Thursday, January 2, 2014

The 9th Day of Christmas - 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit that St. Paul mentions in his letter to the Galatians are like the Nine Ladies of the old Christmas song, meant to dance, not just sit there. Fruit is, after all, to be eaten. More than that, good fruit tastes wonderfully sweet. Some of us tend to approach the fruits of the Spirit in a mood of onerous legalism. We 'do good works' in the pinched and cold righteousness of a Puritan, handing out a coin to a beggar in the hope of 'doing our duty.' We approach the life of grace with a Minimum Daily Adult Requirement attitude that asks, 'What's the least I have to do -- the absolute bare minimum -- that will get me to heaven?' 

Little Lady Dancing
Yet our true calling as Christians is light years from such an attitude. Christ came to give life abundantly, not sparingly. The only limit to His graces is our ability to receive them! This fundamental generosity of Our God is at the heart of the fruits of the Spirit. An exultant exuberance that sees virtue not merely as a job to be slogged through, but as a sweet good thing to be tasted and to be savored, is the kernel of all His Gifts. On this 9th day of Christmas, we are called to 'taste and see the goodness of the Lord!' 

Note: I am blessed to be receiving one of these reflections, from a deacon friend, each day. He tells me he doesn't know their source but makes simple edits as he deems necessary. Do you know the original source? Please share if you do.