Reflection for October 17

“The works of the flesh are obvious,” St. Paul writes to the Galatians, and he lists many examples. As we look down the list, it seems very clear that these evils are still very much a part of our world. I don’t know how rampant sorcery is today, although I have heard it suggested that what is called “sorcery” in Scripture would include abortion, in which case it is very rampant today.

I’ve got a very clear understanding of how common selfishness is. And jealousy. And hatred. And so on down the list.

But we as Christians are called to something else. We are called to the knowledge that these immoral acts and those like them can only lead to misery and slavery to sin… and eventually to our ruin. But we were created for something much more than that. We were created for the joy and freedom that comes from living in communion with God.

God, in His mercy, sends us the Holy Spirit, and, as St. Paul writes, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” It is in these that we discover our true happiness and our true freedom because it is in these that we come ever closer to the Lord and to the life we were always meant to live. It is through the grace of God and discipleship in Christ that we come to understand that the fruit of the Spirit is both the means and the end of a genuine Christian life.

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