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Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given are given particularly at Confirmation. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are those virtues which set apart a Christian life. God, and the Holy Spirit in particular, is the source of all grace. Without grace, we cannot live a virtuous life. Thus, these particular virtues are indeed the result of the action of grace within us. The listing of these fruits comes generally from Galatians 5. St. Paul lists virtues, or fruits, by which a Christian will be known. In the Catholic tradition, it is said that there are twelve fruits of the spirit.

Charity
Charity is a theological virtue, because it has God as its end. Charity, or love, means seeking to love God completely and then to show that love for God by loving our neighbor. Charity does not require that we like or get along with everyone; rather, it requires that we wish the best for everyone. We should work for the best possible outcome for every situation for everyone involved. Ultimately, though, charity requires that we love God completely and above all else.

Joy
Joy is not the same thing as happiness. A person can be legitimately sad and still joyful; they don't always have to be smiling or in a jolly mood. That is because happiness mainly has to do with emotions, and joy is more an act of the will. Joy happens when a person realizes that true happiness is only found in God and that no matter what difficulties are presenting themselves, they will pass away and God alone will remain forever. When a person is secure in the knowledge that God is always there for them and will remain constant, they can have joy in His constancy and presence.

Peace
When people think of peace they think of a lack of problems and a calm life. This type of peace that the Holy Spirit brings is not that. A person with peace can have a lot of turmoil and suffering in their life. Rather, he has inner peace because He knows that God is watching over the world and his life. God is stable and brings inner peace. Even when the world seems to be in chaos, a person will have peace because God is present and will remain forever.

Patience
This fruit of the Holy Spirit entails a person to bear their sufferings without complaining, offering them to God. A person with patience knows that suffering is part of the way of following Christ, and that it can be a blessing if taken the right way.

Kindness
Kindness is the ability to perform acts of charity towards others even when they don't have the opportunity to repay or they have hurt us in some way. We are called to love all, even our enemies. Love is not real unless it is shown through acts, and so kindness allows us to demonstrate our true charity. This gift of the Holy Spirit is the virtue to be generous even towards those we abhor.

Goodness
This gift of the Holy Spirit is expression of our love for God. If we truly love God, we will want to obey Him and perform good actions. His grace working within us will allow us to live good lives and show, by the constant practice of virtue, that we are indeed disciples of Christ.

Generosity
Much of what we have in our lives is a gift. Our very life is a gift from God and our parents. When we become aware of how much we have received as gifts in our lives, we should be grateful and then look for ways to pass on gifts to others. Just as we have received many gifts, we are called to do likewise to others. The first gift we must give generously and completely is to God; we must offer ourselves to Him in thanksgiving and praise. Then, we must be willing to offer ourselves and everything we have and use for the service of our neighbor.

Gentleness
This fruit of the Holy Spirit is also known as meekness. Many people think of meekness as meaning wimpy or a push-over. This could not be farther from the truth. Rather, a meek or gentle person knows the amount of forcefulness they have and choose to use it wisely and in the proper times. They know that there are many situations in which they could use force but that it is not worth it or would not be most effective. They have the ability to harness their forcefulness and use it only when necessary to defend God and the truth.

Faithfulness
God is always faithful to us, but unfortunately we often turn our back on Him. This virtue allows us to keep our eyes fixed on God and to try to remain steadfast in His love. When we realize God's great love for us and the many graces He gives us, we will be more likely to remain in His love and want to do His will.

Modesty
This is the fruit of the Holy Spirit which regulates the way a person acts, thinks and looks. There are parts of our body which are sacred and not for everyone to indiscriminately see. This virtue dictates how we conduct ourselves both outwardly and inwardly so that we present to the world a wholesome image.

Self-Control
Nothing can ever completely satisfy us, but we can also use too much of any physical thing. There are limits to the amount of any physical thing which is good for us. Unfortunately, we can have the tendency to over-indulge on things that must be moderated. This can be harmful to both our soul and body. This virtue gives us the ability to restrain ourselves and only take things in the amount that they provide us benefits.

Chastity
Chastity is that fruit of the Holy Spirit which particularly has to do with sexuality. Everyone, no matter their state in life, is called to live purely in body and mind. This virtue gives people the ability to live this gift and part of human life in the way God wishes them to use it in their station in life.

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