Monday 22nd January 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Seven Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

January 7, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Part 10

As we study the Sacrament of Confirmation, one may tend to ask, even subconsciously, something like, “What’s in it for me?” That is, what are the effects of Confirmation, what good does it do to my soul, what can I look forward to receiving from it?
The primary effect of Confirmation, as of all sacraments of the living, is a great increase of the divine life of sanctifying grace, and, consequently, a closer and more intimate union with God who dwells in our soul. This indwelling is appropriated to the Holy Spirit.
That is the very first effect of Confirmation: a closer and more intimate union with God who dwells in our souls. Have we ever stopped to think about the magnitude of this gift? The indwelling of God in us, in our souls? This indwelling is a preparation for Heaven, for the eternal happiness of the contemplation of God’s infinite Beauty, when God Himself shares His nature with us, by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is also the sacrament of the crusaders, missionaries, and heroes of all kinds, as I like to call it. The sacramental grace of Confirmation disposes the recipient energetically to profess, defend, and propagate the faith received in Baptism. It includes also the right or claim to the special spiritual helps (actual graces) which, if we avail ourselves of them, enable us to lead a holier life undeterred by human respect or other worldly obstacles.
These actual graces are of utmost importance today, when the faith is attacked, the Church is criticized, and scandals are perpetrated by bad Catholics. Pope Paul VI spoke of the smoke of Satan in the sanctuary, and even denounced the “auto-demolition of the Church,” as he called the epidemic of dissent and heresy that infects the Church in our day, even from the most unexpected places.
For those of us who want to be faithful, we need the graces of Confirmation to enable us to fight back, to defend the truth, to restore order in a messy situation.
In Confirmation, we become soldiers of Christ, and to understand how this works, please read the chapter 6 of St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, when he speaks of the armor of God.
I mentioned that Confirmation is the sacrament of the crusaders, missionaries, and all heroes. This is so because Confirmation binds the baptized more perfectly to Christ and the Church. The special strength of the Holy Spirit given in it assists them and obliges them to spread and defend the faith by word and by deed. And today this work is necessary, more than ever before.
Every Wanderer reader who has been confirmed has the duty to spread and defend the faith publicly by word and deed. A good way to do it is to promote The Wanderer, so that as many people as possible may benefit from it.
“What else is in it for me?” some may ask. In His paternal and merciful bounty, God Our Lord gives us through Confirmation a strengthening of the soul, effected in a most particular way through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, in Confirmation we do receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which always accompany sanctifying grace. Those gifts were given to us at our Baptism; but in Confirmation they are given to us in a fuller or more perfect form.
We know how Jesus used parables to illustrate His teaching. In the same way, and to understand the purpose of the gifts, we may compare the soul to a sailing ship, the gifts to the sails, and the impulses of the Holy Spirit to the favorable winds of Heaven.
At Baptism, the ship of the soul was given its suit of sails, but the sails were small. At Confirmation, they are enlarged so that they may more perfectly respond to the impulses of God’s grace. At Baptism, we were given a certain disposition to be moved by divine light and inspiration; at Confirmation that disposition is perfected, so that we are enabled to respond easily to the fuller and more precise actual graces we need for final perseverance, for the heroic deeds of a martyr or the heroic life of a saint.
But unfortunately, everything is not plain sailing under a blue cloudless sky, moved by a cool breeze on a calm sea. No, the reality of sin messes up the scenario. Because of our venial sin, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit may be impeded or contracted, like sails that are furled. Here we understand the great importance of not offending God even in the slightest way.

Will And Intellect

How many are those Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and what are their names?
They are seven in number, and are called: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety (or Godliness), and Fear. They enlarge our power to receive actual grace.
Through these gifts, as through so many broad inlets, the Holy Spirit, unless resisted, will pour generously into our soul all these actual graces which shall enable us:
To contemplate and dwell with pleasure on the Beauty and Majesty and Infinity of God (Wisdom);
To grasp and hold in our mind all the great truths presented to us by God’s Holy Church (Understanding);
To show good sense in the custody of our soul by shunning bad company, dangerous occasions, and everything that might imperil our spiritual life (Counsel);
To see the hand of God in the happenings of the world, to see His likeness in all created things, but at the same time, to realize that no creature deserves to be loved for its own sake, or can be of any profit to us, unless it leads us to our Creator (Knowledge);
To be true to our faith, to profess it boldly, and, with the superb courage of a martyr, to welcome death in testifying to its truth (Fortitude);
To serve God with joy, to say our prayers in spite of hurry or weariness, to receive the sacraments, to join with devotion in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to look on God as our Father and on all men as our brothers (Piety — Godliness);
To entertain a profound though filial fear of God, to meditate on the great disaster of losing His love, and of being separated from Him for all eternity (Fear of the Lord).
Through the Gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, and Knowledge, actual grace is given to our intellect; through the Gifts of Fortitude, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord, it is given to our will.

+ + +

(Raymond de Souza, KM, is a Knight of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta; a delegate for International Missions for Human Life International [HLI]; and an EWTN program host. He is a militant pro-life writer and apologist, addressing live audiences and delivering talks on television, radio, and online. To date he has given over 2,500 presentations in 38 countries of the six continents. He is available to speak at Catholic events, both large and small, anywhere in the Free World, in four languages — English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Website:

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Nikki Haley blasts Venezuela for targeting Catholic bishops

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s denunciation of a pair of Roman Catholic bishops is the latest example of a government turning to tyranny, according to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. “Maduro’s reign of violence, repression, corruption, and bankruptcy…Continue Reading

Wedding on Pope’s airplane not as spontaneous as it appeared, evidence indicates

January 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A wedding ceremony presided over by Pope Francis on a recent flight in Chile and portrayed as spontaneous by the couple appears in fact to have been planned well in advance. In the website of the Chilean…Continue Reading


Nearly five years into Pope Francis papacy, with its great expectations for a revival of Catholicism among the flagging faithful, a new large-scale survey of American Catholic women finds the flock faithful but disengaged from the rituals of the church…Continue Reading

‘Catholic’ Georgetown to Offer LGBT Housing to Students

Georgetown University, founded in 1789 and ostensibly a “Catholic” school, will offer a “gender & sexuality” housing complex for students starting in the 2018-19 academic year, which will operate as a residential center for homosexual, transgender, and “q

Catholic Bishop: “Abortion is a Uniquely Intimate Form of Violence With Bitter Public Consequences”

The “March for Life” this January, like every January over the past several decades, reminds the nation that killing an unborn child is never a private matter. Abortion is a uniquely intimate form of violence – but violence with bitter…Continue Reading

Vikings quarterback lists winning pass as 3rd best life-moment, behind finding Jesus

January 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  Vikings Quarterback Case Keenum said throwing the game-winning pass in the last few seconds of Sunday’s championship game against the New Orleans Saints was only the third best moment in his life. Keenum’s first best…Continue Reading

On the purpose of politics and the salvation of souls

“Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to…Continue Reading

Don’t let fear keep you from welcoming the stranger, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2018 / 04:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a special Mass Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that while it is normal to be afraid of the unknown, we can’t let…Continue Reading

Notre Dame could face legal investigation for flip-flopping on contraception coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, January 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of over sixty Notre Dame alumni attorneys has written an open letter to the university’s president, Father William Jenkins, CSC, to protest the university’s decision to continue the dissemination of…Continue Reading

Poland: Marches of the Three Kings Draw 1.2 Million

Under the motto “God is for everyone”, 1.2 million Poles in more than 660 cities and towns in Poland and abroad joined in the March of the Three Kings. This year’s event was accompanied by fundraising “Kings for the East”,…Continue Reading

Bishops’ letter on sexual identity prompts LGBT counter-lobbying

Washington D.C., Jan 5, 2018 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Several Catholic bishops’ call for clarity and compassion on sexual identity issues such as transgenderism drew the ire of a dissenting Catholic group which is part of a well-funded LGBT…Continue Reading

Rural Minnesota Catholic parish dismisses musicians over gay marriages

For weeks now, a Catholic parish in the rural St. Croix River Valley north of the Twin Cities has been praying through turmoil, brought by a trio of startling dismissals. On one hand, even many of the most distressed don’t…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Catholic bishops side with labor unions in Supreme Court case

WASHINGTON (RNS) — U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are backing public sector unions in an upcoming Supreme Court case, pitting church leaders against the Trump administration and conservatives in a legal battle over how organized labor is financed. In an amicus brief filed on Friday (Jan. 19) in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sides with the union, which is being challenged by…Continue Reading

Trump’s historic speech to March for Life: Abortion is ‘wrong, it has to change’

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — In the first-ever live streamed address of a sitting president to the March for Life, Republican President Donald Trump vowed his administration will work to uphold the sanctity of life. “Under my administration, we will always defen

">45 years of legalized abortion . . . When will our Country Awake?

Give President Trump Credit for Protecting Pro-Life Doctors and Nurses From Abortion

I am sometimes asked how religious people could vote for a man with the personal history of Donald Trump. Consider this Smith on the Election, but I always answer that I think it was an act of self defense. The Obama Administration had been very hostile to the free exercise of religion–even to the point of trying to force nuns to participate in contraception coverage–and Hillary Clinton threatened to be even worse. And now, Trump…Continue Reading

Canon lawyer calls for Amoris Laetitia’s 8th chapter to be ‘withdrawn’ on EWTN show

January 16, 2018 ( – Fr. Gerald Murray, a regular commentator on EWTN’s news program The World Over, told show host Raymond Arroyo in a recent interview that the infamous chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia is in “error,” and that he hopes it will be “withdrawn” by the pope. Murray, a canon lawyer, also condemned the interpretation of Amoris laetitia published by the Argentinean bishops of the Pastoral Region of Buenos…Continue Reading


A Book Review… Priests As Builders Of Western Civilization

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build — And Can Rebuild — Western Civilization, by William J. Slattery (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2017), 272 pp. $24.95. Available through or call 1-800-651-1531. A work of great erudition and comprehensive scope, Fr. Slattery’s eloquent book provides a survey of the seminal ideas…Continue Reading

A Nation Of Sheep

By DONALD DeMARCO In a sociology text book (Sociology) that has been widely used in Canadian universities, the author makes the following statement: “Canadian society could not continue to exist unless the thousands of new members born each year eventually learned to think, believe, and behave as Canadians. . . . The continuity of our…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider… Explains The Kazakhstani Profession Of Truths On Marriage

By CARL BUNDERSON ASTANA, Kazakhstan (CNA/EWTN News) — Fidelity to the words of Christ makes it necessary to profess the truth about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider told Catholic News Agency (CNA) in a recent interview. Bishop Schneider, an auxiliary bishop of Maria Santissima in Astana, was a drafter of the “Profession of the immutable…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Now Offers “Transgender” Hormone Therapy

ORLANDO, Fla. — Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has expanded its services to offering “transgender” hormone therapy, according to a January 10 report from Liberty Counsel. Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 annual report states: “We’re expanding access to care — from pioneering research on self-injectable birth control to offering new services for our transgender patients.…Continue Reading

Chinese Government Destroys Major “House Church”

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — New details have come to light about the forced demolition of the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen on January 9. The faithful have also released a video of the building being destroyed, while they were forced to watch from a distance as the walls, the tower, and the cross…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… We Fight Distractions To Grow In Holiness

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Life in this world is a gift from God: Don’t let it become a distraction from the one He offers us forever in Heaven. We have more information, more images, more choices in our possession than ever before. Each of us has only so much concentration. If we don’t learn to discern and to make…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… Confirmation: From The Standpoint Of Tradition

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 12 We have studied the Sacrament of Confirmation from the point of view of Sacred Scripture. Now it is time to investigate it from the point of view of Tradition — that, is, the oral teachings from the apostles that were handed down through the early centuries of Christian history. Non-Catholics of all sorts…Continue Reading

Declaration Of Matrimonial Nullity

By DON FIER Last week, we saw that the Church teaches that certain conditions must be fulfilled for valid reception of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. As summarized by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, “to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony, a man and woman must both be baptized. They must be free to marry and to express their mutual consent.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Jesus is the king of the universe, so why did He choose to be born in a lowly stable instead of in a palace, or at least in an ordinary house? — R.S.. via email. A. If Jesus came into the world as a powerful king, or perhaps as a military warrior, or as a wealthy member of the…Continue Reading

Love And Obey The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Deut. 18:15-20 1 Cor. 7:32-35 Mark 1:21-28 In the first reading today God tells Moses that He will raise up a prophet like Moses for the people of Israel. We know there were many prophets in Israel; some have writings contained in the Scriptures, some are mentioned by…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raymond Penafort

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has been blessed with a plethora of doctrinal resources, thanks in large part to Pope St. John Paul II. The Code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the many encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books, and letters continue to provide the Church with a solid foundation for learning and applying the truths of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord has no limits and conditions for persons whom He calls to sainthood. They may be the richest, such as St. Francis of Assisi, or the poorest such, as the children of Fatima. They may be powerful, such as St. Louis, king of France, or humble, such as our Lady. They may be the most brilliant,…Continue Reading