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Whether the gift of counsel corresponds to the virtue of prudence?

Objection 1: It would seem that the gift of counsel does not fittingly correspond to the virtue of prudence. For "the highest point of that which is underneath touches that which is above," as Dionysius observes (Div. Nom. vii), even as a man comes into contact with the angel in respect of his intellect. Now cardinal virtues are inferior to the gifts, as stated above (FS, Q[68], A[8]). Since, then, counsel is the first and lowest act of prudence, while command is its highest act, and judgment comes between, it seems that the gift corresponding to prudence is not counsel, but rather a gift of judgment or command.

Objection 2: Further, one gift suffices to help one virtue, since the higher a thing is the more one it is, as proved in De Causis. Now prudence is helped by the gift of knowledge, which is not only speculative but also practical, as shown above (Q[9], A[3]). Therefore the gift of counsel does not correspond to the virtue of prudence.

Objection 3: Further, it belongs properly to prudence to direct, as stated above (Q[47], A[8]). But it belongs to the gift of counsel that man should be directed by God, as stated above (A[1]). Therefore the gift of counsel does not correspond to the virtue of prudence.

On the contrary, The gift of counsel is about what has to be done for the sake of the end. Now prudence is about the same matter. Therefore they correspond to one another.

I answer that, A lower principle of movement is helped chiefly, and is perfected through being moved by a higher principle of movement, as a body through being moved by a spirit. Now it is evident that the rectitude of human reason is compared to the Divine Reason, as a lower motive principle to a higher: for the Eternal Reason is the supreme rule of all human rectitude. Consequently prudence, which denotes rectitude of reason, is chiefly perfected and helped through being ruled and moved by the Holy Ghost, and this belongs to the gift of counsel, as stated above (A[1]). Therefore the gift of counsel corresponds to prudence, as helping and perfecting it.

Reply to Objection 1: To judge and command belongs not to the thing moved, but to the mover. Wherefore, since in the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the position of the human mind is of one moved rather than of a mover, as stated above (A[1]; FS, Q[68], A[1]), it follows that it would be unfitting to call the gift corresponding to prudence by the name of command or judgment rather than of counsel whereby it is possible to signify that the counselled mind is moved by another counselling it.

Reply to Objection 2: The gift of knowledge does not directly correspond to prudence, since it deals with speculative matters: yet by a kind of extension it helps it. On the other hand the gift of counsel corresponds to prudence directly, because it is concerned about the same things.

Reply to Objection 3: The mover that is moved, moves through being moved. Hence the human mind, from the very fact that it is directed by the Holy Ghost, is enabled to direct itself and others.

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