This week we are meditating on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The most difficult to understand is: understanding. What does that gift mean? It took some reading to find out.
While wisdom allows us to understand things from God’s point of view, understanding allows us to grasp the essence of our faith. This gift allows us to comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus.
Thomas Aquinas says four gifts of the spirit …. wisdom, understanding, knowledge and counsel … direct our intellect. So a person who has understanding isn’t confused about what to do, even in a world with many conflicting messages. Understanding allows this person to see what the next steps should be.
An example happens on the road to Emmaus. Jesus, in disguise somehow, walks alongside his disciples and “opens their minds” to understand what the Scripture were saying about the Messiah. The gift of understanding helps us to know the mysteries of faith more clearly.
Understanding gives us a deeper insight into the truths of our faith … a kind of permanent increase in faith I.Q. The Holy Spirit allows us to grasp this knowledge deeply and to hang onto it.
While being able to understand God is impossible to us on this Earth, we can have more insight into His ways through the Holy Spirit’s gift of understanding.
Complicated and confusing? Yes. So meditating on the gift of understanding and asking for more of it from the Holy Spirit is a good idea.