Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: Whit Tuesday

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

WHITSUN-TUESDAY

ON THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

Consider first, what precious gifts the Spirit of God brings with him wherever he comes, and what treasures he imparts to the soul in which he takes up his abode. The prophet reckons up seven most admirable gifts of this Holy Spirit, Isaia xi. 2,3, when he styles him the ‘Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the Spirit of knowledge and of godliness, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord.’ O how precious indeed, how admirable, are these gifts! O how rich is that soul, which by the coming of the Holy Ghost, is put its possession of these treasures! But what is this wisdom that the Holy Ghost imparts? Not the wisdom of this world, which is downright folly in the sight of God, because it looks no farther than earthly toys and contriving for the transitory enjoyments of this world, whilst it forgets God and eternity. Not the wisdom of the philosophers who busy themselves in studying the course of the stars, and the secrets of nature, and neglect to seek truth in its fountain; because they do not seriously apply themselves to know God and their own interior. But that wisdom, which alone deserves this glorious name, which consists in the knowledge and love of God, which tends continually to him, and which seeks and finds him in all things.

Consider 2ndly, how precious also are those other gifts, which the Spirit of God communicates to the soul. The gift of understanding, which opens the eyes of the soul to the light of God, and sets the truths of God in their proper light; which clearly discovers to the soul the shortness and vanity of all temporal honours, riches, and pleasures, and convinceth her that nothing is truly great or worthy of her affection but that which is eternal. By the help of this light, the end of our creation, the dignity of an immortal soul, the nature of our mortal pilgrimage, the four last things, and other Christian truths, sink deep into the soul, and have a wonderful influence upon the whole conduct of our lives. But then, as we are strangers and travellers here below, and are obliged to make the best of our way towards our true country, through the midst of difficulties and dangers, and with infinite opposition from strong and subtile enemies, the Spirit of God comes in to our assistance, with two other admirable gifts, viz., the gift of counsel, to show us our way, to discover to us the snares and artifices of our enemies, and to guide us safe through all dangers; and the gift of fortitude, or heavenly courage and strength, to animate us to encounter all opposition from the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to help us to come off with victory in all our conflicts. O how happy is that traveller who has such a guide, such a counsellor, such a powerful helper and protector!

Consider 3rdly, the rest of the gifts which the Holy Ghost imparts to that soul in which he dwells viz., the gift of knowledge, to instruct her in every virtue and every duty, and in every step she is to take in order to see God and a happy eternity. Then the gift of godliness or piety, which makes the soul quite in earnest and perfectly fervent in the service of God; so that she runs on with vigour and alacrity in the ways of all his divine commandments. And lastly, the gift of the fear of the Lord, which the Scripture calls the beginning of wisdom; which restrains the soul from all that may offend God, and makes her fear his displeasure more than any other evil whatsoever. Can any treasures upon earth be comparable to these?

Conclude to set a high value upon these heavenly gifts, the least of which is worth more than all the world can give. How rich then is that soul which enjoys them all, by enjoying the Spirit of God, who is the source of all good, and who alone can impart such excellent gifts

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