Thought of the Day May 18, 2020 Virtues, Gifts, Fruits

By 10:41 AM

In the spiritual writings there is a distinction made between virtues, charisms of the Spirit and fruits of the Spirit. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about virtues:

"A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions." (1802) 

The virtues are from me, even though motivated by the grace of God with eternal life as my goal. What are some of the virtues? In  Colossians we read:  "Therefore, clothe yourselves like the elect of God: holy and beloved, with hearts of mercy, kindness, humility, modesty, and patience."

Charisms of the Spirit are gifts from God who moves in us to act in a certain way for our sanctification or for the good of others. The Gifts for sanctification are the gifts we receive in Baptism: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Right Judgment, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.  And there are the Charisms of the Spirit that are stirred up in us through the Sacrament of Confirmation. These are the gifts Paul talks about in Corinthians 12, faith, healing, discernment, prophesy, interpretation, etc.

The fruits of the Spirit are the end result of a process of growth. They are actions, works, operations.  Once we are living in the Spirit we manifest the fruits of the Spirit: joy, love, peace chastity, long-suffering, patience, etc (cf Gal 5)

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