Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit-Seventh Hymn of Virtue: Faithfulness

The Seventh Hymn of Virtue:


Faithfulness or fidelity is the perfect virtue of Justice. This fruit gives us the grace to give to everyone what is due him. For instance, the unborn have the right to life. It is our duty to protect that life. If we are married, our spouse is due fidelity and mutual respect on our part.

As secular Carmelites we are expected to be faithful to our promises. Students are expected to give their teachers the proper attention and respect. These are just a few examples of faithfulness.

To be faithful requires humility and docility of spirit. At times we may not "feel" like giving someone their due, but we must die to ourselves and our ego and let go of always having to have our own way.

Let us think for a moment of how God is faithful to us (keep in mind He owes us nothing). For he is faithful in so many ways!

We could talk forever about God's great mercy. I think another definition of faithfulness would be steadfast love and to me steadfast love is nothing short of mercy.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his mercy endures forever!

(Psalm 118)

What a glorious statement: God's mercy endures forever! This gives the sinner great hope and consolation that even though our sins be scarlet, they can be white as snow through the mercy and forgiveness of our Father.

Think of the faithfulness of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Sometimes we get confused thinking that God is like us--thankfully he is not. We know from scripture and from our personal experience with God through the Sacraments that he is slow to anger, abounding in kindness, full of gentleness and compassion. These are attributes of the Father that we see in the portrait of Our Lord as painted in the Sermon on the Mount.

I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.

Think of Jesus' faithfulness in his remaining with us in the Holy Eucharist and in all the Sacraments of the Church.

The Holy Spirit gives us the grace of faithfulness to help each other. It is an act of charity to give others their due. If someone has a legitimate right to something, we have a serious obligation to try and fulfill it. Let's also keep in mind that the fruits of the Spirit are acts of virtue. For it to be a holy act, it must be selfless and pure. Let us pray for each other, that the Holy Spirit create in us clean and pure hearts for service to God and our neighbor.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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