12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

1. Charity - is our love for God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Jesus told His apostles, Jn 13:34 “Love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” St. Paul told us, 1 Cor 13:13 “Faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Charity is a gift to us from God, wrapped in sanctifying grace. Charity, like hope, resides in the will.

Charity is one of the three theological virtues. The others are faith and hope.

2. Joy-The sense aroused in higher faculties of the soul by the expectation or possession of some good. Holy angels and virtuous human persons experience joy; its source is the rational will.

Joy differs from pleasure, which may affect the human spirit but originates in body sensation.

3. Peace- is more than the absence of conflict. It is the tranquility of good order, the serenity that accompanies the agreement of human wills.
Every well ordered society, whether marriage, parish, municipality or nation, is based on peace.

4. Patience-
enables us to endure hardship caused by another person in conformity with God’s will, without sadness or resentment.There are three grades of patience:

  • The lowest is: bearing difficulties without interior complaint.
  • The middle is: use of hardship to make progress in virtue.
  • The highest is: to desire the cross and afflictions for Christ’s love, to have something to offer up, and to accept them with spiritual joy.

Patience is a form of the moral virtue of fortitude.

5. Benignity- is the virtue of kindness. The quality of understanding sympathy and concern for persons in need. It is shown in affable speech, generous conduct, and forgiveness for injuries sustained.

6. Goodness- is consistent with God’s nature or will for us. Or, whatever is suitable and befitting.

7. Longanimity- Extraordinary patience under provocation or trial. Also called long suffering.

8. Mildness-
is gentle disposition and behavior. A perfection of love which tempers justice by avoiding unnecessary actions that might provoke anger or resentment.

Longanimity includes forbearance, restraint in demanding justice.

9. Faith- is Heb 11:1 “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” our firm belief in God and all that He has revealed to us through Holy Mother Church. 1 Thes 2:13 “When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God.”

Faith resides in our intellect; we believe because God is all-knowing (cannot be deceived) and all-good (cannot deceive), so what He tells us is infallibly true. Our faith must be constant; the apostle Thomas gave Jesus three years of faithful service, but we remember him for his one moment of doubt.

Our faith must be complete. We completely submit our intellect and will to God. Our faith therefore illuminates our daily life. Our fallen race inherits from its first parents a propensity to sin, but our constant objective must be to live as Holy Mother Church teaches. We seek to live by the theological and cardinal virtues. We consciously avoid the seven capital sins. We go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day if possible, or every Sunday at minimum. We go to Confession every week if possible, or every month at minimum. We do all this because we have faith that the Catholic Church has Christ’s authority to teach us how to prepare for heaven.

Our faith is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. We have faith only if we believe in Christ’s entire public revelation. The Catholic faith is faith that Christ instituted a divine institution, a Church blessed with authority to infallibly teach His public revelation. If we accept only doctrines consistent with our own experience we are not accepting them on faith but rather on human analysis.

We begin our profession of faith, “I believe” or “We believe” when proclaiming the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed.

Faith is one of the three theological virtues. The others are: hope and charity.

10. Modesty- is the virtue that moderates our presentation to others. Modesty in behavior directs us to observe proper decorum. Modesty in appearance inclines us to avoid whatever is offensive to others and even whatever is not necessary.

Modesty is grounded in humility, which reminds us of our true worth before God. Modesty also helps us practice the capital virtue of chastity as well as the virtue of purity.

11. Continence
-he virtue by which we control unruly sexual passions. It generally refers to chastity by the unmarried. Within marriage, it refers to abstinence from the marital act, whether voluntarily agreed or forced by circumstances.

Continence is related to the virtue of temperance.

12. Chastity- moderates desire for sexual pleasure, the body’s most imperious passion, according to principles of faith and right reason.

Chastity opposes acts or thoughts that are inconsistent with Church teaching about the use of our reproductive powers to prevent defilement of the soul.

Jesus said, Mk 7:21 “From within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.” St. Paul added, 1 Cor 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.”

The practice of chastity is control of our thoughts and discipline of our senses, especially the eyes. It is greatly assisted by modesty and purity.

Chastity is one of the seven capital virtues. The others are humility, liberality, brotherly love, meekness, temperance, and diligence. They are called capital because all the virtues we strive to practice are said to flow from these seven capital virtues. Chastity is opposed to the capital sin of lust.

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