The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a gift, yet few of us choose to use it. Sometimes it is due to lack of knowledge about what the gifts are and other times it is because we simply forget.
The Holy Spirit is not just some ancient, nebulous being. The Spirit is here to empower, enlighten, and instruct us so that we may live out our faith in the everyday world. Take a moment to read through the scenarios we present so that when you are faced with these situations in your own life you will know how to pray to the Spirit.
Today we have 7 examples of times that we could call on the Holy Spirit for help in our day to day lives.
1. The gift of knowledge
With the gift of knowledge, we come to know the true value of creation in relation to the Creator. This is important for all those times when we are surrounded by beauty, but we don’t think of anything except ourselves. The challenge is being able to experience marvel, to be able to be surprised by the amazing nature that surrounds us and invites us to step outside of our egotistical world. In doing so, we are able to discover God in His creation, and in it, His everlasting love for man.
2. The gift of wisdom
The gift of wisdom refers to the special capacity of judging human things according to God, under the light of God. Illuminated by this gift, we are able to peer deeper within the realities that surround us. We are able to discover things in themselves, not just what we would like them to be for us. Thus we no longer judge according to our passing, superficial and egotistical criteria rather according to the criteria that we find in the Gospels. Just imagine how things would be if we could see the world how God sees!.
3. The gift of counsel
The gift of counsel acts as a breath of fresh air in our conscious; it helps us to see and discern what is good, what makes us happy, and what is most convenient for us. We are often confronted with important decisions in our lives and the lives of others. When they happen to ask our help, sometimes we don’t know exactly what to think, what to say and even less how to act … This is the precise moment when we should open up to the Holy Spirit that lives within us! With this openness, then we will be able to see, to give good counsel, and to know how to act.
4. The gift of fortitude
Fortitude is what allows us to live out courageously what God wants of us, especially when it comes to dealing with or overcoming life’s difficulties or those moments where we must resist our internal passions and external pressures. I don’t think that anyone can say that they are always strong, that they are always able to resist temptation. One of the realities that is most evident in our human lives, is the fact that we are fragile; yet it is there that we find God, and perceive just how much we need Him. For this, we should never doubt in asking for his help. But do so in time! And if you fall, let your failures teach you a healthy self-distrust and to put your trust more and more in Him.
5. The gift of piety
Piety heals our heart of all types of hardness and allows it to be tender in relation to God and to our brothers and sisters. Many times I thought that being pious meant praying like the ladies that I saw praying in church as a young girl. But, in so far as a gift of the Holy Spirit, it implies that we put ourselves in the shoes of another, to feel like he or she does. Here, we must ask, how can I feel what God himself feels? Well, by trying to love him! And how can you love him more? By loving others in the little things: by sharing a word of encouragement, by stepping outside of your comfort zone to help another, by no longer looking to prove that you are always right and the other wrong, etc. This is the path of love through which piety guides us.
6. The gift of fear of the Lord
Fear of the Lord doesn’t mean being afraid of God because he is some sort of avenger that is looking to punish. It means having a mature spirit that is aware of our guilt and of the weight of our sins; still it also means trusting in His Mercy. Is the fear of a son or daughter that derives, however, out of love. When we were small, we never wanted our parents to be angry with us, not so much out of fear, but because we were sad and felt sorry when we let them down or made them suffer. Fear of God implies that in our lives we give what is due to God, that He occupies the place of God and no one o nothing else. It means that we recognize the weight and significance of our actions, especially those that separate us from Him. A great means of living out this gift is the frequent use of the sacrament of reconciliation when we need it.
7. The gift of understanding
This is a grace that helps us to comprehend God’s Word and to deepen in the truths that He teaches us. How many times do we find ourselves complaining or thinking comfortably in our pews: the priest doesn’t know how to give a good homily; it’s too complicated; it’s boring; I don’t understand a thing. Or … I never talk about my faith because I don’t have much to say, I have too many doubts … Then we never do anything about it! From my own experience, I can tell you that your faith strengthens the more you understand, the more you deepen in it and don’t simply stick with the little bit you learned when you were a child.
If we truly want these gifts in our lives, we must ask for them! Take a moment now to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to pour out his gifts upon us and help us to participate in his infinite love.