Posted tagged ‘gifts’

Pentecost: Gifts, Fruits, Virtues

June 9, 2019


Blessed Pentecost!

MANY years ago,
when I visited the Sisters of St. Clare over Pentecost,
they invited me to share in their tradition
of drawing from a hat (without looking)
a piece of paper
on which was written a gift and a fruit of the Holy Spirit
(as found in Isaiah 11:2 & Galatians 5:22, respectively–
the older, longer version of Galatians)
to focus on until the following Pentecost.

I’ve carried on that tradition,
putting each on a separate slip of paper,
adding the Theological and Cardinal virtues
as well.

Faith, Hope and Love/Caritas
being the Theological Virtues,
and Prudence, Justice, Temperance
and Fortitude
being the Cardinal Virtues.

I recommend it!

It’s been a good way for me to let God tell me
what He wants to work on in my life.

Come, Holy Spirit!
Change my life!

Here are thoughts on the gifts and fruits
we’ve shared with RCIA participants:


Fear of the Lord: eager resolve to avoid anything that would hurt our relationship with God; awe and reverence at the privilege we have of being His children. “What do I really fear losing?” “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10)
fear of the Lord in action; giving God the honor He deserves as our heavenly Father, and showing appropriate honor and respect to leaders who are responsible for our welfare; doing good to all out of reverence for God (Matthew 25:40).
Knowledge: tell the difference between spiritual truth and counterfeits; helps us see created things as signposts to point us to God rather than as ends in themselves.
Fortitude: supernatural courage to do good and to avoid evil; confidence to get through tough times, protection against discouragement, supernatural patience; to stand firm, and even to face death for the sake of doing what’s right–even if we feel weak and scared.
Counsel: helps us know what choices lead to Heaven and what choices lead to hell.
Understanding: an intimate knowing that penetrates to the heart of what God’s revealed to us about Himself and about living the Christian life; going deeper into the meaning, the inner truth of the Scriptures, the Trinity, the Eucharist, etc.
Wisdom: a taste for God and for the truth about God that puts everything in a divine perspective; putting first things first; encompasses all the other gifts (see James 3:17).


Caritas (we use that word because “Love” can refer to so many different forms of attraction!): self-sacrificing love for the best good of the other
Joy: delight in our union with the God we love
Peace: perfection of joy, cannot be disturbed by trials, suffering or frustrated desires. Jewish “Shalom” is more than absence of conflict–fullness, completeness, all is well because God has everything under control
Patience: unshakable confidence that God’s got everything under control
Kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness & faithfulness: doing good for other people, including our enemies, for Jesus’ sake
Modesty: refusing to unveil what should remain hidden out of reverence and respect for the spiritual dignity proper to our bodies; down-to-earth dignity that doesn’t draw attention to itself
Self-control: mastering our desires so they serve God instead of enslaving us
Chastity: reverencing God’s sacred gift of sexuality, so that it becomes a holy giving of ourselves in self-sacrificial love (not just a passing pleasure); forming a union of body and spirit, of husband & wife. Chastity unites, while a misuse of sexuality divides.

To Admire is to Acquire (Spiritually Speaking)

May 3, 2019


This image from the life of St. Gertrude
colorfully brings home the truth that we move toward what we admire:

At Communion, as [St. Gertrude the Great]
prayed for the Church, but felt a want of fervour,
she prayed to our Lord to give her fervour,
if her petitions were agreeable to Him;
and immediately she beheld a variety of colours:
white, which indicated the purity of the virgins,
violet, which symbolised confessors and religious;
red, which typified the martyrs;
and other colours, according to the merits of the saints.
Then, as she feared to approach our Lord
because she was not adorned with any of these colours,
she was inspired by the Holy Ghost,
“who teaches man wisdom” to return thanks to God
for all those who had been elevated
to the grace and state of virginity;
beseeching Him,
by the love which made Him be born of a Virgin for us,
to preserve all in the Church,
to whom He had vouchsafed this favour
in most perfect purity of body and soul,
for His own honour and glory;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned
with the same shining whiteness
as the souls of the virgins.

She then returned thanks to God
for the sanctity and perfection
of the confessors and religious
who had pleased Him from the beginning of the world,
beseeching Him
to bring all who were still militant in the Church
to a happy end;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned with violet;
and as she continued to pray
for the different states and orders in the Church,
her soul was adorned with their respective virtues.
As she returned most fervent thanks to God for these favours,
she beheld herself clothed in a golden amice;
and standing thus marvellously adorned before our Lord,
He turned to the saints, and exclaimed :
” Behold her in garments of gold,
clothed round about with varieties.”
Then He opened His arms to receive her,
as she was no longer able to support
the torrent of Divine joys
with which her soul was encompassed.
~The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude

Irritating Blessings

May 15, 2010

At Mass tonight something was getting on my nerves and I was doing my best to detach from the irritation when I had a sudden memory.

It’s all too often proved true that when something my husband did was irritating me, and we later talked things through, it turned out that he was actually trying to please me. I’ve taken that to heart, so that when something he does bothers me, I remind myself that he’s probably trying to please me (I know he’s not trying to irritate me–he just doesn’t do that).

I now have a new application for that! God only gives good gifts. Everything He does is for our benefit (Romans 8:28 is just one indicator of that). So if I’m irritated, it’s because I don’t recognize the blessing God’s trying to give me.

Thank You, Lord, for irritating blessings. Help me to receive them as answers to prayer and to use them for Your purposes–to help me grow in virtue, conquer vice, glorify You (and whatever else You had in mind!)

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