The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are holy acts which God allows a Catholic man to routinely and consistently take in his life when he cooperates with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; these fruits of the Spirit are signs of the eternal glory that awaits every Catholic man who seeks to become a Saint in Heaven (CCC 1832).

The Analogy of a Fruit Farmer

To understand the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, consider an analogy of how a man is able to harvest actual fruit:

The analogy of the fruit farmer

A man desires to become a farmer who grows fruit. He secures some land and fruit seeds. The man learns how to farm and applies his skills to till the soil and plant the seeds, and the seeds mysteriously sprout and the plants spring up. Relying on the sun and the rains, the man fertilizes, cultivates, and prunes the plants as they grow, and puts forth the effort to harvest the yield of fruit when it is ripe. 

The fruit is a gift from God which the farmer cannot create on his own, but he is blessed to receive if he is prepared to cooperate with God. If a man chooses not to be a fruit farmer, the soil and the seeds remain dormant and there is no fruit. 

The meaning of the analogy

The analogy reveals how every Catholic man who cooperates with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit comes to yield the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: 

A Catholic man desires to grow in holiness and seek sainthood. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit can only bear the Fruits of the Holy Spirit when a man desires to grow in holiness and puts forth the effort to cooperate with God to help the Fruits grow in his life. 

Every Catholic man secures the Gifts of the Holy Spirit when he is Baptized and Confirmed in God’s Holy Catholic Church; this is analogous to the soil, the fruit seeds which mysteriously sprout, grow, ripen, and bear fruit, and the sun and the rain. 

A Catholic man cooperates with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by turning away from sin, desiring to grow in holiness in the Holy Catholic Church, putting forth the effort to cultivate his faith and pulling out the weeds of sin, fertilizing himself with prayer, Sacraments and Scripture, pruning his selfish and sinful desires, and diligently striving to perform many Works of Mercy. 

 With a man’s cooperation with God and disciplined effort over time, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit yield the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, blessing him, his family and many others; his ultimate great harvest will be to be a Saint who is received into Heaven.  

If a Catholic man chooses not to grow in faith, turns or drifts away from God’s Holy Catholic Church, or falls into and remains in a state of mortal sin, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit remain dormant and there will be few Fruits of the Holy Spirit in a man’s life; he may experience fleeting pleasures but will only yield the weeds of sin and ultimately his only harvest will be the fires of Hell.  

The List of the Fruits

From the earliest days of the Church in St. Jerome’s Vulgate and confirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Paul’s list of the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) are as follows: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Forbearance, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control and Chastity (CCC 1832)

Charity

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Forbearance

Gentleness

Faithfulness

Modesty

Self-control

Chastity