“I need some advice—who should I talk to?” At some point, all of us have asked this question. We toss it around in our mind, have endless conversations with ourselves, and make sure we consult the right person. In fact, the type of person we tend to seek out are those who possess a good balance of the virtues. Without realizing it, we will generally select the person who demonstrates in their personal life prudence—that is “right reason in action” as well as a docile, humble spirit. Naturally, you want a person who can give and receive advice, will take into consideration all perspectives, and, most importantly, make a decision and act on it.
I emphasize these parts of prudence to show how important it is to personally possess these qualities but also to recognize them in others. When we are faced with important life decisions or decisions in our daily life, we want to make sure our minds and hearts are fully open to the Holy Spirit’s Gift of Counsel. This gift enables us to respond fully to direction and guidance from the Lord. We want to guide and be guided by the truth. Jesus assured us of the Spirit’s presence, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth: for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13).
Therefore, when seeking advice don’t cower to the one who will agree with you or the one who wants you to see things their way. Be cautious of those who cling to their own ways, opinions, self-sufficiency, or even complacency. Instead, seek out the one who is humble, docile, willing to listen, and decisive. The person receptive to the Spirit’s Gift of Counsel will offer honest advice in the spirit of truth and will permit you to freely make your own final decision.
Effects of the Gift of Counsel
- Judges correctly the means on the way toward our heavenly homeland
- Discerns easily and act on moral decisions
- Imparts confidence, peace, and joy, especially in regards to one’s decisions
- Trusts the good advice from spiritual guides
- Gives good advice, maintaining the dignity of the person
- Shows mercy and kindness to others
- Maintains the docile stance of a disciple, always ready to learn from the Church