Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
After Christ’s Ascension into Heaven, the Apostles knew that He had promised to send His Spirit, but they didn’t know exactly what that would mean. Granted the gifts of the Spirit at Pentecost, however, they were emboldened to speak the Good News to all men. On that first Pentecost Sunday, over 3,000 people were converted and baptized.
The example of the Apostles shows that the gifts of the Holy Spirit lead to the fruits of the Holy Spirit—works that we can only perform through the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
The twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are works that we can perform only with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the performance of such works is an indication that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian believer. The twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity (or love), joy, peace, patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long suffering), mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.
1) Charity. The Holy Spirit is Love and gives us the infused theological virtue of charity to prefer God over everyone and everything. We desire this loving union with God. And it overflows in our love for ourselves and our neighbors for God’s sake.
2) Joy. Happiness is realized when we live for God and know someday we will be with Him now and forever in heaven.
3) Peace. The Holy Spirit gives us order in our souls and a clean conscience. He also gives us order to our family, friendships and duties of life.
4) Patience. When one is close to God, everything else falls into its place so that one can have patience and tranquility. Love is patient.
5) Benignity. This is the virtue of kindness to others.
6) Goodness. We renounce evil and seek what is good. We repent of our sins and strive to do God’s will.
7) Longanimity. Perseverance in the mission God has given us and the ability to stay faithful over the long time.
8) Mildness. This gives us the moral virtue temperance that helps us overcome our natural tendency to be rough or angry.
9) Faith. This is a theological virtue given to us in Baptism. It gives us the Divine grace to be able to assent to the revealed truth of God. We put God as the absolute authority.
10) Modesty. This includes how we act and dress. These are external signs of our interior modesty. It gives us the preference to purity of mind and heart in sexual matters.
11) Continency. This is the virtue to control sexual and other appetites in a holy manner like in marriage when one spouse because of sickness cannot have relations.
12) Chastity. This is the self-giving of oneself to God completely as a priest, religious or consecrated layman. All vocations are called to have chastity in their way of living. This includes married people to be faithful to their spouses. It also gives the grace for all those waiting to get married to be sexually pure.