How does the Holy Spirit work through Virtues, Gifts, and Beatitudes?

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Let Providence surprise you!

How does the Holy Spirit work through Virtues, Gifts, and Beatitudes?

By Fr. Frederick Edlefsen

We cannot pigeonhole how God works. But spiritual masters through the centuries have
identified particular Gifts of the Spirit that are likely to perfect certain virtues and produce
certain Beatitudes. Here is the flow that St. Thomas Aquinas identifies:


+ The Gift of Wisdom: Perfects Charity (Love). Fruit: Blessed are the peacemakers, they
shall be called children of God.


+ The Gift of Understanding: Perfects Faith. Fruit: Blessed are the pure of heart, they
shall see God.


+  The Gift of Knowledge: Perfects Temperance. Fruit: Blessed are the sorrowful, they
shall be consoled.


+ The Gift of Counsel: Perfects Prudence. Fruit: Blessed are the merciful, they shall
receive mercy.


+ The Gift of Piety (Gratitude): Perfects Justice. Fruit: Blessed are the meek, they shall
inherit the land.


+ The Gift of Fortitude: Perfects Courage. Fruit: Blessed are those who thirst for
justice, they shall be satisfied.


+ The Gift of Fear of the Lord: Perfects Hope. Fruit: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for
theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven.


Some saints have made different connections. Some say Temperance is perfected by Fear of
the Lord
. Feel free to “experiment” with this in prayer. Play around with what you ask God for
in the way of virtues and Gifts. Mix and match the virtues and Gifts you pray for to see if you
get a new Beatitude, like a fourth grader playing with a chemistry kit to see what explodes.

There is no need to stick to a “program.” The Spirit works differently in everyone and is
generally not fond of programs. He is a bag of surprises. Let Providence surprise you!

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