Daily Reflections
by Cathy

Open your hearts to the gifts!


(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2018

May 29, 2018

Dear Family of Mary!

“Dear children! In this peaceless time, I am calling you to have more trust in God who is your Father in Heaven and who has sent me to lead you to Him. You, open your hearts to the gifts which He desires to give you and, in the silence of your heart, adore my Son Jesus who has given His life so that you may live in eternity – where He desires to lead you. May your hope be the joy of a meeting with the Most High in everyday life. Therefore, I am calling you: do not neglect prayer because prayer works miracles. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (May 25, 2018)

“You, open your hearts to the gifts which He desires to give you…”

God wants to give us so many gifts!! He is always pouring out gifts upon us. We may not recognize them as coming from our Father in Heaven, but often when we look back on our lives we see that what we lived through could not have been endured or we could not have prospered without God’s gifts to us.

Here is the classic list of gifts that come from the Holy Spirit to us, according to St. Thomas Aquinas:

The nature of the seven gifts has been debated by theologians since the mid-second century, but the standard interpretation has been the one that St. Thomas Aquinas worked out in the thirteenth century in his Summa Theologiae [the citings are from the Summa, if you wish to read from Thomas directly]:

1. Wisdom is both the knowledge of and judgment about “divine things” and the ability to judge and direct human affairs according to divine truth (I/I.1.6; I/II.69.3; II/II.8.6; II/II.45.1-5).

2. Understanding is penetrating insight into the very heart of things, especially those higher truths that are necessary for our eternal salvation-in effect, the ability to “see” God (I/I.12.5; I/II.69.2; II/II.8.1-3).

3. Counsel allows a man to be directed by God in matters necessary for his salvation (II/II.52.1).

4. Fortitude denotes a firmness of mind in doing good and in avoiding evil, particularly when it is difficult or dangerous to do so, and the confidence to overcome all obstacles, even deadly ones, by virtue of the assurance of everlasting life (I/II.61.3; II/II.123.2; II/II.139.1).

5. Knowledge is the ability to judge correctly about matters of faith and right action, so as to never wander from the straight path of justice (II/II.9.3).

6. Piety is, principally, revering God with filial affection, paying worship and duty to God, paying due duty to all men on account of their relationship to God, and honoring the saints and not contradicting Scripture. The Latin word pietas denotes the reverence that we give to our father and to our country; since God is the Father of all, the worship of God is also called piety (I/II.68.4; II/II.121.1).

7. Fear of God is, in this context, “filial” or chaste fear whereby we revere God and avoid separating ourselves from him-as opposed to “servile” fear, whereby we fear punishment (I/II.67.4; II/II.19.9).

I look at these gifts as navigational tools. We make countless decisions each day, such as: when to pray, what to eat, how to get our work done, who needs a call from us, how we can take care of our children, how we can love our spouse or our parents, how to vote, etc… The list is endless. We may not even know we are making decisions, but we are, all the time. Think of how the 7 gifts can help us to navigate all these decisions, ultimately finding our way into God’s will and the good! They truly orient us to the good and God.

Our Lady tells us to open our hearts to these gifts, and so many more that are offered to us on our road in life. God wants to give them, it is up to us to open our hearts to them. Maybe that just means that we should expect the gifts of the Holy Spirit at each step of our path. Maybe we should be as confident of God’s desire to give us gifts as a little child is confident that his mother is watching over him 24 hours a day! Then maybe we would open our hearts to God and let the gifts just pour into us.

We need them more than ever in our day, when so many do not believe in God, much less ask for gifts. We need them. May we open out hearts to all the gifts which God wants to give us. Let’s pray:

Dearest Father in Heaven, I believe that you want to give me your gifts. Our Lady tells me so. I know that I need all that you will give me. In these days, my Mother has come on a mission to lead me to Heaven, to You, Father. But I need to be given the spiritual gifts necessary to follow her and work with her for the salvation of my brothers and sisters. Help me, Father, to open my heart to you. Help me to trust you completely. Help me to forget about myself, in the sense that I should not be self conscious or shy. Help me instead to seek only you, and want to please you because I love you. And then pour out your gifts in me. I am ready!!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
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