Pentecost, the anniversary of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, is also seen as the birthday of the Church. Happy birthday to all Christians!
What do you see as the Spirit’s influence on you? From the catechism, I learned that the Holy Spirit bestows different gifts on all of us. The traditional gifts are: wisdom, understanding, piety, counsel, fortitude, knowledge and fear of the Lord. I also learned, from my Italian grandmother, that my talents, too, are from the Lord, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. I have passed that lesson on to my son and daughter.
What we do with those gifts, and the grace which is offered to us through them, is called the fruits of the Holy Spirit. These fruits are traditionally referred to as: charity, generosity, joy, gentleness, peace, faithfulness, patience, modesty, self-control, kindness and chastity. I would like to add that the use of our talents to bring God to the world is another, perhaps unrecognized, fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Those of us who write have a Christian duty to use our talent to bring knowledge of the Lord to others. We show a way of thinking that is sometimes at odds with the culture. I am amazed at the quantity of high quality stories and commentaries that have appeared online and in print recently showing that the Catholic Christian culture is alive and well. That is not to say, by far, that the market is saturated. Heavens, no! But I see that there are people who are doing the work the Holy Spirit has put before them.
The same can be said of the very talented men and women who are film makers. I am pleasantly surprised that there is something, anything, on television that can be safely (for the soul) watched! “AD”, the Acts of the Apostles seen every Sunday night, is a well portrayed series, showing the beginnings of the Church. I may disagree on some details. I may have written some dialogue differently. But the producers did a phenomenal job bringing the story to the screen.
Artistic talents are not the only ones we should see. I know many health care workers who are using charity, kindness, patience and joy in their care of the elderly and the developmentally delayed. Working with these people can, at times, be a challenge. Yet my friends and coworkers have the gifts, or the talents, to do their jobs well continually.
Outside of our jobs, we have many opportunities to use our gifts and show the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Being pleasant to others when we do not feel like it, dressing modestly, biting our tongues when we want to respond testily, holding open a door for an elderly lady: these, as much as the other demonstrations, can show us using our gifts to best advantage.
Say a prayer, daily, asking the Holy Spirit to make you aware of all the gifts available to you. Watch your behavior and become aware of those fruits you demonstrate. Get closer to Heaven every day.