Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
O Lord Jesus Christ* Who, before ascending into heaven* didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples* deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me* that He may perfect in my soul* the work of Thy grace and Thy Love.* Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom* that I may despise the perishable things of this world* and aspire only after the things* that are eternal* the Spirit of Understanding* to enlighten my mind* with the light of Thy divine truth* the Spirit of Counsel* that I may ever choose* the surest way of pleasing God* and gaining heaven* the Spirit of Fortitude* that I may bear my cross with Thee* and that I may overcome with courage* all the obstacles that oppose my salvation* the Spirit of Knowledge* that I may know God and know myself* and grow perfect in the science of the Saints* the Spirit of Piety* that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable* the Spirit of Fear* that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.* Mark me, dear Lord* with the sign of Thy true disciples* and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit.* Amen.
Come, Thou Father of the poor! Come, with treasures which endure! Come, Thou Light of all that live!
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. “They that hear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls.”
Thou in toil art comfort sweet; Pleasant coolness in the heat; Solace in the midst of woe.
By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”
Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.
The gift of piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.
Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth— in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond
If Thou take Thy grace away, Nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn’d to ill.
Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray!
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”
Heal our wounds— our strength renew; On our dryness pour Thy dew; Wash the stains of guilt away!
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done.