understanding connects our daily living with the final goal of our earthly lives and to eternity waiting for us after this life. 
  • Understanding gives us the capacity to adapt to change. 
  • Understanding helps us to accept changes, seeing them as being for the good of everyone.

COUNSEL
  • The spiritual gift of Counsel helps us to tell people things that will help them in their relationship to God. 
  • Counsel gives us suitable freedom from the symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties. 
  • Counsel leads us to delve beyond the visible to discover the hidden causes and symptoms of our fears and tensions.
PIETY
  • The spiritual gift of Piety  is the capacity to remain loyal to the cause of God. 
  • Piety is the exact opposite to selfishness. 
  • Piety is the capacity to find more happiness in giving rather than receiving or taking. 
  • Piety warns us against our tendencies to be selfish.

KNOWLEDGE
  • The spiritual gift of  Knowledge is a gift of the Holy Spirit that helps us to know the truths of God, even when they are unsearchable by the human mind. 
  • Knowledge is the capacity to relate to people in a consistent manner, with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness. 
  • Knowledge gives consistent direction in our lives. 
  • The spiritual gift of Knowledge saves us from being shattered by every passing emotion.

FEAR OF THE LORD / REVERENCE
  • The spiritual gift of  Reverence is the capacity to see the presence of God in the world and in people, and to have reverential respect for God. 
  • Reverence is sometimes referred to as “Fear Of The Lord.” 
    • “Fear” actually means loving respect, honor, veneration, and devotion to God as little children lovingly respect, honor, venerate and devote themselves to their loving father and mother. 
  • “Fear of the Lord” or Reverence enables us to direct our instinctive hostile and selfish energies into creative and constructive outlets. 
  • Reverence prods us to accomplish good deeds which might otherwise be left undone.

FORTITUDE
  • The spiritual gift of Fortitude is the God-given capacity to love and to have the strength of mind to proceed with courage for the sake of Christ and His Gospel. 
  • Fortitude is necessary for true love, because fortitude gives us courage to make a solemn commitment to God and to others in spite of the risk of being rejected by them because of our commitment to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
As mentioned above, we must possess seven qualities or capacities to qualify as adult Christians.
On this Feast of the Birthday of The Church -- while in quiet contemplation -- we should examine our lives to determine which of the Seven Gifts of the Spirit we are permitting to be used, and which of the Seven Gifts we are not allowing to play active parts of our day-to-day life as Catholics.

Since our personal Pentecost -- Confirmation -- took place,  have we allowed ourselves to live as adult Christians? 
Have we been acting, speaking, thinking, and praying like responsible Christians?
Are we still spiritually living and thinking like immature Catholic "kids"? 
Why are we evading an adult, responsible, full, and passionate commitment to Our Lord Jesus and His Holy Church?
What are we afraid of?
What are our lame excuses?
What are we waiting for?

Sometime today, on the Feast Of Pentecost, you and I really must try to answer these questions, or we won't have any birthday cake in Christ's Heavenly Kingdom.

Happy Birthday to us! 
Blow out the candles on the Birthday Cake. 
But do not blow out the flames of the Holy Spirit within you.

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