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  My Witness

Vol. 17, No. 2, April, 2012

From the Editor
Sr. Jan Nattermann, S.N.C.

Sister Jan In the next seven issues we will be looking at the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: understanding, wisdom, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They help make us docile in following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, thus leading us to holiness, following the ways of the Lord.

Let's begin with the gift of UNDERSTANDING. In the Old Testament we see outstanding figures turning to Yahweh so that He may guide them along their way. Moses, in Exodus 33:13, prays: "show me now thy ways" as he led the people towards the promised land. "Give me understanding, that I may keep they law and observe it with my whole heart" is the cry of King David, in Psalm 119:34.

The Spirit of truth is promised to us by Jesus in John 16:13, to guide us into all the truth.

The Apostles understood only later, the full meaning of Jesus' words because of the Holy Spirit. Pope Paul VI said, in number 75 of Evangelii Nuntiandi, "The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. It is he who explains to the faithful the deep meaning of the teaching of Jesus and of his mystery." So it is the Holy Spirit who brings us to an initial understanding of the truths of faith and then perfects our faith by his gifts. This gift of understanding is not something extraordinary given to extraordinary people. It is given to those who want to be faithful to God in the events of their daily lives, to be victorious in holiness.

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