What are the Gifts & Fruits?

Virtue of the Gifts and Fruits of the SpiritThe Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit make our growth in virtue possible. It’s the Spirit who inspires us to do good and gives us the strength to carry that out. Have you ever done something good that you felt was really beyond your capability? Maybe you held a birthday party for a 4-year-old and hardly lost your cool the whole afternoon or sat and listened to someone who needed to talk, although you had other important things to do. That generosity was the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and maybe you didn’t even know it!

There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing and prophecy, but there are only seven “sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Six are named in Isaiah 11:2-3. A seventh Gift, piety, appears in the Septuagint Greek translation of Isaiah, although it was not in the original Hebrew. These manifestations of the “Spirit of the Lord” described the forthcoming Messiah. As such, they also describe the Baptized, who are members of Christ’s body, the Church. The Seven Gifts are received at the Sacrament of Baptism and strengthened at the Sacrament of Confirmation. And because the Spirit “blows where He will,” you’ve probably felt His inspiration even if you’ve never been baptized.

1. Wisdom
The wise person is attracted to contemplating the truths of the faith, especially the inexhaustible love and mercy of God.

2. Understanding
While wisdom prompts us to ponder the highest realms of Truth, the gift of understanding prompts those truths to “ring true” to us in a more personal and tangible way.

3. Counsel
Counsel enables the believer to distinguish between right and wrong and to choose the right. It has been called “supernatural common sense.”

4. Fortitude
Fortitude means courage, like the Cardinal virtue, but it is also a gift of the spirit. It enables us to stand up for what is right and to endure evil that is inflicted on us.

5. Knowledge
Knowledge is intellectual grasp of truths about God that help us to live His life and love Him more. An example would be to know that Mercy is the premier attribute of God.

6. Piety
Piety enables us to show reverence to God.

7. Fear of the Lord
Isaiah 11:3 says, “and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” Awe of the Most High Majesty keeps us in right relation to our all-loving God and makes us not want to stray from his love.

Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)

St. Paul told the Galatians what attributes they could expect to obtain by living out the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, modesty, gentleness, self-control, and chastity. These are wonderful goals to strive for and pray for!