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The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Counsel

Today we’ll look at the gift of Counsel. This gift helps us to have a good conscience and keep on the path that leads to God. In Psalm 32, God reassures us of this gift, “I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you.” (Ps 32:8) It is comforting to know that this guidance is available to us whenever we need to make a decision. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to break from the attachment to our own human judgment and trust in the counsel provided by the Holy Spirit. In his book The Way, St. Josemaria Escriva writes, “Never make a decision without first stopping to consider the matter in the presence of God.” How many times do we follow that advice?

If we doubt that God truly provides that kind of guidance to us, we should listen to the words of Jesus. “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Mt 10:19-20) and “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (Jn 14:26)

We’ll close with a prayer for an increase in the gift of counsel written by St. Alphonsus Liguori:

Holy Spirit, divine Consoler, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son. I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints. I give You my heart and I offer my ardent thanksgiving for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me. Grant me the gift of counsel, so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.

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