Gifts of the Holy Spirit

By Charla Misse

The “Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts” is the oldest of all novenas and the only novena officially prescribed by the Church.

During the novena, each of the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts is pondered alone on an individual day: fear, piety, fortitude, knowledge, understanding, counsel and wisdom.

This novena begins on Friday in the sixth week of Easter, the day following the Solemnity of the Ascension and ends on the Vigil of Pentecost, a fitting closure as we pray that the Holy Spirit descend upon us to guide and strengthen us as he did upon the apostles and disciples on Pentecost.

You may be wondering why I am writing this now with Pentecost being six months away.

At times when I feel confusion or disharmony, when I am praying for clarity in my direction, earnestly desiring to choose that which God desires, I have been repeatedly inspired to meditate on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This inspiration always comes unexpectedly and is a blessing in itself.

Making the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts at such times helps me methodically detach from myself in a way that allows me to see more clearly.  It helps me better discern my current situation and God’s will in my life. Moreover, it helps me allow the Holy Spirit to work within me.

If you are so inclined, the novena is posted on the EWTN website at

Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for promising to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in our souls.  May we unite ourselves to your will and become perfect in your eyes.

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