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Pope Francis lays out fruits of the Holy Spirit which Christians are called to cultivate

During his General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on the what it means to live according to the Holy Spirit poured out by God. 

He said that through “prayerful contemplation of the crucified Lord” and adoration of the Eucharist, we are able to appreciate and respond to “our call to share in the mystery of God's own life and love.”

Citing Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians, the Pope says that Christians are called to engage in “spiritual combat” to overcome the works of the flesh and accept the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”


Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

In our catechesis on Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, we have seen that, for the Apostle, the heart of the Gospel is the proclamation of the mystery of Christ’s cross and its revelation of God’s reconciling love. 

By his passion, death and resurrection, Jesus has brought us redemption and new life through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Paul can thus say to the Galatians: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Our prayerful contemplation of the crucified Lord, or our silent adoration before his Eucharistic presence, help us to appreciate the grandeur of our call to share in the mystery of God’s own life and love. 

The Christian life, lived in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit, includes what is traditionally called “spiritual combat.” We struggle to overcome what Paul calls “the works of the flesh,” in order to live in accordance with “the fruits of the Spirit,” which are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22).

In our spiritual lives, and in the life of our communities, we are called to cultivate these fruits as a witness to the new life and freedom we have received in Christ through the gift of his Holy Spirit. 

I greet the English-speaking visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the young people from various countries preparing for the COP-26 meeting in Glasgow, and the pilgrimage groups from the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. God bless you!