Tag Archives: peace

​Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Ghost

 

In the picture the Holy Ghost is represented by a dove. It was in that form that the Holy Ghost showed Himself visibly when St. John baptized Jesus. The dove symbolizes gentleness and peace. The Holy Ghost dispenses the graces of God. However, the Holy Ghost produces nothing beyond what Jesus Christ merited. The merits of Our Lord are infinite, for He is God. The Holy Ghost merely perfects, the works of Christ. In a somewhat similar way, the sun shining on a field does not sow new seed; it merely develops what has been sown, making it bloom and bear fruit.

 

    Which are the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost? –The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

    The gifts are infused in our souls with sanctitying grace. With God the Holy Ghost come sanctifying grace, and inseparably, His gifts.

     

  1. Wisdom is that gift by which we recognize the emptiness of earthly things. By it we come to regard God and spiritual things as of the highest good. Without the gift of wisdom we are indifferent to spiritual matters, avoiding all mortification.

    The best example of the effects of the gifts of the Holy Ghost are the Apostles, who after receiving the Holy Ghost became penetrated with His graces.

     

  2. Understanding is that gift by which we are enabled to recognize the true Catholic teaching, and to detect false doctrines. Before the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, they did not understand the divine mysteries Christ revealed to them, often interpreting His words materially.

    Saint Clement Hofbauer began his studies late in life, and had just enough instruction in theology to be ordained. But he was often consulted by high officials of the Church on matters of doctrine, because he had the gift of understanding to an extraordinary degree.

     

  3. The gift of counsel helps us to discover the will of God under difficult circumstances.

    Before they received the Holy Ghost, the Apostles were inconstant in their thoughts, desires, and actions, at one time full of high zeal, at other times despairing and weak. But Christ promised them the gift of counsel, saying: “Do not be anxious how or wherewith you shall defend yourselves; or what you shall say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you” (Luke 12:11-12).

     

  4. Fortitude is the gift by which we are strengthened under trials, to do God’s will.

    Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles were of good will, but they were weak and fearful. For instance, when Jesus was taken prisoner, they all fled. St. John Nepomucene chose to be tortured, and finally cast into the river, rather than break the seal of the confessional.

     

  5. The gift of knowledge enables us to grasp the teaching of the Church, to know God and Jesus Christ Whom He sent.

    Before the advent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles were ignorant men who did not care for intellectual pursuits; neither were they expert in holiness or the things of God. The saintly Cure d’Ars had made but little study, yet his sermons were so remarkable that even Bishops were eager to listen.

     

  6. Piety is that gift by which we love God as our Father, ever striving to do His will.

    Before the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles loved Jesus, but more for their own sakes rather than His, more for the reward He promised than for love of Him. But after Pentecost, what a change! They were ready to suffer death just because they loved Jesus and wished to declare Him everywhere.

     

  7. The fear of the Lord makes us dread sin as the greatest of all evils, and enables us to quell fear of man and human respect.

    Eleazer, the old Jewish scribe, chose death rather than offend God by eating, or even pretending to eat, forbidden meats (2 Mach. 6).

     

  8. Besides these seven gifts, the Holy Ghost also grants certain extraordinary gifts, which are given only on rare occasions and to selected persons. Such extraordinary graces are granted principally not for the benefit of the recipient, but of others. They were common during the early days of the Church, and helped in its rapid spread. Among them are the gift of tongues, of miracles, of visions, and of prophecy. The Apostles received the gift of tongues on Pentecost, so that although they spoke to a crowd of different nationalities and languages, everybody understood what was said.

    The Apostles also possessed the gift of miracles, curing the sick, driving out evil spirits, raising the dead to life. Many saints have been blessed with the gift of miracles. The prophets before the coming of Christ foretold future events. A number of the saints have been granted the gift of visions and ecstasies, though this is rare; good examples are St. Francis of Assisi, who received the stigmata of Our Lord’s wounds, and St. Catherine of Siena.

    How do the gifts of the Holy Ghost help us?The gifts of the Holy Ghost help us by making us more alert to discern and more ready to do the will of God.

     

  1. If we look with discerning eyes, we can see how the gifts of the Holy Ghost have greatly helped the world at large.

    As the psalmist sang: “Thou shalt send forth Thy spirit, and they shall be created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 103:30). “And hope does not disappoint, because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5).

     

  2. The operations of the Holy Ghost were easily discernible among the early Christians.

    “And they continued, steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of the breaking of the bread and in the prayers. And … many wonders also and signs were done by means of the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43).

     

  3. The difference between the virtues and the gifts of the Holy Ghost consists in this: the virtues enable us to do what our reason directs; the gifts make us follow the inspirations of the Holy Ghost.

    Which are some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost? –Some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost are the fruits of the Holy Ghost and the beatitudes.

      Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost? –The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency,and chastity.

       

    1. These twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are good habits performed under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. They make us happy and contented, and help us to be pleasing to both God and man.

      With the fruits of the Holy Ghost it becomes easier for us to persevere in the union with God by the practice of virtue; our heart inclines with charity towards God and our neighbor, and finds it almost natural to be detached from the world.

       

    2. With the gift of sanctifying grace and its accompanying theological virtues, gifts of the Holy Ghost, and their effects, the Christian soul may be said to possess sanctity, to be in the state of Christian perfection.

      Sanctity is the fervent surrender of one’s self to God and the practice of virtue. It does not require extraordinary works. The Blessed Mother of God the most holy of mortals, never performed any extraordinary works to excite worldly admiration. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.”

    This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
    God Bless BJS!!

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    Sobriety and Serenity

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    I use to think sobriety was just about not drinking and trudging through life and trying to tell people not to do what you did. Today I know that sobriety for me is a simple equation.

    Being Dry + Serenity = Sobriety

    But what is serenity? Better still how do I find it, reach it, etc? By definition serenity is the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness. Serene is calm, peaceful, tranquil; unruffled. The word originated in between the late 1400s to early 1500s. It came from the latin word serenus which was in reference to weather and a clear sky.

    For me serenity comes with a realization that the only thing I have power over in many situations is my emotions,  my actions, and most of my thoughts. Serenity is an inner peace attained by letting go and letting God. This is where I come to qualms with the program of AA.

    A higher power, is merely a descriptive term for God, it does not identify who the true God is. There is only one God, for all of us, whether one accepts Him as God or not; it is the triune God with His three natures the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I understand that AA is a program of attraction rather than promotion. And for good reason, to save individuals from the disease of addiction no matter what they happen to believe in.

    However what good is it to have a sober life when your soul is damned for eternity?  Let’s be realistic,  when we die we either go to Heaven or Hell, forever. If one used a scale to measure their life, with the things they were suppose to be doing in order to know, love, and serve Our Creator to get to Heaven; and they started at zero (which is untrue from original sin, but lets say we start at zero), then addictive behavior or alcoholism would put them in the negative.

    Achieving sobriety therefore, cancels out addiction and removes that distraction from our lives. However, it does not set us on the path that Christ Himself gave us through the Church He established. Sobriety may give us a clearer mindset, but it does not give one the Faith. AA is a program based on mostly charity (which is essential,  but not the only requirement for salvation), and a touch of spirituality.

    Sober living is wonderful, in just the short time I’ve been sober I have learned and gained appreciation for so much.  Being sober is the way one should be to make life decisions. But what good is a sober life if it is not used to glorify the One True God? Being sober is not the end all be all. And being sober without the Faith established by Christ is likened to trying to catch up to someone running down the street by jumping on a treadmill.

    Another big saying in AA is that it is a program of progress not perfection. I have to disagree here too. Most everyone has heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect” but what if one is practicing (whatever they are doing), the wrong way? Should not the phrase be modified to say, “perfect practice makes perfect?” 

    We are not saints, the point is we are willing to grow along spiritual lines…”, A.A. HOW IT WORKS

    Why can’t we strive to be saints? Is this not what we are called to be? I understand the humility of this statement, could it be modified to state that we are not saints but we are striving to be in the eyes of Our God?

    “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

    Considering how many examples of saints are across the world in all the ages…even if one were to not believe about one example of a story they hear about a saint; there are too many accounts of people in all places and times, testimonials from Catholics, Protestants, and people from all different beliefs converting because of these Catholic saints!

    Saints who so loved God and did His will that they actually had supernatural abilities!! Testimony after testimony after testimony…all over the world!

    “Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.” John 14:12

    Sobriety is undoubtedly a good thing. When, like all good things, it is used for the glory of God. Why all for Gods glory? Because we have absolutely no right to claim anything as our own. Not even our own bodies, it’s all His, everything is His. We are living on borrowed time, why? Because He loves us and wants us to be with Him.

    All good comes from God as we know, but have we given that obvious statement much thought? If all good comes from God then the things that are not good do not come from God. The things that appear as good are deceitful lies that steer us away from God to Hell. Sobriety is the tool we have to see through the lies. This is how we discover objective truths, and this is how we find God and how to serve Him the right way.

    Truth is in history, its in day to day activity,  its in everything. The truth about what things really are, what truly matters and what matters not is where you find God and from God and His Will you can achieve true serenity, true happiness, and true life for eternity. His Will is not easy according to the comforts of the world and society, and it’s because the world lies to us. It makes us comfortable so the devil can take us from Him who made us.

    True serenity is found in doing the Will of God. Doing otherwise leads to impossible expectations that don’t get met and get people angry, lustful, or drunk. Sorting through the world of chaos and finding His Will for us will lead us to a perfect peace we will never know here.

    God Bless BJS!!