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Knowledge, Gift of


The gift of the Holy Spirit that perfects the work of faith by enabling the believer to appreciate rightly the relation of created things to his supernatural, ultimate end. Faith, unassisted by this gift, that is, acting under ordinary grace, knows that all things are ordered to God. The gift of understanding moves the mind to penetrate this truth more deeply than is possible to faith alone. To this penetration achieved by understanding, the gift of knowledge adds a judgment on how the things of earthly experience are related to the supernatural order. The judgment is intuitive in that it is immediate and bypasses the ordinary discursive steps by which faith operates. It develops in the soul a connaturality for such judgment. Without conscious reflection, the believer is immediately certain of how the realities he meets are related to eternal life.

See Also: holy spirit, gifts of; understanding, gift 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. aumannn (Dubuque, Iowa 1962) 378383. r. cessario, Christian Faith and the Theological Life (Washington, D.C. 1996). s. pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics, tr. m. t. noble (3d rev. ed.; Washington, D.C. 1995). thomas aquinas, Summa theologiae 2a2ae, 89.

[p. f. mulhern]

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