Gift of Knowledge: The gift of knowledge is the gift that enables a person “to judge rightly concerning the truths of faith in accordance with their proper causes and the principles of revealed truth.” One could say that the gift of knowledge helps a person to embrace the truths of faith. Then, formed by these truths and guided by the Holy Spirit, the person makes correct judgments regarding earthly things and how they are related to eternal life and Christian perfection. As such, the knowledge of these created things leads one to the Creator. The created things are not seen as ends in themselves and held onto tightly, so that they become idols or obstacles to union with God; rather, they are instruments that help us appreciate the majesty of God and over which we must be good stewards.
Gift of Understanding: Understanding is a gift “to give a deeper insight and penetration of divine truths held by faith, not as a transitory enlightenment but as a permanent intuition.” Illuminating the mind to truth, the Holy Spirit aids a person to grasp the truths of faith easily and to penetrate the depths of those truths. Such illumination, grasping, and penetration allows one to enter a divine intimacy with the Lord.The essential quality of this gift is a “penetrating intuition” — in a sense, the moving beyond the surface. showing the hand of God at work in a person’s life, even in the most mysterious or troublesome events, like suffering; and revealing the spiritual realities that underlie sensible appearances, like penetrating the mystery