Strength in vulnerability
June 7, 2023
To understand the pulse of the community
June 7, 2023

Work hard for the gifts of the Holy Spirit

By Kaelanne Jordan,

Unlike the Hollywood movies where boy meets girl, and one hour later he knows everything about his partner, that’s not the case when courting a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon underscored, is an “ole time lady”, a virtuous, modest woman who has incredible depth and principles.

“You have to work hard to get her gifts. You have to court her if you want her to give forth her gifts to you. She ent handing over everything just so in three seconds,” the Archbishop said during his talk at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) 48th Annual Rally, June 4, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit, the Archbishop explained, is not playing hard to get. She desires faithful to recognise her full dignity and vibrancy of what she has to offer. To fully experience the Holy Spirit requires faithful to “work hard” to understand, appreciate, love, and enter a deep relationship with her.

Referring to Ecclesiasticus 51:17–27, Archbishop Gordon pinpointed it’s a passage which speaks to the quest of the soul for the Holy Spirit from youth.

He emphasised, “there is no way that we could ever, in our first encounter, understand the Holy Spirit in her entirety…. The relationship with the Holy Spirit is a revolving relationship and the more we delve into love of her, the more she yields her treasures to us.”

The Archbishop identified the gifts of the Holy Spirit: the cardinal virtues of temperance, prudence, justice and fortitude; the theological virtues of faith, hope and love; the nine spiritual gifts: gift of tongues, prophecy, the gift of interpretation, gift of discernment, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and the “power gifts” of healing, miracles and faith; and the seven gifts documented in Isaiah 11- wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

“Then she has fruits,” Archbishop Gordon said. “And she is a fruitful lady,” he said, joking that “that lady has fruit like a market vendor.”

Archbishop Gordon quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2023 to highlight the purposes of the gifts of the Holy Spirit ‘….it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it’ and for the sake of the building up of the Church.

He spoke of many who experience the release of the Holy Spirit at Life in the Spirit seminars who then become more conscious of her as an animating principle in their life.

“All of a sudden, you want to wake up and read scripture; all of a sudden you want to go to Mass; all of a sudden you praying rosary; all of a sudden you have time for prayer, all of a sudden your mind and heart are now oriented towards God. You see that’s when you start dating her seriously and she starts giving up her gifts to you,” the Archbishop said.

He then invited faithful to imagine the gifts of the Holy Spirit as a sailboat. When the gifts are added, the easier it is to move; the less sails, the stronger the breeze has to blow for the boat to move.

Archbishop Gordon listed the first sails needed are knowledge, wisdom and understanding. He reiterated as persons move on to the next stage of their relationship with the Holy Spirit, they make a commitment to the nuptial union between God and their soul.

When the gift of counsel is added, the sail starts to move with a little more speed.

When the “main sail”, piety, is added, “you feel the whole boat take a leap forward and now you moving with zest and speed because the true devotion is leading us closer and closer to God.”

Fortitude, he said, is the last sail at the back of the boat that “kind of keeps the rest of them in trim when the rough weather comes, and it will come,” he said.

Archbishop Gordon invited faithful to reflect upon their spiritual life by reading Galatians 5:17–25. If they are not content with their spiritual situation, “then you need more of her.”