Fruits of the Holy Spirit can be seen in our daily lives, but they are mostly represented by virtues: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. These attributes are often given as gifts to people who have accepted God's grace into their life. This post will explore what the fruits of the Spirit are and how we can receive them and how to use them to other people.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity and is characterized as a person who proceeds from the Father to animate all creation. He is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient (knowing everything), and transcendent in power. The Holy Spirit shares the same attributes with God the Father. He is sovereign and supreme ruler over all things on earth and is consubstantial with God Almighty.
Jesus said after his resurrection that he will send the Holy Spirit to lead his church and guide believers into all truth. Likewise, he is also called the Comforter, who leads Christians to repentance and forgiveness.
What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
The fruit is the most important part of a plant. Fruits are what provide food for animals and humans, as well as their seed to reproduce more plants. Fruits of the Holy Spirit are actions or behaviors that come from a person who has received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience or longsuffering (patience), kindness (or gentleness), goodness (or benevolence), and faithfulness.
Fruits come from within a person's heart as it responds with gratitude for what God has done in his life. They are the natural result of a growing spiritual relationship with God. Fruits have their origin in our spirit and do not express themselves in our actions or behavior. Fruits that are not yet fully ripe cannot produce food. Only when they are ripe can they be harvested and used as medicine or food.
Symbols of the Holy Spirit
In liturgical prayers and in art, we use various symbols to represent the Holy Spirit. Wind, fire, and water are used to draw attention to the strength and power of the Spirit. Anointing with oil is a symbol that we are united with Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One. Through baptism, which is one of the seven catholic sacraments, we receive the Holy Spirit. The dove is used as a symbol of peace.
Fruits of the Holy Spirit according to the Bible
The Scripture mentions the fruits of the Spirit on a few occasions. In Galatians, these 12 fruits are enumerated: Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, humility, Longanimity, abstinence, and chastity (Galatians 5:22).
What are the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit and their meaning?
As stated above the 12 Fruits are Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, and Kindness. The other Fruits include Faithfulness, Goodness, Longsuffering or Endurance under trials, Gentleness (or Meekness), Self-Control, or Restraint over appetites. Lowliness (Humility), Modesty (Shamefacedness), Sincerity in heart and conduct before God and man.
These Fruits refer to what we produce in our lives in terms of virtuous actions. They are manifested in the good things we do and can be seen in all aspects of life, including:
Kindness toward others and oneself.
Cheerfulness to feel inner happiness.
Patience when times get tough; giving with patience and kindness.
Passing on faith through deeds.
Faithfulness, kindness, longsuffering or endurance in trials.
Meekness, self-control, or restraint.
Which are the most important fruits?
Jesus Christ laying down his life for us is the ultimate example of love. Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another." (John 13:34). And He showed His love by washing our feet and dying on a cross.
Joy is the Fruits of God's Spirit that we experience when we see or hear about Jesus. It is deep satisfaction and inward rejoicing in our hearts because He has been revealed to us as Lord and Savior.
"If I speak in human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13).
The Bible's definition of love is very different from our world and culture’s definition today. While many define love as romance or a warm feeling, the Bible’s definition is fundamentally different. It is self-sacrifice, putting others’ needs before our own, following Jesus’ example, and humbling ourselves as servants. Outside of God, however, we are unable to love perfectly. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit, we can set aside our sinfulness and our selfishness. Because God has shown us mercy, we can show mercy to others. Because he has shown us, love, we're able to show love to others.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
Joy is more than temporary happiness, it is an active choice of attitude. We have hope in Christ because, in him, we have redemption.
“My lips will shout for joy as I sing your praise; my hands will always be on the shoulders of God’s hands”.
Jesus told His apostles, "My peace I give you." (John 14:27). Peace from anxiety and inner peace. Peace from the world, peace with self.
Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church
In Catholicism, the gifts may be distributed with either consecrated water or holy oil, by a priest or bishop. The person receiving the blessing is anointed with either or both and prays that he or she will receive the spiritual fruit that has been given to him or her in abundance: Wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, strength, piety, patience, and peace.
St. Thomas Aquinas likewise set forth this tradition in his work Summa Theologica. According to this, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a person or a community that lives in harmony with the Spirit of the Holy Spirit.
How are the fruits of the Holy Spirit different from the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifested in people through talents and abilities they have received from God his Spirit. For more information about gifts read this article. Fruits and gifts are all part of a person's spiritual life with Jesus.
How do we use the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our Everyday Life?
You might ask yourself How to use these fruits? First of all, they can be very helpful in your daily life. If we exercise these fruits to the best of our ability - through patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness - our harvest will be abundant indeed.
How can we obtain a bountiful harvest? By exercising these Fruits!
Let’s take an example from each fruit to show you what I mean: When someone is being charitable they will give and share their time or money with those less fortunate than themselves. When someone displays joy it can come through laughter or just by listening attentively to another person. Peace comes naturally when people live with patience and kindness towards others. Goodness is shown by doing good deeds like volunteering your time at the homeless shelter or making a meal for the less fortunate. Faithfulness is demonstrated by remaining committed to God and his teachings.
In everyday life, joy and peace are two fruits that we can experience days when we live them out toward others. Is there someone or something in your life that needs more love? Try sending some of it to them! Do you feel stressed by all the responsibilities you have right now? Ask God for peace to bring you back into balance!
If you would like to experience more of these virtues in your own spiritual growth, take a moment to call upon the Holy Spirit whenever you can. What fruit would you like to develop more of? Why don't you ask the Holy Spirit to help you? He will increase your prayer and guide you with His wisdom.
The Bible tells us that the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, and Gentleness. These virtues help guide our life to be successful in this world while preparing for a future Heavenly one. How do we use these fruits in everyday life? By exercising them! The fruits of the Holy Spirit are not just a religious term, they have very practical applications in our everyday life. We can exercise these fruits by practicing them on a daily basis to receive an abundant harvest throughout this lifetime and beyond! I hope this blog post piques your curiosity and encourages you to explore what the Holy Spirit has in store for you. God bless you.