Sealed With the Gift: The Gift of Counsel

We’re preparing ourselves to receive the Holy Spirit in a new way at the celebration of Pentecost, the day we recall the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the disciples who were in one place together in Acts 2. There are so many ways we could prepare. This series is focusing on the gifts the Holy Spirit will provide for those who are prepared to receive them, which will allow us to live entirely for the Lord by prayer and action. For more information about this series, click here to find the original post.

As we look at each of the seven gifts, we’ll ask three basic questions: How does this gift help? Who needs this gift? How do I prepare myself to receive it?

Let’s begin reviewing the gifts of the Spirit with the gift of Counsel.

How does this gift help?

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a decision and you had no idea what was the best option? Has anyone ever asked you for advice about a similar situation and you had to offer your perspective? In those situations, the gift of Counsel would have helped you a lot. Through the gift of Counsel, the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart and in an instant makes us understand what must be done at that time, at that place, and in those circumstances. We could say the gift of Counsel shows us a proper ordering of human actions.

Who needs this gift?

Looking at the what this gift provides, it’s clear that everyone needs this gift. There are some people who regularly find themselves with difficult decisions to make and others who are regularly asked for advice in such situations. This gift could be particularly helpful for people who have been charged with the spiritual care of others, including priests, parents, teachers of religious education, mentors, spiritual directors, etc. With the aid of this gift, these people will provide valuable advice to their flock concerning how to act and pray in particular situations, and will also know how to care for their own sanctification.

How do I prepare myself to receive it?

Someone who is well-prepared to receive the gift of Counsel will have a deep awareness of his or her weaknesses, which will cause frequent pleading to the Holy Spirit to teach us his ways. We must also accustom ourselves to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit, seek to judge all things with the eyes of God, and follow the least of his inspirations. This practice will lead him to speak to us more often.

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do your holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of your commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.