THE GIFT OF COUNSEL.
Through the gift of wisdom, the Holy Spirit perfects the acts of the virtue of prudence, and prudence in turn tells us which means to use in any given situation.
- Frequently we must make a decision; sometimes it is an important matter, at other times much less so. But in all of them, our holiness is in some way involved. God grants the gift of wisdom to those who are docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, so that they may make decisions quickly and correctly.
- This gift is like a supernatural instinct for knowing which way gives most glory to God.
Just as prudence is present in all our actions, so too the Holy Spirit, through the gift of counsel, is the Light and permanent guiding Principle of our actions.
- The Paraclete inspires us when we choose the MEANS to carry out God’s will. He leads us along paths which involve charity, peace, joy, sacrifice, fulfilment of duty and faithfulness in small things. He marks out the path for us at every instant.
The gift of counsel presupposes that we have used all the other means necessary to act prudently: to obtain the necessary data; to foresee the possible consequences of our actions, to learn from the experience of similar situations in the past, to ask advice when the moment comes.
- This is natural prudence which is then reinforced by grace. Along with supernatural prudence we receive this gift of counsel which allows us to make a sure and quick decision regarding the means to be used, or the reply to be given, or the way to be followed.
The gift of counsel is a great help in keeping a true conscience, and not letting it be deformed.
- If we are docile, the Holy Spirit will illumine our conscience with light and advice. Our soul will not deviate or make excuses for faults and sins. Rather it will react with contrition, with a greater sorrow at having offended God.
- This gift illumines brightly the soul which is faithful to God, in such a way that it does not apply moral laws wrongly, does not allow human respect to sway it, is not carried away by fashions and trends of the moment, but is ruled always by God’s will.
- The Paraclete counsels us, directly or through others, regarding which is the right path to follow, a path which may well be different from the one suggested by the spirit of the world. A person who ceases to apply moral norms to his behaviour, whether in important or not so important matters, does so because he places his own will before the will of God.
SOURCE: ICWG, vol. 2, n.90
“Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and of the Son, inspire me always as to what I must think, what I must say, what I must write, how I must behave, what I must do to work efficaciously for your glory, for the good of souls and for my own sanctification. (A. Riaud, The Holy Spirit Acting in Our Souls).”
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