Saint Paul tells us this week in our second reading, his letter to the "churches of Galatia" (5:1,13-25), that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control". The fruit of the Spirit is what the Holy Spirit effectuates in us. In other words, the more we are moved by the Holy Spirit, the more we are children of God ("all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God" Romans 8:14), and children of God are loving and joyous and peaceful and patient etc. A life transformed in Christ looks like this.
If we find ourselves lacking in any of these qualities, we ought earnestly and hopefully to beseech the Holy Spirit. We must do our part by seeking to become more virtuous, that is, interiorly stronger. And, we must intend to love. But, building upon yet beyond our efforts, the Holy Spirit is at work, fashioning our hearts. Indeed, Dietrich Bonheoffer says, "The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it."
Let us be open to such loving action. Let us rejoice that this fruit, if a gift of God, does not depend, on our side of the equation, on how much we get our act together, but on how thirsty our hearts are. We can all thirst. It is the act of deliberately wanting, which no person and no circumstance-exterior or interior-can stop. This is good news!
Yours in Christ,
From the desk of the Rector