So there we have it!!
THE GIFTS AND FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The gifts and fruits are two different things
Paragraph 1830 says, “The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”
We NEED these gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to continue to choose the Lord
Remember when we learned that virtues are habitual dispositions to do the good?
To tell the truth occasionally does not make me virtuous
To tell the truth on a regular basis is virtue
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not just occasional
They are PERMANENT dispositions
They open us up
They don’t take over us
They don’t overwhelm us
We are not puppets that God controls
They make us DOCILE
Which means that we are open to being taught
Which means that we are open to being moved
Which means that we are open to following the promptings of the Holy Spirit
Paragraph 1831 says, “The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.”
These are seven sanctifying gifts that help us become holy
So what do they mean?
Wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge all sound connected
What does wisdom do?
WISDOM draws us to divine things and disposes us to appreciate and value them
In our culture, we really love information
We consider the people who have the most information at their fingertips to be geniuses
Wisdom is not just a collection of data and facts
To be wise is the kind of person who recognizes divine things and be drawn to them
Wisdom disposes us to appreciate and value them
The wise person is the one who knows the value of a thing
UNDERSTANDING empowers our minds to grasp revealed truths
God revealed Himself and we read Scripture
If we have the gift of understanding, that means we have the ability to grasp revealed truths
That is different from wisdom
Wisdom is I know the value of a thing
Understanding is I GET IT especially when it comes to the Revelation of God whether it be through Church teaching, or Scripture
My mind has been empowered to grasp revealed truths
All these gifts give us the power to do something
COUNSEL empowers us to choose and act successfully in concrete situations
These first three-wisdom, understanding, and counsel-are all connected but they are not the same
Someone who is a good counselor is someone who can help you in concrete situations to choose and act successfully in concrete situations
Wisdom means we can value things correctly
Understanding means we can grasp revealed truths
Counsel means we have the ability to choose and act successfully in concrete situations
KNOWLEDGE enables us to judge rightly the place of created things
FORTITUDE is inspired courage
It is not just my own courage, being a brave man or woman
It is INSPIRED courage
GOD-BREATHED courage provided by the Holy Spirit so that we can persevere in the service of God
PIETY is reverence for God the Father, which enables us to worship in spirit and in truth
It is the Holy Spirit’s gift that leads us to worship and to give God His due
FEAR OF THE LORD is a profound respect for the Divine Majesty and fear of offending Him through sin
We want to love God because He is deserving of love
We should fear offending Him because He is so good, because He is love
Fr. Mike is telling a story about FOCUS, Fellowship Of Catholic University Students…
Paragraph 1831 continues, “They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God…If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.”
Paragraph 1832 says, “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 of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.’”
What does this mean?
Think about fruits, these gifts given to us from the Lord
They empower us
They enable us
They inspire us
The fruits come forth from us because of a life lived pursuing Jesus
A life lived in the Spirit
A life lived in the person of Christ
We are trying to be like Jesus on a regular basis, so these are the fruits that will grow
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s orange tree analogy…
Are we living a life deeper and deeper in Christ?
We can evaluate this by asking if we have more or less charity than we had before?
Do we have more or less joy in our lives
Is there more or less peace in our lives?
Have we grown in patience, or are we more impatient?
Have we grown in kindness, or are we less kind?
Have we grown in goodness, or are we less good?
Have we grown in generosity, or are we scrooges?
Have we grown in gentleness, or are we less gentle?
Have we grown in faithfulness, or are we less faithful?
Have we grown in modesty, or are we less modest?
Have we grown in self-control, or are we out of control?
Have we grown in chastity, or are we less chaste?
These are the signs of a person living in Christ, walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit
These are the gifts God wants to give to YOU
GOD LOVES YOU!!
God wants to give you these GIFTS of the Holy Spirit
God also wants to bring forth in you these FRUITS
We might not be able to bring them all at once
We might not have clear evidence of all 12 of these fruits of the Spirit in our lives at the same time
It could be a season of growing in chastity or modesty
It could be challenged to grow in faithfulness
The spiritual fruit comes about in our lives when we need it
So here is the fruit of patience
We are being tested in the sense of being trained
Our patience is being tested and now it has an opportunity to grow
Or maybe our faithfulness is under strain and therefore our faithfulness has an opportunity to grow
Maybe it’s modesty
Maybe we’ve been convicted about being modest in our speech, behavior, in how we dress
Because of that, we are being tested and our modesty can grow
We might not be working on all 12 of the spiritual fruits at any given moment
But they are all happening
Just because there are no oranges on the tree yet, does not mean they aren’t growing
It just means we don’t see them yet
Be patient in asking God for those gifts of the Holy Spirit
Be patient in allowing God to bring forth in your life those fruits of the Holy Spirit
God wants to give you those gifts
God wants to bring forth in you those fruits
We keep saying, “Lord, give me those gifts of the Holy Spirit. You knit them together, unite them in love, so that those fruits of the Holy Spirit can be made manifest in my life and in your life.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you when I see you!!