I find dictionaries amusing. They're useful of course, but our language often seems contradictory. If you look up "counsel" as I did online here, all the main definitions are true to what I understood the word to mean. However, you'll notice that, apparently, it is "obsolete" to associate counsel with wisdom and prudence. I find that interesting considering that the first four definitions (in my opinion) would be a horrible example of counsel unless they contained wisdom and prudence.
But I digress... The important thing to know is that regardless of whether or not modern dictionaries consider this particular definition obsolete, it is actually quite true to what the Church means when she speaks of the gift of counsel. When we get carried away in selfishness, leave our emotions and thoughts unchecked, and insist on our own narrow perspectives of how things should work, we do not exhibit the gift of counsel.
Pope Francis tells us that the gift of counsel helps us to make decisions in our lives after the example of Jesus, teaching us to overcome our self‐centered nature and act according to his will. Colossians 3:12‐17 is one of my favorite passages. While I love when Jesus speaks powerful words that never seem to lack richness (e.g. "Love your neighbor as yourself"), I also love when St. Paul breaks out his teachings into concrete, specific examples of how to live it out. This passage in Colossians is one of those examples for me, and I feel as though he is calling the Colossians to live according to this gift of counsel. His words are a challenge for me every time I read them, but I know they call me to a holier, more loving life.
We are called to ask God His will and live it out in our daily lives. As you read through this passage in Colossians, what sticks out to you the most? Is there one specific part that you have the hardest time accepting or desiring to live out? How do you feel the gift of counsel will help you overcome that weakness?
Sisters, we are never alone in our battles. Feel free to share in the comments the areas that are hardest for you to apply wisdom and prudence ‐ or the gift of counsel ‐ so we can know we're in this together. Let's ask the Holy Spirit for this gift and remember each other in prayer as we strive to support one another and become more docile to His Will.
Come Holy Spirit, enlighten my heart, that I may see the things that are of God.
Come Holy Spirit, into my mind that I may know the things that are of God.
Come Holy Spirit, into my soul, that I may belong only to God.
Sanctify all that I think, say, and do, that all may be for the glory of God.