THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING.
Through the gift of understanding the faithful come to have a fuller grasp of the truths of faith, the deeper meaning of the Scriptures, the life of grace, the presence of Christ in each sacrament and in a real substantial way in the Blessed Eucharist.
- It gives us, as it were, an instinct for what is supernatural in the world. For the eyes of one of Christ’s faithful, illumined by the Holy Spirit, there is a whole new universe to be discovered.
- The mysteries of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Redemption, and the Church become living realities affecting the day-to-day life of the Christian.
- They have a decisive influence on his work, on his family life and friendships. Prayer becomes deeper and easier.
The Holy Spirit illumines the mind with a most powerful light and enables us to see more clearly what until then was only dimly seen.
- It often happens that we know some mystery for quite a while; we have heard something and thought about it; but all of a sudden we see it in a new light. It is as if we had not understood it at all until then (A. Riaud, The Action of the Holy Spirit in souls, Madrid).
The gift of understanding allows us to contemplate God in the midst of ordinary matters and events, whether pleasant or sorrowful.
- The way to achieve the fulness of this gift is by personal prayer in which we contemplate the truths of faith; by a joyful, loving struggle to maintain presence of God throughout the day; by fostering acts of contrition whenever we have cut ourselves off from God.
This gift is not something extraordinary given only to exceptional persons. No.
- It is given to all those who want to be faithful to God wherever they find themselves, sanctifying their joys and sorrows, toils and rest.
SOURCE: ICWG, vol. 2, n. 87
“Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth, help me to listen to and follow all your teaching, and to be faithful to all your inspirations and promptings.
Spirit of Life, strength and light, be my power and my life. You speak to me in silence. Make me be recollected. You descend into humble souls. Give me the Christian spirit of humility. Teach me to live animated by your love; teach me to spread love all around me. (A. Riaud, The Holy Spirit Acting in Our Souls).”
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