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Catholic Dictionary




One of the special gifts of the Holy Spirit; it perfects the virtue of prudence. Its function is to enable a person to judge promptly and rightly, as by a sort of supernatural intuition, what should be done, especially in difficult situations. With the gift of counsel, the Holy Spirit speaks, as it were, to the heart and in an instant enlightens a person what to do. It corresponds to the promise made by Christ to his followers, "When they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you" (Matthew 10:19).

Counsel refers primarily to prudent conduct in one's own case, and only secondarily in favor of others. Enlightened by the Spirit, a person learn what to do in a specific case and what advice to give when consulted or command to make if he is in authority.