June 19 – Fruits of the Spirit

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Father Linsky, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and I are in agreement that the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit go together, the “permanent dispositions” we have received having made it possible to further develop the “perfections” or fruits through habitual exercise of them. So, just as these three Catechism sections were pertinent last week, so they are again.

III. The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

1830 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.

1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.109 They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.

1832 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.”112

Latin Digression (Can be skipped at little cost.)

Most English language bibles list only nine Fruits of the Spirit, but Footnote 112  in the above CCC selection says that the list of a dozen “fruits” is found in the Vulgate, the Latin version of the Bible produced by St. Jerome in the late 300’s and considered for centuries the official Bible of the Catholic Church. A website with a verse-by-verse translation of the Vulgate offers this for Galatians 5:22-23.

Among the earliest English translations of the Bible, both based at least partly on the Vulgate, were the Douay-Rheims and the King James, the first considered Catholic and the second Protestant. An interesting discussion, shortcomings included, of the two is at Catholic Answers.

Back to the Fruits:

Galatians 5:22-23   In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is

  • love,
  • joy,
  • peace,
  • patience,
  • kindness,
  • generosity,
  • faithfulness, 
  • gentleness,
  • self-control.

Against such there is no law.

It seems that if we practice these nine “fruits” we will also find ourselves modest, continent, and chaste.

And all seem consistent with the Greatest Commandments:

Matthew 22:37-40  He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

And with this special instruction from The First Letter of John:

1 John 3:18  Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

And here again is the (slightly revised) diagram putting the gifts and fruits in proper context with everything in our spiritual journey from capital sins through the gifts, fruits, cardinal virtues, theological virtues to Mystical Union with the Triune God.





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