You probably had to memorize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit as part of your Confirmation preparation. You may have accidentally thrown in a few fruits of the Holy Spirit on a Confirmation class quiz: wisdom, fortitude, knowledge… peace…or was it piety?… generosity…is that a gift or a fruit…?
Let’s have a refresher.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are seven specific graces He gives us, particularly in the Sacrament of Confirmation. According to the Catechism, they are permanent dispositions that help us respond to the promptings of the Spirit:
Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the result of a life lived according to the Spirit. They are the natural outcroppings of a branch closely united to the Vine, Who is Christ. In the true vine discourse in the Gospel of John, Christ said that those who abide in Him will bear much fruit and glorify the Father.
St. Paul lists the twelve fruits in his letter to the Galatians, and this number has been confirmed by the tradition of the Church:
Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.
Ever notice how someone who strives after holiness just glows with these attributes? Like fire producing light and heat, a soul on fire with the Holy Spirit naturally emits these traits. Not that we are always patient, kind, and good every moment of every day, but if we keep working to remove the barriers of sin, these fruits will surely shine.
Beloved author and retreatmaster Fr. Jacques Philippe wrote In the School of the Holy Spirit to help souls acquaint themselves with the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Get to know the Holy Spirit and learn how to recognize and respond to His workings in your life with this remarkable book. Available today at The Catholic Company!