(All online events require a parent and/or sponsors participation)
Many of us have a tradition of giving and receiving gifts at Christmas and on our birthdays. Sometimes we choose to cherish the gifts we’re given and other times we wonder why we would be given something like… (socks for example). Can you name all of the gifts you’ve been given this year? I would be impressed if you could, because gift giving is such a common practice in our culture. Did you know we also receive gifts from God through the Catholic Church? At Baptism (our christian birthday), we received seven particular gifts from God the Holy Spirit. These gifts are freely given to help us as followers of Jesus. They are meant to build up the Body of Christ, the Church. These seven gifts help us to respond to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to make good choices, and to serve God and others. The prophet Isaiah talked about these gifts when he said,“The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel, and of strength, a spirit of knowledge, and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” The Church teaches that, in Jesus, these words from Prophet Isaiah find fulfillment in and through the Sacraments. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to all of us specifically through the Sacrament of Baptism but are sealed and strengthened within us at our Confirmation. St. Paul said once, “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” In other words, through the grace of these sacraments, a person takes on a new identity with Christ and gets the opportunity to share in these gifts of the Spirit. Did you know that God loves you so much that he wants to shower you with such amazing gifts? In fact, at your Confirmation, the bishop (who has been delegated by God) or priest (who has been given delegation by God through the bishop), will lay his hands on you (or extend his hands over you) and echo the prophet Isaiah in confirming these gifts. In this moment the bishop will say something like, “All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment (counsel) and courage (fortitude), the spirit of knowledge and reverence (piety). Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord.” Then, he’ll confirm you, making the sign of the cross on your forehead with sacred chrism (the special oil consecrated by the bishop at the Chrism Mass every year). He will say, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” What an honor and what gift! Now let’s be clear here about what we mean by the word “gift.” First, it is the Holy Spirit (who is God) who gives these gifts. Because it is the Holy Spirit who is giving them to us, the “gifts” are supernatural and operate in a supernatural way. In fact, the gifts of the Holy Spirit help a person share in the very life and nature of God. That is their purpose as “gift”. They make us more open and aware of God’s presence in our lives. This is why they are such important gifts to receive as Catholics. They are not like worldly gifts which pass away and decay with time. This is great news. As is the way with all gifts though, you don’t have to open a gift right away… but trust me, when you receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit… you are going to want to accept and utilize them as much as possible.
Let’s get started!
To continue watch the following video by our guest speaker this month:
Next click on the following link and read the catechism about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and the human virtues and the divine virtues: