“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever,”.
Gifts of the Spirit act in harmony and concert with each other, and all are illumined by the Gift of Counsel, which opens us to the Spirit in choices and decisions we make in our lives. The Gift of Counsel is not our conscience although the gift enlightens our conscience.
Counsel is a divine impulse; it is not God talking to us. It is usually a subtle inspiration that urges us to make a decision or to reconsider one. It may redirect us from a course of action that has been a significant part of our spiritual journey. It may suggest to us how to adjust to a change in our lives. It is God’s presence in our daily lives.
All decisions are not between good and evil but often are a matter of choosing the greatest good. The Gift of Counsel helps us discern about a vocation or marriage, or changing positions. It may challenge us to change prejudices or stereotypes. The Gifts of the Spirit help us follow our Christian vocation in every aspect of our lives. The Catechism tells us that “the moral life of Christians is sustained by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (CCC 1830)
Counsel, like all the gifts, flows from our relationship with God. It is ultimately a gift of God’s love and is a sign of His abiding presence. It flourishes when we frequent the sacraments and nurture a life of prayer and charity.