A Post in 2 Parts: Part 1: DEEPENING OUR GOD-MINDFULNESS PRAYER With Conforming our will to Jesus’s Will by Practicing the Fruits of the Spirit
Part 2: Integrating the Fruits of the Holy Spirit into our Daily God-Mindfulness Practice (releasing soon!)
Part 1: DEEPENING OUR GOD-MINDFULNESS PRAYER Practice
The … Fruits of the Holy Spirit …aim to perfect us in our striving for eternal glory….”While it is no small task to live them consistently, the Fruits of the Holy Spirit can better steer us along a path of holiness as we seek and pursue God’s will.” Source: Matt Charbonneau, Ascension Press
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are the effects in us of living a life according to the Spirit, according to the Will of God, a life of holiness. The Catechism describes them as “perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first Fruits of eternal glory” (CCC 1832).
I advocate that we live our life daily with God-Mindfulness and have offered a structure of daily practice through a set of prayers that are said morning, noon, upon retiring and finally when drifting to sleep. In the prayers I offer “the merits of my good works for Your Intentions as You see fit” to Jesus. Performing good works in imitation of Christ,s Life, and offering their merits to Jesus means that I trust the purpose and effects of those works entirely to Jesus’s Divine Will. It is not for me to know God’s plan, but Faithfully Trust His Will, His Purpose is Good and my role is to voluntarily of my own free will, conform my actions to imitate His way with complete Trust in His Divine Will. I also Trust that as I perform my Good Works on behalf of Jesus, that though they may be difficult at times that He will give me the Graces that I need to complete my actions. I can do nothing without Him, but all things with Him, and His Grace is sufficient!
Up to this time, I have left the content and context of defining what “Good Works,” I may do on a daily basis and offer to Jesus, up to the reader. The objective of the God-Mindfulness Prayer practice is to go beyond “good intentions” to do God’s Will, and actually execute tangible, describable actions all day every day, imitating Christ’s life. Since living a God-Mindfulness Life, is putting God, Jesus and Spirit, top of mind daily, it makes sense that we look to the Fruits of the Spirit which are the effects of living a life according to the Will of God to define for us the actions we should undertake to freely, (of our own free will,) conform our will to God’s Divine Will. Jesus’s examples of how He Wishes us to live, are examples of His Divine Will for us, since He is both God (Divine) and Man (Human).
If we are to imitate Christ’s Life, then we would wish to conform our own “free-will” to the Divine Will of Jesus. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, when we are Baptized, we receive His Holy Spirit, the “Gifts of the Spirit” permanently alter the character of our souls by the Graces that flow from Jesus. Note the Gifts, (seven gifts), of the Spirit are what we receive through Jesus’s Grace into our Soul at Baptism /Confirmation and the Fruits of the Spirit (12 Fruits), are discussed in this post, is how we manifest the Holy Spirit’s Gift’s in our life on earth. Gifts of the Spirit are given to each of us as permanent characteristics of our Soul, as a result of God’s Grace, at our Baptism and/or Confirmation. God bestows the Gifts of the Spirit on us to assist us to conform our will to His, but we must accept His Gifts with our thoughts and actions.
While the gifts of the Spirit are not the focus of this post in detail, they collectively set the character of our souls to be able to produce the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit referred to in this post. The 7 permanent Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are the result of the Spirit Dwelling in our souls when we are baptized in Christ are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
I am a Beacon of His Holy Spirit’s Love for all. My Body is a Light House where He Dwells, so others can find their way to Jesus through me! MTJ
Conforming our free will to Jesus’s Divine Will, (Jesus is both Human and Divine,) receiving and actualizing the Gifts of the Spirit Daily so that they literally manifest themselves in the Fruits of the Spirit, is what our life is meant to be, no matter our age, health, finances or life circumstances.
We use our Free Will to Manifest the Fruits of the Spirit in our life!
Using the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit, we seek to discern Jesus’s Will for us all the time. Relating Jesus’s Will to Living with God-Mindfulness is important as it is conforming to His Will, that we seek all the time. I believe this is key to Living with God-Mindfulness that I have added a phrase to the God-Mindfulness prayer, asking Jesus at the start of our day to give us His will. What I mean by this is we wish to use the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit to discern Jesus’s Will for us, in all our activities and decisions all throughout the day, and conform our will to Jesus’s Will. I use the terms, Jesus’s Will, God’s Will and Jesus’s Divine Will interchangeably and usage of the phrase Jesus’s Divine Will, can be confusing; and in attempt to clarify, I have referenced a clip from Fr. Allen Alexander, MIC, explaining that Jesus had both a Human and Divine Will, and that in our Faith Journey, we seek to Conform our souls to Jesus’s Divine Will, which is united to his Human Will in what is called the Hypostatic Union.
Faith is a Journey of Our Souls. As we embrace many of the practices referred to in this Blog, we all will take slightly different paths. I have taken many different paths across my life, and generally the central theme though was the same, I was always talking and praying to Jesus and Mother Mary; sometimes more frequently than others. When I confronted my own impending death, I realized that starting my waking hours with God, and walking with Him, and making my life a witness to His Grace by my actions, was the most important activity I had to do, and from this single focus, I find my own Faith journey is deepening all the time. So the topics for this blog are meant to emphasize simple priorities and actions that have to be done first; and then depending upon how much time Jesus Gives you in this Life, your path to Heaven may vary, but it’s all for naught if we loose site of walking with Jesus by our actions daily !
It is good to ask Jesus, for His Grace in order to follow and remain steadfast in our Love for Him, and so I’ve added the prayer below to our God-Mindfulness practice:
“Jesus, through the Fruits of Your Holy Spirit, I give You my will, please mould it to yours, so by my acts, Thy Will Be Done!” marytojesus.com
Adding the above Prayer lines to our God-Mindfulness Prayer is a natural “fit” :
- Because it invokes the context and sets the content for our actions all day, every day. This is said at the beginning of Day, to align and conform our interior disposition, our will, with the the Divine Will of Jesus, using the tools He Gives us, through the Fruits of the indwelling Holy Spirit:
- Because it asks God for His guidance in discerning the Effects of the Gifts of His Holy Spirit within our Souls, which are the Fruits of the Spirit, of which there are ~12. Joy, Peace, Charity (Love), Kindness, Patience, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-control, Generosity, Chastity, Modesty,Gentleness. The knowledge that Jesus infuses our souls with the Gifts of His Indwelling Holy Spirit through the Grace of Baptism and Confirmation is referenced in scripture as we will see later in this post.
Analyzing the additional Prayer words added to the God-Mindfulness Prayer, we see:
We are offering our daily actions to Jesus that spring from the context of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Whom dwells within us…there is scriptural basis for this, as will be discussed further in this post. Practicing, and LIVING these FRUITS in our Daily Life, is essentially voluntarily CONFORMING our will, to the will of Jesus, who IS both God and Man, Divine and Human. The idea of CONFORMING our will TO JESUS’S WILL is to actively IMITATE the LIFE of Christ Jesus, and BE LIVING, LOVING and THANKING HIM ALL the TIME. The continuing theme of this blog, is the daily practice of living a God-Mindfulness Day. This is our No. 1 Priority, because we know not the day or the hour, and it is essential we are in a State of Grace, and then everything else will fall into place. God-Mindfulness is also our No. 1 Priority because Jesus so, so Loves us and asks that we Love Him in return, now, today, this minute! We can do all our other Spiritual and Secular practices everyday we desire, if we only first set our interior disposition, our eyes on Jesus, and ask Him for His Graces, He will give them to US. It is simple, it’s easy, it’s a few words, but OUR words have a multiplier effect of Beaming His Graces out into the world, by the results of our visible actions of how we live. Living Jesus’s example, Loving Jesus and Thanking Jesus, will release souls in Purgatory through our Penitential Acts, and will Help other people to find Jesus, and know His Love and Forgiveness Through Us and our Good Works!
THIS IS OUR Life’s PURPOSE!
More about the Gifts & Fruits of the Spirit!
Actualizing the Gifts of the Spirit Daily is a practice that enables us to conform, to have The Potter’s Hand mould our soul’s will, to His Divine Will, and in so doing, we receive, we participate, in the Blessings of God’s Divine Will for all Creation. While the gifts of the Spirit are not the focus of this post in detail, they collectively set the character of our souls to be able to produce the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit referred to in this post. The 7 permanent Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are the result of the Spirit Dwelling in our souls when we are baptized in Christ are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
When we live our life according to the Spirit, we use these gifts from within our soul to discern God’s Divine Will for us and the effects of so doing produce the visible, tangible Fruits of the Holy Spirit described herein. Perfecting the Fruits of the Spirit, or ripening them to their fullness within our souls imitates the Divine Nature of Christ, imitates the Perfection of Christ the Man, Human but Divine. Manifesting the effects of the Fruits of the Spirit, publicly, allows for others to see and be drawn to Him, through US!.
We have to grow or ripen the Fruits of our soul, to imitate Christ, because we are not Divine, we are not perfect, due to our fallen nature and the effects of sin in our life. As we voluntarily conform our will to the Divine Will of Christ Jesus through these 12 Fruits, we participate in the Divine Will of Christ Jesus for all creation. This is who we are, this is who we are meant to be, conforming our will to Jesus’s Divine Will. We participate in what Jesus Wills and always Willed for His creation, as we were created in His Image and Likeness since the Beginning of Time.
I can’t emphasize enough, that whether you adopt the God-Mindfulness practice outlined herein or a practice of your own, it is absolutely critical that you imitate Christ’s Life DAILY by your tangible actions, your practices. Good thoughts about God, is not enough, it is in acting as Christ acted, that His Graces flow to us. It is by these actions that we open ourselves to receiving God’s Grace Daily, and Living in His Grace always, and remaining in a state of Grace always to allow for the flow of Christ’s Grace into our life un-interrupted.
We must execute on our Good Thoughts, it is in the execution of our Good Thoughts, that the floodgates of Grace from Jesus flow to us continuously, and we are united with His Divine Will. The benefit of Living God-Mindfulness, is that it requires nothing more than letting His Holy Spirit dwelling within our Soul direct our Body and our Mind, all the time, i.e. setting our interior disposition about living our daily life, doing our work, having fun, enjoying God’s creations, to reflect Jesus’s Will, by obeying His commandments, and reflect such a life, outwardly. The beauty of Living an Imitation of Christ’s Life, Living in Union with His Divine Will, is that the limitations that our world places on us of having the time and the place for the God, disappear, and our very being, living, our Blessing of this moment of life becomes a moment of witness to Jesus’s Love for us and all whom and what we touch. Waste no time, ask Jesus to conform your will to His Divine Will now! For each of us, our time on earth is short relative to eternity, and practicing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, allows us to start to live the life that will be our Eternity.
Below: The Fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts?
In order to understand them better it is helpful to go to the passage in the letter to the Galatians where St Paul lists the Fruits…
He contrasts the fruits, in this case the bitter fruits, of living according to the flesh with the fruits of living according to the Spirit.
He begins: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would (Gal 5:16-17).”
We all understand how we are pulled in two directions: downwards by the pull of the flesh to seek bodily and earthly pleasures, and upwards by the Spirit to seek the things of God.
St Paul goes on to list the effects of living according to the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like (Gal 5:19-21).”
He goes on to warn about the possible loss of eternal life for those who indulge in them: “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:21).”
Immediately afterwards he lists the effects of living according to the spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law (Gal 5:22-23).”
It is from this passage that the Church derives the list of fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Although the Greek New Testament lists nine fruits, Christian tradition, following St Jerome’s Latin Vulgate edition, has given us 12, adding generosity, modesty, and chastity.
The complete list is thus charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.
Even though St Paul uses the word “fruit” in the singular, the word should be understood as a genus which has many species, which he then lists.
More about the Impact of Living the Fruits of the Spirit, below!
Reflection on the word Mould, Moulding (v): Listen to the words of the Potter as He forms the bowl from clay, “trying to Stretch it out, Steady as it goes”, Hear the sounds of the water splashing to try and keep the bowl malleable. Imagine that the Holy Spirit is the Potter, Stretching our minds, steady as it goes, Forming us to Imitate Jesus’s Divine Will, amidst the splashing sounds of the Graces of our Baptism, Showering over us, Keeping us receptive to Living the Fruits of the Spirit in our Life Today!
Quote from Devout Catholic Family Mom sent to me 1.11.2023 re: Her Faith Journey “For me being present in the moment and uniting myself to Jesus and Mary and in all that He did is glorifying God, thanking Him, blessing Him etc for now and letting Him into the moment with me. Jesus says to enter into the Eternal Now….It is absolutely incredible what Jesus has in store for us, the world. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!….(Catholic Mom of 5 children!)
So the fruits of the Holy Spirit are the good habits, the virtues, the good deeds that come from living as a child of God.
They are the fruits of a holy life. While we see in ourselves many of these fruits, we also see some of the works of the flesh.
Our spiritual life is always a struggle to live more in the spirit and less in the flesh, and to return to God through the sacrament of Penance when we have failed.
St Basil has a beautiful description of the effects of living according to the Spirit: “Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God ‘Father’ and to share in Christ’s grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory” (De Spiritu Sancto, 15, 36; CCC 736).
The Catechism adds: “By this power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear much fruit. He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear ‘the fruit of the Spirit: … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’” (Gal 5:22-23; CCC 736).
Fruits of the Holy Spirit 9 or 12, Protestant vs Catholic??
In the Painting Leanne Bowen, artist depicts 18 Gifts & Fruits of the the ‘Holy” Spirit. Various sources have described 9, 12, 15 and here 18, Fruits and Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In this post I am focused on the 12 Fruits in bold text below, the remaining 7 are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit embedded in our soul which we use to Discern and subjugate our will to Gods Divine Will.
Joy, Peace, Charity (Love), Kindness, Patience, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-control, Generosity, Chastity, Modesty, Counsel, Knowledge, Fear of the Lord, Understanding , Fortitude, Wisdom and Piety
In addition to the 11 Fruits in bold text, most sources include a 12th Fruit, Gentleness.
Updated God-Mindfulness Prayer Guide with new wording about giving our Will to Jesus, to read & pray, download Pdf. below:
God-Mindfulness-prayer-V5-vertical arial 11pt final1.18.23Jack2016Download New 1.18.2023 Version God-Mindfulness Prayer Guide with Prayer re; ‘Moulding my will.”
A new format of my GodMindfulness Prayer Guide is available for download:
Download Horizontal GodMindfulness Guide with Our Father Prayer included and Image of Holy Spirit from the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC Dec. ’22 and all updates prior to 3.27.20238x10giftsofthespiritDownload Fruits of the Holy Spirit by Leanne Bowen, Copyright Protected, Watermarked for Private use ONLY
At the same time, the Catechism also cites nine fruits of the spirit in a different paragraph, but with a fabulous end quote! “By this power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear much fruit. He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear ‘the fruit of the Spirit: … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.’ ‘We live by the Spirit’; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we ‘walk by the Spirit’” (CCC 736).
In reality, the exact “number” of fruits is not something we need to focus on. Christians are called to live a life of the Spirit, producing much fruit that is shown through our thoughts, words and deeds. This is the meaning that St. Paul is going for, as he spells out the nine characteristics as, simply, fruit(singular) of the Spirit.
Though the difference in number and lists might make memorization hard, it also is a reminder of God’s real message to us.
As Jesus told his disciples, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16).
References:9 0r 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit? Aleteia.org
The brief prayer in this revision of the God-Mindfulness Prayer is partly referenced from theologian & philosopher Daniel O’Connor, on Living in God’s Divine Will.
“Jesus I Trust in You, Thy Will Be Done, I Give You My Will, Please Give Me Yours in Return. Thy Will Be Done On Earth as IT Is In Heaven.”
Fruits of the HS are MTJ says: the way forward, enlighten our mind, perfections in us which is ” becoming Christ like..an imitation of Jesus!!!!!!!” MTJ
As you will see in the Scripture verse I will give you in this article – there is one very special incredible verse that will tell you that God the Father wants to transmit and impart 9 specific fruits of the Holy Spirit up into our personalities.