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Counsel, Gift of


The gift of counsel is the gift of the Holy Spirit that perfects the acts of the infused virtue of prudence. Through prudence elevated by grace, the soul reasons to the wisest course of action in a given situation. Counsel is concerned with the same practical issues as prudence, but it works with greater facility; it provides a quasi-instinctive solution to complex problems. Hence the person influenced by counsel is said to act by intuition. Reason is moved; it bypasses the usual acts in prudential decisions. But it also moves; it dictates action in the immediate issue. Because the end of counsel is a concrete act, it does not have its own beatitude, but it is related to the beatitude of mercy, since it directs the practical work of mercy. Counsel also lacks its own fruits because it ends in action.

See Also: holy spirit, gifts of.

Bibliography: b. froget, The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Souls of the Just, tr. s. a. raemers (Westminster, Md. 1950). a. royo, The Theology of Christian Perfection, ed. and tr. j. aumann (Dubuque 1962) 432435. r. cessario, Christian Faith and the Theological Life (Washington, D.C. 1996). s. pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics, tr. m. t. noble (Washington, D.C.1995).

[p. f. mulhern]

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