August 1, 2019

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at or by calling (989) 386-8166.

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he writes that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Slowly read that sentence again and ponder. Am I experiencing these fruits of the Holy Spirit? Am I experiencing love? Am I experiencing joy and peace? How patient and kind and generous am I? Am I faithful and gentle? Am I able to control my impulses?

I think most of us can say we have some experiences of these fruit of the Holy Spirit, but most of us have had just enough of them, that we hunger for more. Who does not want more love, peace, patience in their lives?

Who doesn’t want more kindness, generosity and faithfulness? Who doesn’t want more gentleness and self-control? I want more of these in my life.

I think St. Paul uses the term “fruit” to let his readers know that they are not instant. It takes time, sometimes a long time, to enjoy the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I get apples from the apple tree in my yard, but I planted it many years ago and have pruned it, watered it, sprayed it, and fertilized it for a long time. Some years I get a lot of apples and some years I get hardly any. Yet, I continue to take care of it, believing that next year it will bear fruit.

Just as we take care of fruit trees, it is important to take care of our spiritual life. If we want to enjoy the fruit of the Holy Spirit we need to nurture our relationship with God by praying each day. It is important to read and ponder the words of God in the Bible. Gathering each week for mass and other services to hear the Word preached and encounter God in the sacraments nurtures our life with God.

Having fellowship with other Christians strengthens our faith. Putting into practice the virtues of faith, hope and love, while living a moral life make us stronger. Practicing fasting, prayer and charity make us better people as well as strengthening our community.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is not automatic. These fruit will be ours however if we live a life in relationship with Jesus, putting Him first, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us.

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May He let His face shine upon you and give you His peace.”

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