The Theological Virtue of Faith is our guide in this life for our thinking, since it allows us to trust in God as the Ultimate Authority…as Truth Itself. However, we need the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to move our intellect in order to have the Truth made Divinely manifest and shine in our intellect to know as God knows. The Gifts related to our intellect are Counsel, Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom. While they are related, there are important distinctions to know, desire and relish. These Gifts allow us to love God more than any learned person in the sciences…or the smartest person on earth with the highest IQ, since the intellect was created by God to ultimately know and love Him! With the Gifts of the intellect from the Holy Spirit, you become “God’s rocket scientist of Love”! You will give God more Glory than anyone with a keen intellect, simply because an intellect without the Gifts, is a lowly thing even when used to its maximum human potential!
The first intellectual Gift is Counsel, which directs the Gifts of Fear of The Lord, Fortitude and Piety. Normally we don’t notice our intellect working as most of our tasks are quite routine, but in difficult matters we deliberate about the lawfulness, the appropriateness and the value of what we are thinking about. Normally, we will use the Virtue of Prudence to judge what is the best course of action, especially if we are responsible for others as parent or superior. However, human life can be so complicated and difficult at times that we need the supernatural help of God through the Gift of Counsel, where the Holy Spirit becomes our guide to the decisions needed by giving us His Light. When we work under this Gift, we make quick, sure and bold decisions, because this is what the Holy Spirit wants in those circumstances! However, the Holy Spirit will also show us when to be silent and when not to act.
The number of decisions and acts we undertake each day are staggering, especially in talking with others without planning in what usually are spontaneous conversations. Here we must be especially careful and place ourselves under this Gift. If not, we will find ourselves quickly saying (gossip or uncharitable remarks) and even doing things which offend God! As we train our intellect with the Virtue of Prudence to speak less and listen more (an act of love), we will also notice the influence of the Holy Spirit from the Gift of Counsel as we respond in charity with what is needed for ourselves, for others and for the situation at hand, because the Holy Spirit will be responding for us. The great daily habit to employ is the prayer: “Holy Spirit I thank you for the Gifts. I place all in your hands, especially the decisions, words and acts of today and this moment. May they be done by You solely for Your Glory and as You Will.”
Now let us go to the Novena for the Gifts at http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/Pentecost.seven.htm Fiat!