Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit-Tenth Hymn of Virtue: Self-Control

Tenth Hymn of Virtue:
Self-Control (Continence)

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.

In this action of the Holy Spirit he has perfected the gift of patience in us that we may possess the great fruit of self-control, sometimes referred to as continence.

This gift helps us to be in full control of our sensible appetites that are weak due to human nature. This gift of self-control is especially helpful for those suffering sexual temptations-sins against chastity. But it also comes into play in practical moments of every day life as well when we are trying to die to ourselves.

For example, think of the times God has given us the grace to refrain from making a critical remark about someone or some situation. Think of the many times he has helped us to control our anger when we would have liked to have vented our feelings.

What about controlling our desire for sleep, for food, etc.? These are all areas we can work on to be detached from the things of this world. We only need to look at the lives of the Saints, to see that they were not slaves to the body and its senses. Their lives are full of accounts of prolonged fasting, rising early for prayer, and great physical denial of all sorts.

The Saints possessed perfect spiritual self-control with the help of the Holy Spirit. They were fit for the Kingdom of God because of their pure hearts in which they decreased and the Lord Jesus increased. They loved with His love, and showed mercy with His mercy.

Let us pray for each other, that we not give in to every whim of the senses. Let us pray for the strength to be victorious for Christ in our temptations in this life. And if we fall, let us trust in His great mercy that He is always ready to forgive and help us to begin again living the life of virtue.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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