The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

On the last day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit, we celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost. On this occasion, we ask the Holy Spirit to overshadow us with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: signs of Christ’s love visible to others through our thoughts, words and deeds.

These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. (CCC 1832)

Christ built his church with 12 apostles and he builds our heart with the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is through these gifts that our faith, hope, and charity are sustained and displayed. We must share with others these gifts with the same determination as the apostles shared Christ’s message. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are not meant to be kept to ourselves; lest we commit gluttony and our hearts become ruined.

We want our hearts to produce everlasting harvest. It is, therefore, necessary that we make daily efforts to nourish ourselves with prayer, liturgy, and the Eucharist and to seek and practice the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. By doing this, we enable the Holy Spirit to descend upon us as he did on Pentecost and thus speak in tongues of love.

Have a blessed day!!!

The Gift of Wisdom

On the eighth day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we pray for the gift of Wisdom: the grace to know, understand, and live in Christ.

There is so much to say about the gift of Wisdom, but all I write this day are the words of St. Louis de Montford:

“To know Jesus Christ incarnate Wisdom, is to know all we need. To presume to know everything and not know him is to know nothing at all.”

Have a blessed day!!!

The Gift of Counsel

On the seventh day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit, we seek the gift of Counsel: the grace “to judge promptly, correctly and, as it were, intuitively” especially in difficult situations. (Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. The Counsel)

When we have the gift of Counsel, we see with clarity the road ahead; we understand how God wants us to proceed. It is like looking at our decisions through a magnifying glass.  Of course, this glass is comprised of trust in God and the Church. I have made bad decisions in my life. I can tell you that in those instances, I lacked the trust in both. However, as I have become more trustful in God and the teachings of the Church, my judgment has improved. I also have learned that we do not seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit in isolation; they are meant to be experienced with others: the “Gift of Counsel, is not only counseling myself, it is also the Gift of Counsel for others.” (Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J)

Case in point; today, I meant to write this blog, as I always do, early in the morning. However, I was interrupted by my son because he was upset. The iron-on t-shirt he designed was not ready to wear. In addition, my wife was hosting a celebration in our home. I have to make a decision on whether to continue to write my blog or support both my son and my wife. In the past, I would have been upset that they were interrupting me, especially doing God’s work. However, I decided, without any guilt or hesitation, to stop the blog efforts and focus on them. It was a liberating moment, because I felt I was doing God’s will. God wants me to be as good of a father and husband as I can be.

Like with all the others gifts of the Holy Spirit, my judgment is better now because of the people in my life. I am fortunate to have great friends, a spiritual director, and a great spouse who love me. Whenever I am weak in any of these gifts, I seek in them the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to bless us with the gift of Counsel today and forever. Have a blessed evening!!!

The Gift of Understanding

On the sixth day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we seek the gift of Understanding: to fall in love with God.

One can only fall in love with God when we truly understand what love for him is. What is this love? It is an unquestionable certainty in our hearts that what we know and experience is meant for our good and the good of others with the Lord at the center of it. If we apply this certainty in everything we do in our daily lives, we can succeed more often in our thoughts and words; we can experience joy more frequently, and we can give more freely the gifts we have received. This is particularly true and critical when learning and interpreting the doctrine and teaching of our faith:

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for actions, the love of our Lord must always be accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 25)

Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to bless us with the gift of Understanding today and always.

Have a blessed day!!!