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The New Catholic Answer Bible RCIA Program

Session 26 The Human and Theological Virtures The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Opening Prayer All

Come, Holy Spirit. Replace the tension within us with a holy relaxation. Replace the turbulence within us with a sacred calm. Replace the anxiety within us with a quiet confidence. Replace the fear within us with a strong faith. Replace the bitterness within us with the sweetness of your grace. Replace the darkness within us with your gentle light. Replace the coldness within us with your loving warmth. Replace the night within us with your day. Replace the winter within us with your spring. Straighten our crookedness. Fill our emptiness. Dull the edges of our pride. Sharpen the edge of our humility. Light the fires of our love. Quench the flames of our lust. Let us see ourselves as You see us, that we may see You as You have promised, and be healed according to your Word. Amen. Discussion of Liturgical Readings for the Week Introduction to the Discussion The Human (Cardinal) Virtues The Catechism of the Catholic Church (article 1804) defines a human virtue as "firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith." Four of these are called Cardinal Virtues because they are the ones around which all others are grouped. The Cardinal Virtues are: Virtue Prudence Definition "The moral virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it" (CCC 1806) "The moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due God and neighbor" (CCC 1807) The moral virtue that ensures firmness In difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of good. (CCC 1808) The moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance In the use of created goods. (CCC 1809) Reflection Question What are some examples of how a person exhibits prudence? How do you see the Church fighting for justice? Why is fortitude important? Guide to Liturgical Readings Pastor/Leader

Justice

Fortitude

Temperance

What characteristics would you notice in a temperate person?

The Theological Virtues The human virtues are rooted in the Theological Virtues . . . which relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. . . and have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object. (from CCC 1812) The theological virtues are faith, hope and charity. Virtue Faith Definition "Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself." (CCC 1814) "Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit." (CCC 1817) "Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God." (CCC 1822) Reflection Question As you have come to understand it, what do you value most about your faith as a Catholic?

Hope

Other than the achievement of eternal happiness in heaven, what do you most hope for?

Charity

Charity and love are sometimes used interchangeably to identify this virtue. Why is that appropriate?

The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. (from CCC 1830) They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. Gift Wisdom What These Gifts of the Holy Spirit Do For Us This gift inspires us to speak and act in a manner that reflects the will of God in our lives. A wise person is careful, cautious and honest with themselves and with others. This gift allows us to grasp the complexities of a situation or argument with empathy for others. The gift of understanding allows us to come to appreciate more fully the mysteries of our faith. This gift gives us the ability to make sound judgments in the face of evil, temptation and sin. It also allows us to know what to say or do when confronted with difficult people or circumstances. This gift gives us the strength and ability to face and overcome our fears, and remain steadfast even during difficult times with out giving up. This gift allows us to realize that everything we have on earth is a gift from God. Knowledge helps us to see God's plan for us. This gift helps us to approach God with reverence and faithfulness in humility and prayer. It inspires us to love God as our Father simply because he is worthy of our love. In this gift, the Holy Spirit reveals God's majesty in such a way that it enhances our respect for his infinite power. Fear of the Lord inspires us to fear offending God through sin and allows us to project respect and wonder in acknowledging his presence in the world.

Understanding

Counsel

Fortitude

Knowledge

Piety

Fear of the Lord

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit The twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. (from CCC 1830) They are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity. "Either declare a tree good and its fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by its fruit." Mt 12:33. Gift Charity/Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Generosity Gentleness Faithfulness Modesty Scripture Reflection This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. - Jn 13:35. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. ­ Jn 16:24. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace Be With You." ­ Lk 24:36 "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love. ­ Eph 4:3. "May I prove worthy of your kindness, my lord: you have comforted me, your servant, wit your consoling words;" ­ Ruth 2:13 Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life. I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. - Ps 23:6 "You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God." - 2 Cor 9:11 "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. . ." "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters I give you great responsibilities." Mt 25:21 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." - Rm 12:2: "Like an open city with no defenses is the man with no check on his feelings." ­ Prov 25:28 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy." 1 Cor 3:16-17

Self-Control Chastity

Summation of Discussion Questions Closing Prayer

Pastor/Leader All

God the Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Advocate, our Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth. May we exercise His gifts and produce His fruits. May the Spirit who came upon the apostles at Pentecost as a tongue of fire and strong driving wind enliven our faith, increase our love and strengthen our hope. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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