The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity and is received through our faith in Jesus Christ and works in us through divine love (Eph. 1:13; 3:16-17; Gal. 3:2,5). God is love and through the Holy Spirit we receive His love in our hearts. He is the one who allows us to be born faith in our lives and through Him we can come to the son and then to the Father.
The mission of the Holy Spirit is that we meet Jesus Christ and bear fruit in ourselves through faith and loverevealing the gifts Christians in our lives and allowing God to work in our souls and in our hearts.
It is the apostle Paul who mentions the fruits of the Holy Spirit in his letter to the Galatians. These virtues are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, meekness, temperance (Gal.5:22,23).
For the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bear fruit, it is essential that the person be converted, have faith, works and prayer, lovingly fulfill the commandments of God and above all be clean of heart and in communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ, his teachings and his example.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are virtues that are manifested in true Christians and allow us unity and perfection in Jesus Christ, helping us to triumph in the face of weaknesses or temptations. These virtues are based on love and are manifested as a whole, never separately, because these attributes are complete and perfect, hence "no good tree can produce bad fruit, they are all good" (Mt 7:17).
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are nine virtues:
2 El Gozo.
3 La Paz.
The following is a short explanation of each virtue
Love is the essence of God, because God is love; this being the greatest tribute we can receive as children of God. Through love we can attain all the magisterial gifts.
Pure and unconditional love comes from the Greek word agape and this is the word used by St. Paul to enunciate the first gift in the list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and it also means affection, good will, benevolence and the sincere attitude of seeking the well-being of the other above one's own well-being.
Love is the foundation for all communion with Jesus through the Holy Spirit and through Him we love God with all our heart, with all our being, with all our strength and we love our neighbor as ourselves. Where love is lacking, everything is lacking, God is lacking and the Holy Spirit cannot bear fruit in us.
Christ and our unconditional faith in Him is the source of joy for all Christians regardless of life's circumstances. When God is in our lives we experience the greatest joy, we know that He will never abandon us and that our life is in His hands.
The word joy means gladness, to rejoice, to be filled with joy. This gift, this feeling in biblical terms, is an expression of the joy of our souls and of our beliefs in Our Lord.
Jesus Christ is the one who knows best the word joy and can transmit it to each one of us. As he feels love for his father he expresses it and does the things that please him, he teaches us how to live with joy in our lives. Cultivating faith, transmitting the message of the Father, makes Jesus show joy in multiple ways to us.
Joy, in biblical terms, is itself an expression of the soul, a succession of our faith, of our beliefs. Joy is a feeling of good faith and based on the good, it is one of the purest feelings. Through joy we discover God's will, we sacrifice ourselves for him and we are a testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace is one of the fruits that is achieved through love in Christ. This blessing comes from the relationship with God through which we obtain inner peace that will not depend on the circumstances that surround us but depends on our trust that the Lord is always with us.
Peace in Hebrew is Shalom (שלום ), and it also means: well-being, health, harmony, calm and tranquility. For Jews, it is a form of greeting or farewell but in the bible in various passages it is used to wish well between people or between God and man.
Our Lord Jesus Christ used the expression Shalom aleichem, and it means "peace be with you". Jesus brought us peace and following in His footsteps fills our lives with joy and inner peace, which allows us to face the different circumstances of life with the confidence that we are not alone and He always takes care of us.
In this verse Jesus tells us "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27), to achieve this peace we have to love God and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in our being and be faithful in our thoughts and actions to God our Lord, only then we will achieve the joy and perfection of the peace that comes from God.
The virtue of patience, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, allows us to face any situation with confidence and tranquility without being overwhelmed by sadness and discouragement. With patience we are able to overcome adverse situations without complaining and understanding that trials and circumstances make us stronger, we learn and demonstrate our full trust in God, understanding and accepting that he knows what is best for us according to his purpose.
The Holy Scriptures tell us:
"We know that God arranges all things for the good of those who love him, whom he has called according to his purpose."
This virtue shows us the capacity we have to be merciful and benevolent to our fellow human beings, even when someone has committed an offense against us. Through benignity, we are able to understand and to sorry our own and others' mistakes, giving us the opportunity to overcome and correct them.
The Holy Scriptures ask us to have gentleness and meekness, to repent, to forgive and to have new opportunities in life. When the Holy Spirit works in us we are able to be forgiving, kind and treat others with respect and gentleness. We are just when the situation demands it and we have the capacity for forgiveness.
The word benignity comes from the Greek "chrestótes" which means goodness, kindness, excellence of character and the adjective "jrestos" which means benevolent.
When we are benign we have tranquility in character and in spirit and this tribute is related to the mercy of God that grows in our hearts and allows the Holy Spirit to guide our behavior and to serve others with kindness and joy.
Goodness is the sixth fruit of the Holy Spirit; it is associated with justice and truth and is closely united to kindness, being manifestations of the same fruit. The love of God asks us and urges us to help others; those who lack material and spiritual things, showing and teaching the word and work of the Lord in our actions and our dealings with others.
God's love is infinite and those who follow his precepts and teachings help the brother, the companion and the stranger in need, showing love and respect for them. Kindness then is a necessary virtue in Christians, guided by the Holy Spirit.
The word goodness translated from Greek means: benevolence, kindness, righteousness; it is a characteristic of a good human being. A Christian should have goodness in his heart, in his actions and demonstrate with deeds his generosity and goodness. This virtue allows us to forgiveness and repentance.
Faith means faithfulness, trust, honesty, loyalty and is a virtue that characterizes the Christian. As a fruit of the Holy Spirit, faith is not only the belief in God above all things but also his faithfulness, his ethics, a person faithful to his or her promises and commitments, with oneself and with others.
Faith is joy and gladness, it is the force that brings man closer to God and allows his salvation and his gifts through the Holy Spirit to bear fruit in his heart and in his life. The Holy Scriptures reveal that without faith it is impossible to please our Lord, faith being the certainty of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
The word meekness comes from the Greek "prautes" and means: kindness, gentleness, affability, friendship. This virtue urges us to treat others with tenderness, without haughtiness, and is opposed to anger, anger, anger at others. ira or revenge for some offense received.
This virtue or fruit of the Holy Spirit allows us to exchange anger and its effects for kindness and gentleness, but also helps us to endure unpleasant behavior, resentment or any violent action of others and allows us to be more assertive and compassionate in helping others.
Meekness is not weakness, it is an inner attitude of fortitude and strength in God, knowing that only with love we will be able to transform our neighbors and change our environment for the good of all, following the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. The meek do not fall before difficult or adverse situations because they accept the situations with wisdom and trusting in God's purposes.
Temperance is the last virtue of the fruits of the Holy Spirit but not the least important because through this gift, we learn to dominate our character, to control our thoughts, our weaknesses and to grow as persons and as Christians in the love of Christ, reflecting this in our lives with our actions and example.
Temperance comes from the Greek "engkateia" which means control or mastery of oneself. And it is one of the virtues that molds our character and will to be better, to control our passions and impulses and to grow spiritually removing the ballast of the sin of our lives.
When we strengthen our character it does not matter the external pressures if they go against our principles and values, that is why temperance is a virtue that grows along with our love and faith to God. With it we can achieve our goals and become masters of our life to always do good and help others with no other purpose than to please God our Lord.