5. The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

THE Fruits of the Holy Spirit, as enumerated by St. Paul to the Galatians (5:22-23), are twelve: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity (or Kindness), Goodness, Longanimity, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, and Chastity. These Fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men will know that the Holy Spirit dwells in him, even as the tree is known by its fruits.

A man in whose heart the Holy Spirit dwells may be compared to a vigorous tree which brings forth the best and sweetest fruit, that is, works of virtue and sanctification. But if the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the pride of life have taken possession of his soul, a man is like an evil tree which brings forth evil and bitter fruit. The works of the flesh, in opposition to those of the Spirit, are "fruits of death."

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are most desirable. They sweeten our life here on earth and give the assurance of our rejoicing in the love of the Holy Spirit throughout eternity.

Peace of Heart

Father Faber, the well-known English spiritual writer and convert, was received into the Church on November 18, 1845. On that day, after having received the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, he felt so happy that he was unable to express to a friend the great peace which flooded his soul and which gave him a foretaste of eternal blessedness. Taking a sheet of paper, he wrote on it three words: "Peace, peace, peace!" This is the "peace of God which surpasses all understanding" (Phil. 4:7), which we obtain when the Holy Spirit enters our souls. Peace and joy in the Holy Spirit are a foretaste of the future blessedness of Heaven.

St. Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri was accustomed to ask daily for the Holy Spirit. On the Feast of Pentecost, 1544, when he again begged most fervently for the graces and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, he became so inflamed with Divine love that he was unable to stand. He sank powerless to the ground and bared his breast, seeking thus to cool his burning heart. Filled with unspeakable joy, he at length arose, but his whole body trembled, so greatly did his heart rejoice in the Lord.

Frequently, his love and joy became so overwhelming that he called out in a stifled voice: "Enough, O Lord! Enough! Human frailty is unable to bear such excessive happiness!" Who would not envy this Saint for enjoying in so intense a degree the sweet fruit of the joy of the Holy Spirit?



The publisher did not include definitions of the these twelve fruits. Your web master has taken the following  definitions from the Concise Catholic Dictionary, compiled by Fr. Robert Broderick, M.A., 1943 with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat and The Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary, compiled by Father Albert Nevins, M.M., 1964 Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat

Both Fathers did not include the definition of goodness, however. I included my own words in one short sentence.


A divinely infused virtue [theological virtue] by which we prefer God as the sovereign good before all else and by which we do His will and are united with Him. The virtue that disposes us to love God, ourselves and our neighbors for the sake of God.


The virtue of happiness and its feeling in the realization of the possession of God.


The tranquility of order, first within the soul, a good conscience and order with one's relationship with others and the duties of life. This order is not only spiritual it is  communal, both mental, imaginative, psychological. [This peace is the peace is that which Our Lord speaks of in the Gospel, and it does not stem from the world and all that it can provide but is given by Christ to those who abide in Him and His Word. The Web Master.]


That virtue which moderates within reasonable bounds the feeling of sadness arising from evils or pain.


As alluded to above, the virtue of kindness to others.


The prompting of the Holy Spirit the leads one to renounce evil and seek to do good; the habit of of repentance.


The virtue whereby one perseveres for a protracted length of time in striving for some good, while resisting the inclinations to yield to sadness.


The virtuous habit which governs the irascible nature of man according to right reason; one of the virtues annexed to the moral virtue of temperance.


The act of spiritual and intellectual assent to a revealed truth of God with the assistance of Divine grace. This is one of the three theological virtues infused at Baptism. In a person who has reached the age of reason, the assent is of the intellect and is based on the authority of God, and has for its object every truth revealed by Him.


The virtue that prompts one to give the proper degree of importance to each act; decorum in all external acts, moderation within reason of all external acts. It is moreover, the virtue, by extension, that prompts one to have restraint in dress and attire, and a preference of purity of mind and heart in sexual matters.


The virtue of rightful exercise of the sexual act, including its desire, as prescribed by Almighty God; also the rightful refrain where permitted in marriage because of mutual vows by both spouses or necessity because of grave illness, meaning the willful, submissive forbearance of the one not ill.


The virtue that  voluntarily excludes all indulgence in sexual impulses in the unmarried and the habit of refraining from improper use of the sexual faculties in married persons. The third definition is the willful permanent renunciation of marriage by religious and priests who take such a vow. Also a non-religious may make such a vow privately.


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