7 on 7 in 7

7 ON 7 IN 7 is a video series designed to give you a taste of Landings’ new program for spiritual growth, Living in the Spirit. This series of videos is based on the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Seven friends of Landings have each recorded seven-minute commentaries on the meaning of each of those gifts.

Fear of the Lord with Dr. Mary Ann Hinsdale

This episode’s presenter is Dr. Mary Ann Hinsdale, a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Monroe, Ml), and Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College. A former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America, her most recent publication is the T & T Clark Handbook on Theological Anthropology, co-edited with Stephen Okay (Bloomsbury, 2021).

  1. Which concept of fear is predominant when you think of the gift of “Fear of the Lord?” Terror? Respect? Reverence and awe? Is it an admixture of all of them?  Has your thinking in this respect changed over time?
  2. Pierre Teihard de Chardin wrote, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” We know that de Chardin was a strong believer in evolution, a process we know to be a slow one. Why does he call God’s work slow? Which view of Fear of the Lord is supported by trusting in the “slow work of God?”
  3. If we embrace the idea that Fear of the Lord involves seeing life from God’s perspective, how does that fact affect the way we think and pray? How hard is it for us to see life from God’s perspective? Does it sometimes seem like it is too difficult to achieve? What do we need to overcome or leave behind in order for it to be even possible?
  4. Sr. Mary Ann referenced a number of scripture passages that are part of the “Wisdom literature tradition:”(Psalm 111, Proverbs 1:7, and Sirach 40:27) and that carry the meaning of “ Fear of the Lord.” How do you understand what it might mean to be in “right relationship” – with God? With persons you work with? With your neighbor and relatives?

Knowledge with Julie Dowd

This episode’s presenter is Julie Dowd, DMin. Julie is the Director of Mission Integration for the East-West Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Sponsorship Office. Previously, she spent twenty-six years in Jesuit education and parish ministry, serving most recently as director of University Ministry at the University of San Francisco (USF).

  1. In what ways for you does knowledge require courage? What have you had to let go of or leave behind to pursue further learning in your life?
  2. What do you do with your knowledge? Are you being called to respond to a social need or issue in your community or the world? How do you use your knowledge for service to others?
  3. How has growing in knowledge, experiencing the grace of knowledge, brought you closer to God? Reflect upon and name the graces you have experienced through the gift of knowledge.

Counsel with Palma Anton

This episode’s presenter is Palma Anton. Palma is a wife, mother, spiritual director, and retreat leader. She completed her spiritual direction training at the Quellen Spiritual Direction Formation Program in Mendham, N.J. She is co-director of the Spiritual Direction Ministry at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling, N.J., offering spiritual direction in addition to developing and leading retreats and workshops.

  1. It has been suggested that we take time for quiet so that we are better disposed to hear the still, small voice of God and be more attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. What changes might you need to make in your life so that you have more time for quiet?
  2. Noticing the stirrings or promptings of the Holy Spirit is how we are invited to follow the guidance of the Spirit. Consider some choices you face right now in your life. Do you sense the Holy Spirit leading you in a particular way?
  3. The battle of wills–-our will vs God’s will––is a constant struggle on the spiritual journey. Are there particular areas in your life in which you find it easier or harder to follow God’s will?
  4. Opening ourselves to God’s grace will help us to receive and embrace the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Do you recall a situation in your life when you experienced the gift of Counsel at work? Describe the experience?

Fortitude with James B. Nickoloff

This episode’s presenter is James B. Nickoloff, who speaks about the meaning of the gift of fortitude. Jim is associate professor emeritus of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where he taught Catholic systematic theology. He currently teaches at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL, where he is the director of ministerial formation for masters and doctoral students.

  1. If you are considering returning to the Catholic tradition, what changes have taken place in the Church since you were last involved in ecclesial life? How do you feel about those changes?
  2. How has your own faith evolved since you were last active in the Church? Can you see ways in which your faith is evolving now, as a result of your participation in Landings? Are you aware of areas in which your faith in God still needs to grow or change?
  3. How do you feel about promising to stand with, and be there for, other members of the Church as they grow and evolve in their lives of faith?
  4. What remains the same for you in the Church even as it undergoes continual transformation? Where do you see stability and continuity in the Catholic tradition?

Piety with Paulist Father Bruce Nieli

This episode’s presenter is Paulist Fr. Bruce Nieli, who speaks about the meaning of the gift of piety. Fr. Bruce is past director of evangelization of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and currently leads parish missions and retreats at locations across the United States.

  1. Fr. Bruce paraphrases Fr. Isaac Hecker, the founder of the Paulist Fathers, when he describes piety as an expression of filial affection which leads the soul to look up to God as the Heavenly Father. How do you experience the parent/child or Father/daughter/son relationship in the context of piety?
  2. Pope Francis describes a slightly different relationship, asserting that “piety points up our friendship with God.” What is the difference between being part of God’s family and being a friend of God? Is there a difference?
  3. What are some forms that piety as spiritual devotion can take?
  4. What are some examples of false piety?
  5. Who are some examples of lived piety that have influenced me?
  6. What are some ways I can strengthen my life of piety?

Understanding with Mamie Cheong

This episode’s presenter is Mamie Cheong, who speaks about the meaning of the gift of understanding. Mamie is the co-cordinator of Landings Singapore and is active in ministry at her parish, the Church of St. Ignatius in Singapore.

  1. St. Francis instructs us to “not so much seek to be understood as to understand.” How do we personally experience the conflict between the need to be understood and the desire to understand? Does this conflict create instances of misunderstanding when we engage others in conversation and discussion about issues on which we “take a stand?”
  2. Mamie tells us that, for her, knowledge involves tolerance, sympathy, and compassion for others. How does this view of knowledge shape our interactions with others and our relationship with God?
  3. Proverbs 3: 5 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding.” How does this instruction affect the concept of understanding that we live by? What does it tell us about our relationship with God?

Wisdom with Heather Kinney

Our first presenter in the series is Heather Kinney, who speaks about the meaning of the gift of wisdom in her lived experience. Heather has been the Associate Director for Academics and Pastoral Placements at the Paulist Fathers’ seminary for more than eight years.

  1. Who in your life is an example of Wisdom? Someone who sees as God sees and inspires you to do/want to do the same?
  2. How does Wisdom play out in your family? With friends? With neighbors? With co-workers?
  3. What are the blinders that prevent you from seeing as God does? What changes might you need to make in your life to take off those blinders?
  4. How is God inviting you to grow in Wisdom? In what area(s) of your life can you commit to using the Gift of Wisdom?