Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Fruits of the Spirit:" New direction for post Easter living

Pope Benedict's reference to St. Paul's description of the "fruits of the spirit" which are guidelines for the paschal direction of our lives caught my attention. Here is a paragraph from the Easter Vigil homily  at St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Saturday 3, April 2010. I registered Holy Saturday as the publication date for my memoir "Driving Straight on Crooked Lines: How an Irishman found his heart and nearly lost his mind."

Then, in the practice of the early Church, the one to be baptized turned towards the east – the symbol of light, the symbol of the newly rising sun of history, the symbol of Christ. The candidate for baptism determines the new direction of his life: faith in the Trinitarian God to whom he entrusts himself. Thus it is God who clothes us in the garment of light, the garment of life. Paul calls these new “garments” “fruits of the spirit”, and he describes them as follows: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22).

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4). Joy cannot be commanded. It can only be given. The risen Lord gives us joy: true life.

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