The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, long-suffering, goodness, kindness, meekness, faithfulness, modesty, continence, chastity‘ ( Galatians 5, 22-23) ”(Catechism, 1832).
They are the fruits that the Holy Spirit produces in the life of the Christian throughout his life after receiving his seven gifts, gifts that are received, along with the theological virtues, in the sacrament of baptism; gifts that are augmented with the sacrament of confirmation (Catechism, 1302), given in fullness.
The Christian is like trees: when he is mature, he will bear fruit; by their fruits they will know you (Mt 12, 33). When the trees are ripe, they will bear fruits that are not sour, but sweet and good to look at.
The saints are those who have managed to bear all these fruits and have known how to practice cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, strength, temperance). Eye, do not confuse these fruits with the experience of human values.
Let’s see now what these fruits consist of
1. Love or charity
Whoever gives this fruit makes Christ see in his life; He is the one who allows Christ to act in his life (Ga 2, 20). If love is missing, no supernatural action can be found, no merit for eternal life, no true and complete happiness.
2. Joy or joy
It is the fruit that emanates naturally from love; It is like sunlight, or the perfume of the flower, or the heat of fire. This joy does not go out in the midst of problems; On the contrary, it grows and strengthens itself in their midst as it becomes more necessary than ever.
When you are in communion with God love, the person is happy; and also seeks to make others happy. It is a joy that surpasses all enjoyment founded on the flesh or material things.
Peace is the perfection of joy, because it implies the enjoyment of the beloved object. The beloved “object”, par excellence, cannot be any other but God, and hence the security of peace that springs from having God in the heart. Peace makes us be serene people and keeps the soul in possession of constant joy in spite of everything.
Who gives this fruit, overcomes the turmoil that involves the permanent struggle against the enemies of the soul and its invisible and visible forces. It also facilitates a harmonious encounter with the creatures with which we interact.
Patience makes us Christians who know how to control and prevents us from being resentful or vindictive. This fruit helps overcome sadness and prevents us from complaining about life’s problems and sufferings.
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Long-suffering is the same courage or courage in the difficulties that oppose good; It is a supernatural spirit to conceive and execute the works of truth.
This fruit allows the Christian to know how to wait for the action of Divine Providence, when he sees that, according to human logic, the fulfillment of his designs is delayed. It is a fruit that allows us to remain persevering in the face of difficulties.
It is a permanent disposition to indulgence and affability. It is a fruit that helps us to be gentle and helps defend the truth by knowing how to ‘discuss‘. It gives a special sweetness in dealing with others. It is a great sign of the sanctity of a soul and the action in it of the Holy Spirit.
It is the force that helps us take care of others and benefit them. It is as a consequence of kindness but in a more incisive way in those who suffer and need help. Whoever gives this fruit does not criticize unhealthily and does not condemn others; Moreover, it helps to heal the example of Jesus Christ, infinite goodness.
It helps avoid anger and violent reactions. He opposes anger and resentment, prevents the Christian from falling into feelings of revenge. Meekness makes the Christian soft in his words and in dealing with someone’s arrogance. It is the fruit that resembles Jesus meek and humble of heart.
Whoever gives this fruit defends faith in public and does not hide it because of fear or shame. Faithfulness is a certain facility to accept everything that must be believed; It is a firmness to strengthen us in this and to have the security of the truth that we believe without feeling doubts. By giving this fruit we are glorifying God who is the absolute truth.
Whoever gives this fruit excludes everything that is rough and badly educated; This fruit is noticed to the Christian in the dress, in the speech, in his behavior, etc. It helps so that our senses do not focus on unseemly and vulgar things.
It helps to be discreet and careful with the body, avoiding being an occasion of sin for others; as well as to prepare and maintain our body to be, in the midst of our weakness, the worthy abode of God.
As the name implies, it helps to contain or keep concupiscence in regard to eating, drinking, having fun and the other pleasures of earthly life. The satisfaction of these instincts is ordered by continence as a consequence of the dignity of the children of God we have. Continence maintains order within man.
Chastity is the victory achieved over the flesh and helps the Christian to be more a living temple of the Holy Spirit. Whoever gives this fruit is careful and delicate in everything that refers to the use of sexuality.
Whoever is chaste (whether virgin or married) experiences the joy of God’s intimate friendship: happy clean of heart, because they will see God.