Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit… JOY

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 7, 2012

Don’t know about you, but I take great JOY in eating an orange…

The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.” ~CCC§1832

Last week our first fruit – CHARITY made its introduction.  Remember this is a continuation from my posts on the 7 GIFTS of the Holy Spirit.  If you haven’t read them yet, I recommend going through them so that the FRUITS of the Holy Spirit will make more sense. 🙂

(1) Charity – Cause us to perform our actions out of love for God

Compliments Wisdom and Piety

“The virtue which inclines us to love God above all things for His own sake, AND our neighbor for the sake of God. In the Old Testament the word charity occurs three times, the same Hebrew word being elsewhere translated LOVE (Prov. 10:12; Song. 2:4; 8:7).” ~Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

CHARITY = LOVE (Agape = Love of God, not to be confused with Eros = love of man)…

Read more about Charity…

THE SECOND FRUIT… JOY!

(2) Joy – Keeps us happily aware of God’s infinite goodness

Companion to UNDERSTANDING and PIETY

 “God is Love” (cf. 1John 4: 8, 16), and love is His first gift, containing all others. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us,” (Romans 5:5).  ~CCC§733

And as one can read, Joy is a RESULT of CHARITY which is LOVE…

He, then, gives us the “pledge” or “first fruits” of our inheritance: the very life of the Holy Trinity, which is to love as “God [has] loved us.” This LOVE (the “charity” of 1 Cor 13) is the source of the new life in Christ, made possible because we have received “power” from the Holy Spirit. ~CCC§735, emphasis added

“the fruit of the Spirit: . . . love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” ~ Gal 5: 22-2

Jesus said it again and again and still calls to us today…

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My [JOY] may be in you, and that your [JOY] may be full. ~ John 15: 10-11, emphasis added

When we seek after JOY…

Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice,” (cf. Psalm 105:3).  Although man can forget God or reject Him, [God] never ceases to call every man to seek Him, so as to find life and happiness.  But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, “an upright heart,” as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God. ~CCC§30, emphasis added

(Got that, John? 😉 )

For as St. Augustine rightly says…

“You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is Your power and Your wisdom is without measure.

And man, so small a part of Your creation, wants to praise You: this man, though clothed with mortality and bearing the evidence of sin and the proof that You withstand the proud.

Despite everything, man, though but a small part of your creation, wants to praise You. You yourself encourage him to delight in Your praise, for You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” ~ St. Augustine, Conf. 1, 1, 1, Ibid., emphasis added

Echoing the Psalmist…

Let those who desire My vindication shout for [JOY] and be glad, and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of His servant!”  Then my tongue shall tell of Thy righteousness and of Thy praise all the day long. ~ Ps 35: 27-28

God IS Love… Will you give YOUR heart to HIM?

MUST HAVE A WILLING HEART…

Did you know that you can prevent God’s GIFTS of LOVE, and thus preventing the FRUITS of those GIFTS from coming into your heart, changing you for the better?  How do I know? Simple!

“Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of SIN, which leads to DEATH, or of OBEDIENCE, which leads to RIGHTEOUSNESS?” ~Romans 6:16

With creation, God does not abandon His creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end.

Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:

“For You LOVE all things that exist, and detest none of the things that You have made; for You would not have made anything if You had hated it.

How would anything have endured, if You had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by You have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are Yours, O Lord, You who LOVE the living.” ~Wisdom 11: 24-26

~ CCC§301, emphasis added

AND YET…

When we choose ourselves and our selfish pleasures then we become what St. Paul describes:

“…they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…” ~Romans 1: 21b-24a

One can sin against God’s LOVE in various ways:

indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient [original] goodness and denies its power.

“But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; and I will strike her children dead.

And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.” ~ Rev 2: 20-23, emphasis added

ingratitude fails or refuses to acknowledge divine charity and to return Him love for love.

“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place, unless you repent.” ~ Rev 2: 4-5, emphasis added

lukewarmness is hesitation OR negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.

 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

Therefore I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.

Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.”
~Rev 3:15-18, emphasis added

acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.

I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead.  Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.”
~Rev 3:1c-3,
emphasis added

hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments.

“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel (see Num 31.16; 25.1-2), that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality.

So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.” ~Rev 2: 14-16

~ CCC§2094, emphasis added

OPEN YOUR HEARTS!

Closing with the words of the Prophet Isaiah…

REPENT! Return to the LORD, your God with your whole heart!

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not Thou that didst cut Rahab in pieces, that didst pierce the dragon?  

Was it not Thou that didst dry up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that didst make the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?  

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting JOY shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain JOY and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
~Is 51: 9-11
, emphasis added

Recommended Reading:

Soon Arrival of Pentecost
7 GIFTS of the Holy Spirit

Removing the Restrainer

Lesson in Sacred Scripture
Part I
Part II
Part III

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