Our first reading gives us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. You should be as familiar with them as you are with the Our Father. Don’t think of them as presents from God that come gift-wrapped. They are rather good habits we develop through having recourse to God in all of our dealings. Our understanding of them comes from our familiarity with the Bible. Let’s look at them one at a time.
Wisdom in the Bible is presented as the opposite of foolishness. The Gift of Wisdom is a habit you develop to adopt courses of behavior that lead you to long-time happiness. It has you avoiding the quick fixes that lead to tears.
Understanding leads you to get at the reasons that stand under the behavior of others. People may be wrong, but they always act for what seems good to them. By realizing that to be the case, you hold off blaming them.
Counsel is the gift of God that inclines you to listen to the motives of others. It is a gift that is kindred to Understanding, in that you let the other have his say, holding off the temptation to brush his reasoning aside.
Fortitude is the gift of God that keeps you working toward good ends even when you are weary. You have set up fine goals for yourself; well, keep working toward them, and with God’s help you will win out.
Knowledge gives you a true picture of reality. Since we all act on the basis of what knowledge we have, it is incumbent on us to gather the right knowledge so we can avoid bum behavior.
There are two kinds of peace. You attain personal peace by canceling out desires that when not achieved leave you frustrated. You attain corporate peace when avoid taking stands that rob others of their serenity.
There are two sides to Fear of the Lord. One side has you behaving properly in God’s presence the way you would behave properly when sitting right in front of the teacher. The other side of Fear of the Lord is what Isaiah calls its delight. It is the joy you feel living in the presence of God who loves you..