8th rung of the ladder ‘Soul Institute’ Gift Wisdom/ Virtue Love Beatitude Blessed are the peacemakers

Saint Thomas shows how each of the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are linked to a particular virtue or virtues, and how this leads to one of the Beatitudes. St Thomas is showing us how to grow in virtue. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong on their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.”

St Gregory the Great writes, “For by means of fear we rise to piety; through piety to knowledge; through knowledge we gain fortitude; from fortitude we come to counsel; with counsel we progress towards understanding and with understanding we move towards wisdom, and thus upward stages, through the seven fold grace of the Spirit, the door to eternal life is finally opened open to us.”

Antiono Marin OP writes, ” The gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary for the perfection of the infused virtues in other words, for the attainment of Christian perfection…The gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary, in a certain sense, even for salvation.”

Father Brian Bransfield writes about wisdom, ” Through this special visitation of the gift of wisdom, we consider the highest cause and can now judge every cause by the vantage point of faith.” The symbol of wisdom is the eagle. When we have the Holy Spirit gift of wisdom we rise above the storms of life and see everything from God point of view. We fly like an eagle. Father Marin OP writes about wisdom, “The gift of wisdom is a supernatural habit, inseparable from charity, by which we judge rightly concerning God and divine things through their ultimate and highest causes under the special instinct of the Holy Spirit, Who makes us taste these things by a certain connaturality and sympathy.” Father Jordan Aumann OP in his book, ‘Spiritual Theology’ writes, ” In its complete expansion and development, charity is perfected by the gift of wisdom. This is a simple application of the general doctrine of the necessity of the gifts, the infused virtues operate according to the rules of human reason illumined by faith, according to a human mode. So long as the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not impart to the virtues the divine mode that that should be characteristic of them and that they lack of themselves, it is impossible that the infused virtues should attain their perfect expansion and development. Although this is true of all the infused virtues, it is especially true of charity. Being the most excellent of all the virtues, charity demands by a kind of inner necessity the divine atmosphere of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to give all that it is capable of giving.” In short our charity is weak so it needs the gifts of the Holy Spirit for us to love God and neighbor for us to reach the Christian perfection of holiness. Father Jordan Aumann OP writes, ” The gifts of the Holy Spirit, therefore are not simply emergency measures used by the Holy Spirit when we are in special difficulty; they are the means by which an individual attains the ‘divinization’ that is the goal of sanctification.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us this about charity, “Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it ‘governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification…The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which ‘binds everything in perfect harmony.’ It is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raise it to the supernatural perfection of divine love.”

St Therese the Little Flower wrote, “If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn’t lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart Burning With Love. And I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; it it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. Love, in fact, is the vocation which includes all others; it’s a universe of it own, comprising all time and space-it’s is eternal.” Pope Francis recently said that all of us are called to be Love in the heart of the Church.”

Raniero Cantalamessa tells us about this beautiful beatitude of, ‘Blessed are the peacemaker.’ He writes, ” In one of its hymns the Church calls the Trinity ‘an ocean of peace’ and this is not just a poetic phrase. What strikes one most in contemplating the icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev is the sense of supernatural peace that emanates from it. The artist succeeded in transferring into an image the motto of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, for whose monastery the icon was painted: Contemplating the Trinity, to overcome the hateful divisions of this world…The condition for being instruments of peace is to remain united to its source, which is the will of God. ‘In his will is our peace,’ says one of Dante’s soul in Paradise. The secert of interior peace is a total and continually renewed abandonment to the will of God.”

Prayer for the day from Saint Theresa of Avila
Let Nothing dismay thee
All things pass
God never changes
Patience attains
All that is strive for
He who has God
finds he lack nothing
God alone suffices


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