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Gifts of the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Wisdom

The charisms of the Spirit, conferred on all in Baptism and intensified in Confirmation, are also called the gifts of the Holy Spirit. With these gifts He enables us to serve the Church of Christ through our brothers.

The Gift of Wisdom or Word of Wisdom reveals to us the diagnosis, the cause, the root of the problem (of a situation or a fact). This Gift follows the Gift of Science: it reveals to us how to treat, how to act starting from what has been revealed to us by the Gift of Science.

With the Word of Science, God reveals the root of something that is happening or what has happened. With the Word of Wisdom God tells us how to act, how to put the Word of Science into practice, and how to proceed. It can manifest itself through a spoken or written word, a vision, a feeling, an emotion or a dream.

The Gift of Wisdom is a charismatic gift of the Holy Spirit, the free gift from God who gives grace to man, inspires him to know what his behavior should be in every situation, whenever he has to understand a fact or solve a problem. It inspires man to act and speak intelligently in concrete situations of his personal and community life, leading him to make correct decisions, according to the will of God in daily life, in marriage, in work, in the education of children, in relationships with the brothers and in his Christian life.

It is God’s guidance on how to live in a Christian way (Luke 18: 18-30). It also leads us to teach or explain religious truths. Therefore, the Word of Wisdom is a word, an attitude or an action that causes events to proceed according to God’s will or that helps people realize the truth they did not know before.

Examples of the Word of Wisdom in the Holy Scriptures

– I Kings 3: 16-28: The Word of Wisdom of King Solomon, “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other”, caused the true mother to renounce her son, because she didn’t want to see him dead and so truth and justice were discovered.

– Mt 22: 15-22: “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.

Jesus was in an embarrassing position: if he had said that paying the tax to Caesar was lawful, he would have been considered a traitor to the Jews, if he had said that it was not lawful pay, he would have been considered a popular resistor against the Romans. In both cases, He would have been be put in prison. The power of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of Wisdom, freed Jesus from prison and silenced the people.

– Jn 8: 1-11: The adulterous woman. The law protected those who stoned and sentenced the woman to death; with the Word of Wisdom Jesus said: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”, which caused the accusers to withdraw one by one, accused by their own conscience.

The Word of Wisdom guides the conduct of man in every situation. It is a gift of guidance: through it we discover God’s plan for our own life, for the life of another person or for the life of the community.

Our collaboration is essential

The charisms of the Spirit, conferred on all in Baptism and intensified in Confirmation, are also called the gifts of the Holy Spirit. With these gifts He enables us to serve the Church of Christ through our brothers. The charisms are therefore powerful gifts for the service of the Christian community.

But there are conditions for receiving and persevering in the charismatic life: simplicity and purity of heart; assiduity of meditation on the Word of God; life of prayer; desire to serve brothers like Jesus (Lk 22:27); perseverance in receiving spiritual gifts (always open to being channels of action and to the power of the Spirit).

Our collaboration is essential. God doesn’t want us to be robots that act independently, as mechanical beings. Respect our freedom and our consent. If we believe, we say yes to what the Lord wants to accomplish in us. Mary Most Holy is the model of total openness: “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:38).


Translation: Jhoanna Climacosa



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