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Saturday, July 31, 2021
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Mendoza: Fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Scribe’s Corner

IN ONE of Fr. Jerry Orbos’ homily, he mentioned these points to ponder, “As we grow older, our main goal in life must not be happiness, but Godliness; not reputation but character; not wealth but virtue; not fame but faith; not the approval of men but the approval of our Creator.”

This reminds us that life on earth is temporal. No matter how we try to stretch our physical body to last over a hundred years, it remains that our spiritual body will become our main destination after our temporary stay here on earth. We do not only need to preserve and enhance our physical bodies but most importantly those that are not seen by our naked eyes but felt by anyone we relate with. Our kindness shall remain in their hearts and minds and shall be passed on to others to effect a chain of such virtue.

As the Holy Spirit is now with us to be our guiding light as we follow God’s commandments, we need to plant and reap these fruits of the Holy Spirit: The 12 fruits are charity (or love), joy, peace, patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long-suffering), mildness (or gentleness), faith, modesty, continency (or self-control), and chastity. (Longanimity, modesty, and chastity are the three fruits found only in the longer version of the text.)

According to https://www.learnreligions.com/, Saint Paul, in the Letter to the Galatians (5:22), lists the fruits of the Holy Spirit. There are two different versions of the text. A shorter version, commonly used in both Catholic and Protestant Bibles today, lists nine fruits of the Holy Spirit; the longer version, which Saint Jerome used in his Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate, includes three more. The Vulgate is the official text of the Bible that the Catholic Church uses; for that reason, the Catholic Church has always referred to the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, Scott P. Richert, a senior content network manager of Our Sunday Visitor and written about Catholicism for outlets including Humanitas and Catholic Answers Magazine said, most Christians are familiar with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord, and fortitude. These gifts, granted to Christians at their baptism and perfected in the Sacrament of Confirmation, are like virtues: They make the person who possesses them disposed to make proper choices and to do the right thing.

Richert added that if the gifts of the Holy Spirit are like virtues, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are the actions that those virtues produce. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit we bear fruit in the form of moral action. In other words, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are works that we can perform only with the aid of the Holy Spirit. The presence of these fruits is an indication that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian believer.

This means that no amount of words we utter can make or qualify us to lead our flocks if these are not coupled with the actions found in persons where the Holy Spirit dwells with them. Action speaks louder than words, as they say. We should let our actions speak for us not our words to do the action. People need concrete results of what we say; not promises that are made to be broken but pledges that need to be fulfilled.

Only when we lead by example, walk our talk, and be consistent in the performance of our authority, responsibility, and accountability to lead others will see the fruits and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us so we can convince our people of the advocacy that we are advancing.

It is easier said than done but we can do it with the help of God.


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