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Whether counsel should be reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost?

Objection 1: It would seem that counsel should not be reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are given as a help to the virtues, according to Gregory (Moral. ii, 49). Now for the purpose of taking counsel, man is sufficiently perfected by the virtue of prudence, or even of {euboulia} (deliberating well), as is evident from what has been said (Q[47], A[1], ad 2; Q[51], AA[1],2). Therefore counsel should not be reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Objection 2: Further, the difference between the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and the gratuitous graces seems to be that the latter are not given to all, but are divided among various people, whereas the gifts of the Holy Ghost are given to all who have the Holy Ghost. But counsel seems to be one of those things which are given by the Holy Ghost specially to certain persons, according to 1 Macc. 2:65: "Behold . . . your brother Simon is a man of counsel." Therefore counsel should be numbered among the gratuitous graces rather than among the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Objection 3: Further, it is written (Rom. 8:14): "Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." But counselling is not consistent with being led by another. Since then the gifts of the Holy Ghost are most befitting the children of God, who "have received the spirit of adoption of sons," it would seem that counsel should not be numbered among the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

On the contrary, It is written (Is. 11:2): "(The Spirit of the Lord) shall rest upon him . . . the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude."

I answer that, As stated above (FS, Q[68], A[1]), the gifts of the Holy Ghost are dispositions whereby the soul is rendered amenable to the motion of the Holy Ghost. Now God moves everything according to the mode of the thing moved: thus He moves the corporeal creature through time and place, and the spiritual creature through time, but not through place, as Augustine declares (Gen. ad lit. viii, 20,22). Again, it is proper to the rational creature to be moved through the research of reason to perform any particular action, and this research is called counsel. Hence the Holy Ghost is said to move the rational creature by way of counsel, wherefore counsel is reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Reply to Objection 1: Prudence or {euboulia} (deliberating well), whether acquired or infused, directs man in the research of counsel according to principles that the reason can grasp; hence prudence or {euboulia} (deliberating well) makes man take good counsel either for himself or for another. Since, however, human reason is unable to grasp the singular and contingent things which may occur, the result is that "the thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels uncertain" (Wis. 9:14). Hence in the research of counsel, man requires to be directed by God who comprehends all things: and this is done through the gift of counsel, whereby man is directed as though counseled by God, just as, in human affairs, those who are unable to take counsel for themselves, seek counsel from those who are wiser.

Reply to Objection 2: That a man be of such good counsel as to counsel others, may be due to a gratuitous grace; but that a man be counselled by God as to what he ought to do in matters necessary for salvation is common to all holy persons.

Reply to Objection 3: The children of God are moved by the Holy Ghost according to their mode, without prejudice to their free-will which is the "faculty of will and reason" [*Sent. iii, D, 24]. Accordingly the gift of counsel is befitting the children of God in so far as the reason is instructed by the Holy Ghost about what we have to do.

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