I have never been much of a memorizer. The older I get the less memorizing I do. Cell phones are probably the worst invention for me because now I do not even memorize phone numbers. I just look up a contact, push that name, and the phone dials the number for me. There is no point memorizing phone numbers anymore. In that same vein, I have a hard time remembering the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. If you cannot seem to remember them either, here are some tips I use.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Isaiah 11:2-3 lists the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for us. They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and fear of the Lord.
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
In St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (5:22-23) we find listed the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The Differences Between the Gifts and Fruits
To me, the Gifts seem to be internal and intangible within us. Yet, we know they are there. Others may recognize them within us more readily than we ourselves can. The Fruits appear to be the outward and recognizable actions we do.
How I Came to Remember the Fruits
While analyzing the Fruits I noticed that there was something very familiar about them. It dawned on me that St. Paul put them into context in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, the “Love is Patient” verse; almost every point describes one of the Fruits. That simplified for me remembering a great many of the Fruits.
Upon Further Analysis
If we take the “Love is Patient” verse we can do a self-evaluation by inserting the word “I” in place of “Love.” In other words, “I am Patient, I am kind …” In doing this we can see if we are living up to the Fruits the Holy Spirit gives us. Paul was stressing that we need to have love in everything we do.
Let’s take this one step further. We learn from 1 John 4:8 that, “God is love.” So then, every time we read the “Love is Patient” verse we are seeing the embodiment of God. Think about it. God is every one of those points that Paul pointed out.
I admit, I still don’t have the Gifts memorized, but since there are only six, with a little effort, it should not be a problem to learn them if I put my mind to it.
May the Holy Spirit provide you abundantly with Gifts that will bear you much Fruit. May your Fruit be a testament to the world about God’s love and through your Fruit others will see the Father.
Copyright 2017 Michael T Carrillo