Tell me, do you find it always easy to know things and people, to understand things and people, to be wise, or
to give good advice and counsel, to stay true to your relationship with God, or even have a sincere respect for
God? Do you find these things easy to do?
If you were perfectly honest with yourselves and with me, you would answer “no” to all these things.
And, there’s nothing wrong with that either. We don’t always understand what’s going on or the way people
are. Sometimes things, new things, are not so easy to understand and people, well…they can be
complicated, just like we are.
We can also say that we are not wise all the time. To become a wise person, we need to know and to
understand and even to have experienced what we know and understand. Wisdom comes from our
experiences and how we have reflected on those experienced and what we have learned from them.
Learning from our experiences has a lot to do with wisdom.
Now, we get into giving advice. You and I know that the blind cannot lead the blind. Sometimes people give
bad advice because they are more interested in saying something than what they are really saying. Good
advice can only come from a person who knows, understands, and has had experienced with the things that
their advice is saying. Good advice comes from wise people.
So…next time you give advice, make sure you know what you understand what you are talking about,
otherwise, you’re going to give really bad advice. And, if you ever realize that you don’t understand
something, I hope you are not too proud to seek the advice of a wise person. Someone who will give you
good and sound advice, and not necessarily what you want to hear. Sometimes there’s a big difference
between what we want to hear and what we really need to hear.
How about fortitude? Do you know what it is? Fortitude is about being strong and focused in the good things
that you want for yourself and for others. Fortitude is about inner strength…it’s what builds solid character and
what makes some people really good at what they do, how they do it and how they live their lives and treat
others. When a person is focused, for example, on being a good athlete, a good student, a good friend, or
simply on being a good person, that person puts all of her focus and energies into that. It takes discipline,
and, although it may not always be easy, it pays out big at the end….because it builds your character and
your self-respect in experiencing yourself being successful…not only in doing things, but, most of all, in
becoming someone who you can be proud of.
Well, let’s move to something more spiritual, although all the things I’ve already spoken about are also
spiritual. How about our relationship with God? Do we know God enough or know ourselves good enough to
say “this is who I am before the eyes of God?” Do I understand how my relationship with God affects me and
my life? Do I allow my friendship with God make me wiser and a better person? The gift of piety is the gift of
taking good care of my relationship with God so that it leads me to a deep respect for God.
What I have spoken about are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom,
Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Respect of the Lord. This is what has been given to you on the day of your
baptism and are now doubly given to you today in your saying “yes” to you faith. These are powers given to
you by the Holy Spirit if you desire them.
The power of God is not magical. It doesn’t come to us by making us magicians or superhuman beings.
The power of God comes to us in the most ordinary of ways and sometimes we don’t even know that it’s
there, but we can become aware of it through the way we live, the way we treat people, and the type of
person we become. The power of God is for the taking, but it also requires your participation and
It will never be given to us on a silver platter or in a thunderbolt. It is given to us within our own willingness to do good and be good. The power of God is never given to do bad things or to do bad to others.
The power of God comes from whom God is…Love.
Thus, we can say that the gifts of the Holy Spirit come from Love, they are destined to be practiced for the
good of oneself and others, and they ultimately return to the love of God from which they came in the first
place. So, we pray for the gift, receive the gift, and we practice the fruit of these gifts for the sake of
everything that is good and loving. The gifts of the Holy Spirit can only be given to those who intentionally
want them for the good of themselves and the good of others.