(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Different Type of Lenten Practice – Living the Fruits of the Spirit

 A friend provided me with a copy of Leaves, a magazine published by the Marianhill Fathers, which contained an article he had written. I not only enjoyed my friend’s piece, he entered a subscription to that publication on my behalf.  I am glad that he did.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The very next issue offered an interesting Lenten practice proposed by the magazine’s editor-in-chief and columnist, Father Thomas Heier, C.M.M. It is one I intend to try this year. I thought many of you might find it of interest as well.

Father has graciously granted me permission to share his suggestion by publishing the following excerpt from his column, Leaflets from the Editor’s Desk.

 “In Galatians we read: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (5:22-23). Pick one of the Fruits of the Spirit each day and live it fully. On the day you celebrate "generosity," donate to charity or give to a friend something you have become attached to, some piece of clothing, a book, a plant, etc. A day devoted to "faithfulness" might find you dropping by your local church at lunchtime for a quick prayer or attending Stations of the Cross.

Love can be celebrated by looking hard into your soul. Do you harbor bad feelings towards another person or even to an entire group of people? Examine your conscience and go to Confession. Replace distrust and hatred with love.

There are times when life is chal­lenging that we get so caught up in sadness and sorrow that we miss the little moments of joy that happen. Seeing the path of tiny bird footprints on newly fallen snow could prompt us to put up a bird feeder. Or we might just go for a walk on a snow-covered path in the park and pray a rosary in thanksgiving for a pretty day.

Spend the Lenten Season not just getting to know the Fruits of the Spirit, but living them. Write them down on a piece of paper or Post-it note and put it on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or wherever you will see it. With a focus on the Fruits of the Spirit, your Lenten season will be a rich time of spiritual growth.”

(From Leaves (Volume 81, January-February 2015, No.1)

I pray that Father’s suggestion will enrich your Lent this year.  


  1. This is a good idea. I think we are happiest, no matter the trials we face, when we focus on living the fruits of the Spirit. So much the better when we do it intentionally. It seems that when we strive for living the fruits, we are looking outward towards our neighbor, bringing him the love of God.

  2. Sometimes the simple practices bear greater fruit. May God grant each of you a blessed Lent.