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Fruits of the Spirit

Staying home during this pandemic can be very stressful. And the government and the church have been paying close attention to the effects of this. It can lead towards decreasing of mental health and even mental disorder which could damage an individuals and relationships. Domestic violence can be one of the damages. In Australia we are fortunate to have some professional institutions that have been offering help for those who are experiencing some kind of depression caused by loneliness from staying at home too long.

Is there any positive effects of staying home so long? I suppose there will be a good number of people who would say “yes” from their own experience. It is indeed challenging but there are some positive outcomes for an individual as well as for society. As a religious priest, I speak from my personal experience of living not “alone” but in “solitude”. After being triggered by some people in the parish to write something which could be published on the Parish Facebook page, I found myself sitting down and allowing the “Spirit” to work in me. It is not easy to sit down “dull” with no inspiration at all for sometime. And I came to reflect on the working of the Spirit. I questioned myself: “How do I know that the Spirit is working in me? Or How do I know that I have done God’s will?” These questions actually have been thrown to me hundreds of times by so many people. While asking myself these questions, I came to read a book titled ‘Yielding to Love’ written by Fr Michael Fallon MSC. He said that if what we do is truly God’s will, then we can see it by its fruits. And the fruits are to be seen in the virtues mentioned by Paul in his Letter to the Galatians, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost this weekend, let us be aware of those fruits of the spirit within us. Fr Michael said: “If it is truly God’s will that we are doing, we find ourselves growing in those virtues. If, by contrast, we find ourselves becoming less loving, we should have another look…… I am not saying that doing God’s will is always easy. That is not the case. However, if we are doing God’s will, even when this involves the cross, sustains us below the pain and difficulties”.

Have a blessed Sunday.

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