All around us in beautiful Harford County, the farmers are bringing in their crops. In the spring of this year, they fertilized the ground and planted the seeds; then, throughout the spring and summer, they watched over and cared for the plants as they grew to maturity. Now it is time to reap the benefits of their hard work.
At our Baptism, the seed of faith is planted within us. Then, our parents, family, teachers, and faith community nurture and help us to grow in our faith. When we are mature enough to make the decision to accept the faith that has been growing within us, we receive the sacrament of Confirmation.
At Confirmation, the Holy Spirit is poured out on us anew bringing with Him the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and a sense of wonder in God’s presence. Now it our responsibility to cooperate with and nurture those gifts through prayer, Scripture, participation in the sacraments, self-denial, and good works so as to grow in faith, hope, and love of God and our fellow man. But, how can we be sure that we are cooperating with God’s grace?
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. We can gauge our growth in faith by the level of these fruits that are evident in the way we live our lives. Would people who encounter you describe you as a joyful person; a peacemaker; generous; kind? Would they remark on your patience and self-control? Most of us can probably claim some of those characteristics; but we would also have to admit that there are some in which we fall short.
Now is a good time to take stock of where we stand. What’s in your harvest?
– Kathleen Foehrkolb