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Confirmed in Christ: Receiving the Gifts of the Holy Spirit Latest

Confirmed in Christ: Receiving the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

May 14, 2024 by

Do you remember your Confirmation? Mine took place over 40 years ago, but sadly, as a teenager, I did not study or ponder the Gifts of the Holy Spirit sealed in me on my Confirmation day. What a missed opportunity.

After coming to a full embrace of our Faith, I also came to appreciate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, what they mean for us, and how they are nurtured in the soul. As my youngest son prepares for his Confirmation, we've been talking about these Gifts that are so instrumental to living a life of holiness.

What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit sealed in the soul at Confirmation, and why are they important in a life of faith?

A Bishop seals a Confirmand with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

(photo:Juri Bubenicek/CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Seven Gifts


Wisdom is judgment about divine things, the inclination toward truth, and the ability to make choices according to what the Church teaches. By judging and directing our priorities according to divine truths, we prioritize the Faith. God comes first, then other priorities follow, rightly ordered. Wisdom enlightens the mind and directs the soul toward a purer love of God. 



Understanding is special illumination and insight to see and know God deeply. Through the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and other means, we understand what God wants for us and others in the world. It’s an interior certainty that He loves us and an aspiration to live in His love by pursuing holiness. This animates us to desire and serve Him more perfectly.  


Counsel allows us to be docile to the will of God so that He can direct us. It helps us use right judgment in applying God’s law and Christ’s teachings in our life circumstances, then making choices with our hearts fixed on God. It also allows us to guide others with a special gentleness. Because the soul is endowed with supernatural prudence, it understands how to best please God and strives to live that always. 



Knowledge is the ability to see and embrace truths of the Faith correctly. Through this gift, we believe the truths of His revelation with deep trust and certitude. It involves divine instinct, guided by faith, that helps us choose what is good and avoid what is harmful. Through this divine light, we know His providence for mankind and are inspired to seek Him above all created things.



Fortitude is the drive and desire to pursue the good and avoid temptation and evil. It’s the perseverance to keep going, even when circumstances are challenging. Fortitude pushes us to pursue what is right as we grow in faith. This gift prepares us to oppose whatever is contrary to our salvation and gives us the courage to sacrifice for our holiness. 



Piety is reverence for the Lord and holy things. It is a sacred understanding of Who He is and who we are before Him. With that humility of heart, we worship only Him, and honor others because they are made in His image. The word comes from the Latin, pietas, the height of reverence given to father and country in ancient times. Piety also inclines us toward loving Our Lady, the angels, and the saints as we seek to honor God. 

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Fear of the Lord

This is not the terror or fright we often associate with the word "fear." It’s an incredible sense of awe at God's identity and majesty—an awe that impels us, in gratitude and fervent love, to live only to please and honor Him. This gift urges the soul to avoid sin and anything that might displease Him or separate us from Him.


Receiving the Gifts

The Lord offers us the Gifts of the Spirit in an outpouring at Baptism, then seals them in our souls through the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. They are like seeds planted within the soul. When we pray, read, and meditate on the Scriptures, practice virtue, receive the sacraments, and use the Gifts of the Spirit, they grow stronger.

The seeds develop like delicate shoots, gradually taking root in the soul and growing stronger. God wills to strengthen all of the Gifts in us so we can use them to love Him, become His faithful followers, and draw others to Him.

As the Gifts of the Spirit mature in the soul through our actions and God's grace, we receive spiritual fruits that lead us on the path to greater holiness and greater love for God and others. These Fruits of the Spirit mature over time and with proper care and nurturing, like the fruit we eat. 

Unlike edible fruit, we may not "see" the Fruits of the Spirit outwardly at first. They are interior developments in our ongoing conversions. These unseen movements of our hearts toward God eventually flourish in the soul. Then as we offer them out in the world, they become visible. 

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Nurturing Our Gifts

In growing fruit, many variables come together to impact how good it will taste and how many people it will nurture. Our spiritual gifts require a similar transformation over time. To ensure the sweetest and most abundant fruit, we must do our part.

We can work to develop the Gifts of the Spirit deliberately. Post them at your desk, or keep them written down on your nightstand, in your prayer journal, or anywhere you can read them often. Pursuing them means to think, say, and do what leads us to union with God.


No Gift of the Spirit is better than another, but sometimes God’s grace from our Baptism and Confirmation is working, and we are cooperating through our own natural inclinations, to mature particular gifts as we grow.

Using certain gifts may feel more natural to us than using others, but we receive them all, and can strengthen them all deliberately as we live our faith.

Do you sense which gifts may be stronger in you? This awareness can help you grow spiritually, because when we cooperate with God’s grace and allow Him to work in us, we grow toward our true purpose in Christ. Not just in this life, but in the next. 


Why Are They Important?

The Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit help us to seek the divine mysteries of Our Lord and our Faith. They allow us to detach our affections from what is worldly, and incline our souls toward what is everlasting. They help us know Him more intimately and desire Him more fully. 

The Gifts enlighten us and, as we see more clearly, we can pursue the path to our salvation and avoid the assaults of the Evil One that threaten our souls. Then we live with greater faith, hope, and charity, which touches others as we model His love to them. As we achieve union with Him through greater holiness and higher love, we discover that we can possess Him both in this life and in the next.