FR. MICHAEL WRITES:-
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Longsuffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Self-control, Chastity. These are the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit and they are the medicine for what we can experience too much in competitive London, namely their opposites in anger, depression, stress, impatience, meanness and so on, quite apart from what is still more obviously wicked. Things are bad enough everywhere with what Pope Francis calls “the globalisation of indifference” especially when even the well-intentioned can choose not move themselves to act. Things are worse still when there is the active embrace of evil as in ISIS, for instance, or the callousness with which traffickers abandon hundreds of men, women and children to their expected deaths at sea because they have put them in unseaworthy vessels. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are an answer to many of the world’s ills and our own, but these fruits cannot grow without the fruit tree being rooted in the ground, which is to say, we must be rooted in the ground of God. Whether we know it or not, we are grounded in God but the tragedy is that we can ignore or forget the extraordinary truth of God’s tender and utterly loving intimacy with us. In a book entitled Love and Silence written anonymously by a Carthusian monk in 1951, he writes of the action of the Holy Spirit within each of us: We know that God is one in nature and three in Persons. The Father from all eternity begets the Son, his ‘other self’, his perfect image. This is not something that took place long ago: it takes place in an eternal present, in an eternal now. The Father is perpetually begetting the Son. And the Father looks upon the Son, divine and co-eternal and, in this loving gaze that they exchange in the simplicity of the divine Essence, they breathe forth the Holy Spirit. This divine life which will be the substance of our eternal happiness has already begun in the soul, so long as we are in a state of grace. At every moment the Father is begetting the Son within us, and at every moment they together breathe forth in us the Holy Spirit. Have we given sufficient thought to this sublime truth? We bear within us the living God; the Holy of Holies we carry within us. May we live our communion with God by remembering and cherishing especially today but also at least once a day for a few minutes that God is not only with us, but that God is in us. The Holy Spirit is breathed forth, within us! We will then hardly even notice but that the fruits of the Holy Spirit will be in our lives and that the world will know a little more love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness... even in the week of a General Election!