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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2017 issue

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

In the many years that Rod was teaching the subject ‘Calligraphy and Illumination’ there was one session of the programme which was always especially popular. This was called ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and the students were asked to provide a calligraphic display using Versal Letters (drawn capitals) to illustrate some list in the world which contained seven features. The students would decorate and embellish the letters according to their abilities and preferences.

For subject matter, many of the less imaginative participants would choose such lists as:

The Seven Colours of the Rainbow or
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World -

Slightly more demanding were subjects such as:

The Seven Hills of Rome
The Seven Sisters (a cluster of stars in the sky)
The Seven Virtues or the Seven Deadly Sins

More advanced students might select:

The Seven Mythical Snakes or
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is this last, rarely offered, which can produce the most insight into the thinking and religious experiences of the student calligrapher. In Isaiah 11:1-2 the words ‘The Spirit of the Lord…’ is mentioned as the received being of the Branch of Jesse and upon which is conferred Wisdom and Understanding. Christians interpret this passage as heralding the birth of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12 the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are elaborated:

Wisdom   (Sapientia)
Understanding  (Intellectus)
Counsel   (Consilium)
Knowledge  (Scientia)
Fortitude   (Fortitudo)
Piety   (Pietas)
Fear of the Lord*  (Timor Domini)

* This Gift is often expressed as the ‘wonder of the Creator’.

Following the directions of St Thomas Aquinas some churches consider that the Gifts are conferred at Baptism and reinforced at Confirmation. Rod asks the question of believers - How do you rate yourself with these wonderful gifts?

Rod Dawson