“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23)
Do you notice something in common with all of these fruits of the Spirit? Each one of them is also a virtue! As I was studying for my Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology, I came across this passage from Galatians, and it hit me: Virtue must be very important to the Holy Spirit, when six of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, received at Confirmation are virtues, and all nine of the fruits of the Spirit are virtues.
Bearing fruits of the Spirit is the outcome that results from our living a Christ-like life. When we imitate Christ, we become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, and gentle. We also tend to exhibit more self-control. This outcome occurs because we welcomed the Holy Spirit into our lives and we allowed Him to work within us; to change us to be virtuous.
Being virtuous is a good thing! Many people doubt that they could ever be considered “virtuous.” Others think that if they were to be virtuous, then their life would be miserable, boring, and unfulfilling. Au Contraré!
Do you want the Fruits of the Spirit?
- Tell me that you don’t want to be loved, or experience joy, to live in peace, to be patient, and to have others be patient with you.
- Tell me that you don’t want anyone to be kind to you.
- Tell me that you have nothing to share with others; not even your time. Therefore being generous is a waste of time.
- Tell me that being faithful to your loved ones means nothing to you; that they are merely useful objects, rather than people worthy of your faithfulness; that God means nothing to you.
- Tell me that you would rather be treated with mean-spiritedness rather than with gentleness.
- Tell me that self-control serves no purpose in your life.
Tell me these things, and I will say that your soul is deadened! In truth, we all want these fruits. We all want these virtues. Stop deluding yourself, NOW, and come to realize that what you really want in life is virtue. You want to be loved, filled with joy, live in peace, and known for your patience and kindness towards others. You know in your heart that it is better to give than to receive. You know deep down that God is always faithful to you, so make an effort to be faithful to Him. Exert self-control and find your freedom to be who God made you to be. Be virtuous! Trust me: You will not be bored, miserable, or unfulfilled. On the contrary, you will be engaged, happy and fulfilled! Embrace the virtues to live a happier life!