What Are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?


Quick Answer

The Catechism of the Catholic Church identifies the gifts as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. These seven gifts were identified by early Christian scholars as gifts originating from the Holy Spirit.

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Full Answer

The gift of wisdom allows believers to choose the spiritual more easily over the physical. Understanding enables the faithful to comprehend the meaning of the scriptures and imparts empathy for others. The gift of counsel helps believers make the right choices. Fortitude allows those who believe in the Holy Spirit to overcome obstacles and withstand challenges to their faith. Knowledge goes beyond facts to understanding truths that are not easily demonstrated. Piety imparts a sense of respect for sacred items and beliefs. The gift of fear of the Lord ensures that believers understand the might and majesty of the Christian god.

These gifts are largely distilled from the first three verses of the 11th chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Bible. The original text refers to the traits of the Messiah, who Christians identify as Jesus Christ. Many alternate translations of the gifts replace fear with awe and wonder as well as counsel with right judgment for a more modern take on the seven gifts.

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