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“The Wind Blows Where It Wills”: Understanding the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Second Vatican Council, in its document Gaudium et Spes, teaches us that only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light, that Christ fully reveals man to himself. The goal of this article is to shed more light on one facet of Christ’s self-revelation to humanity, namely, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are first realized in Christ’s own humanity and then participated to us, or shared with us. After seeing Christ’s own human spiritualization, we realize that human nature has the capacity for these graced instincts, too, which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

First, we will lay the groundwork for thinking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit as virtuous habits, in a certain sense. Then in the second part of the article we will consider how the gifts are present in Christ’s own humanity, and how we are given to share in them. In other words, this article is about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. First, what they are, what they do, how they work: the answer, by the Holy Spirit. Second, what do they look like, and where do we look for them? The answer, in Christ.

The guiding principle is an attempt to understand John 1:14–16 together with Romans 8:29, which is to say that this article is a theological reflection upon the Son who is “full of grace,” “from whose fullness we have all received” in order “to be conformed to his image.”

Read more at Homiletic and Pastoral Review 

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