The Fruits of the Spirit // The Wild Goose – Segment #9

The Fruits of the Spirit // The Wild Goose – Segment #9

January 15, 2020 2 By William Hollis


Remember one time when I was coming home
from college I was flying from Pittsburgh to Phoenix, Arizona and we’d been
on the plane for maybe an hour, and this guy locks himself in the bathroom and
he wouldn’t come out. He was yelling all kinds
of profanities and the flight attendant was trying
to get him out of there. And well as it turns out, we ended up
having to land the plane in Chicago, and the police came on board and
arrested the guy and gets him off. And the whole thing was kind of exciting,
honestly. I thought it was interesting,
never happened before, I thought it was kinda cool. So it turns out we take off, and
we’ve been flying maybe another hour or two and the captain comes on board. And he says to us, he says, the stop in
Chicago was obviously unexpected, and as it turns out we need some more fuel. So we’re gonna have to
stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico to be able
to get some more fuel. Well there’s this lady that
was sitting next to me, and the entire time she was just so
frustrated. I mean, we landed in Chicago,
she gets all mad and angry, and then this just was like the straw
that broke the camel’s back. She’s just like so mad and she’s saying
things, she goes I can’t believe we have to stop and I’m thinking to myself okay,
what’s the option? It’s like, yeah,
I think we’ve probably got enough gas, let’s just kind of go ahead and
see what happens? Well I remember that she looks to me. And she says to me,
how is it that you can stay so calm? What I think she’s really saying is,
what is it that animates your life? How is it that in the midst of
these unscheduled things, or these unexpected things, or
these inconveniences, or these frustrations,
how is it that you can still be peaceful? The scriptures in Matthew, the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says that
we are going to be known by our fruit. That’s one of the reasons I
came here at this church, the Franciscan Mission Church
in San Diego, was one of the first missionary churches
in the evangelization of California. This is a concrete practical
example of the fruit, of the faithfulness of
the early Franciscans. See all of our lives like
all of the Franciscans, all of our lives are producing fruit. And what we need to ask ourselves is,
“what type of fruit is my life producing?” And
coming to understand people see that. This lady on the plane, she saw the fruit of my life at
that point, not always like that. But at that point, there was peace. God was present in that.>>As my relationship with the Holy Spirit
grew, and I learned to be more and more docile to the Holy Spirit,
now it’s like a daily walk. Now it’s every minute I’m calling on
The Holy Spirit asking, what’s next? What’s next? And it’s, I hate to say it,
but God never comes down and lays down a blueprint for us for our life,
but he always says, here’s the next step. And if you trust, the more you trust and
take that next step. So on a daily walk, every day I rely
completely on the Holy Spirit to guide how I raise my children,
how I am a man in my marriage. Particularly in my job,
we’re constantly asking God, let us step out of the way,
tell us what you want for our life, and reform us continually,
over and over and over again. The best part about our relationship
with the Holy Spirit, I guess, would be the fruits, joy,
peace, patience, kindness. Because, you know the gifts
are really important for the building up of the church and
for evangelization. But the truth is that the fruits
of the Holy Spirit are what make me feel closer to God. Are what bring out this
closeness to the Lord, and growing those fruits are what
make me feel His presence inside me.>>So its in that way making and
creating a space for silence in my life, that I think the Holy Spirit was
able to begin speaking to my heart. Silence is really important. And I think that’s one
of the ways the enemy is really gaining ground in our society,
is by creating more and more noise. So that young people aren’t comfortable
being alone, being in the silence. And that’s precisely where
our Lord is able to speak. So I’m very grateful that,
for some reason, I was willing to enter into silence,
even if it was just for a few minutes a day, so
I could listen to the voice of the Lord. People ask me what does that sound like,
you know, is it like, you were called
to be a sister, or something. It’s not that, it’s not an audible voice
like that, but It’s a presence of peace. And when I began to be in tune with
the peace that The Holy Spirit wanted to give me, it became this
kind of guiding principle for me. So when people say, how do you know
it’s The Spirit, The Spirit of the Lord, The Holy Spirit? I say, look for the peace. Where’s the peace? Not a superficial kind of,
this feels good, this is. It’s something deeper. It’s something in your heart of hearts, where the craziness of the storm subsides,
and you can rest in it. And you know that He is calling you.>>Saint Paul actually talks about this
in the fifth chapter of Galatians. He says, now, the works in the flesh
are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry,
sorcery, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of
selfishness, dissensions, factions, envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. Now I’m not much of a list person. I don’t write all kinds of lists, and pay attention to all these lists and
the whole, all the top ten lists at the beginning
of the year or at the end of the year. I just really don’t pay
a lot of attention to that. But it seems to me that this is probably
a list we should pay attention to. What kind of fruit is your life producing? Anger, Idolatry, jealousy, rivalry. If our life is producing
that kind of fruit, we need to be able to take a step back and
ask ourselves why. Why is it that I’m angry all the time? Why is it that I get
frustrated at situations that don’t seem like they should
frustrate us that much? Why is it that, at times you get so
frustrated with your wife, or your husband, or your children? Why is it that anger or drunkenness,
or jealousy, or rivalry, seem to be the dominant feelings,
the dominant emotions that you have? Go before the Lord and ask Him,
what kind of fruit my life is producing, and if you don’t know ask
somebody you really trust. Ask them, do you see me as being angry or frustrated, or jealous, or
envious, or any of that list? Because here’s what’s really important. This isn’t just a list
of maybe bad habits, or things that we need
to work on a little bit. This type of fruit has
eternal consequences. You see, the thing about it is, is if our
life is producing that kind of fruit, it not only disrupts my own heart. It disrupts the heart of my family. It disrupts the heart of
the people that we work with. And people that we come in
contact with every day. But compare that or contrast that
with the fruit of the spirit that St. Paul talks about. It says the fruit of the spirit: love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, self control. I mean, contrast these two lists, that
,you know, the anger and the frustration, and viscensiouness and jealousy, compared
to peace, patience, kindness, generosity. The catechism says,
the fruits are signs or manifestations that our life is being
transformed or perfected by God. I think that’s such a cool image, that
the fruits of the Spirit are signs and manifestations that my
life is being transformed, that my life is being changed. Now, often times, people come to me and
they say to me, Father Dave, I just don’t feel like I’m
growing in the spiritual life. I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere,
and how do we really know? Well, it’s not like there’s this divine
dipstick that we can kind of measure whether or
not we’re growing in the spiritual life. I think the fruits of the spirit are a
great way, because are, as the catechism says, they’re manifestations and
signs that my life is being transformed. I mean contrast that from the list
of the fruits of the flesh. Anger, frustration, jealousy, and
then you take a look at the spirit. Patience, gentleness, kindness. And the thing that’s so
important too, is that the reality is that the fruits of the Spirit
are what most people see in my life. They don’t know whether of
not I pray necessarily, or what gifts the Lord has given me, but
what they do know is, am I patient? Am I generous? Am I kind? Am I loving? We need to pray and ask for
the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Robert Frost in his poem about the paths,
the two different paths, the key part to interpret in
that poem is the journer, or the sojourner, he has to start walking. And I think when we’re confused, when
we’re paralyzed, when we’re discerning. Often the first step is to begin
walking in one direction, and either the fruit of peace
comes from the spirit, or there’s an unsettling, an anxiousness,
a sense of, I thought this was right yesterday, but I’m feeling
movement in the other direction. And one of those moments in my life,
was I was gonna be a financial planner. I passed the test for insurance licensing, I was in the middle of the training, and
I thought I was going on the right path. But as I journeyed,
each time I went back to the office, I kinda felt the Lord say, hey,
I wanna use you, but not in this way. And that led me, a few weeks into it,
going to the manager and saying, hey, I don’t know, but this isn’t for me. Here’s my resignation.>>I picked you up, and you came out,
and you’re like, I ended it. And I was like, all right.>>You don’t try to exorcise the fruits. The fruits are what they are. They come as result of our life in God. As we’re living this life of God. As we are being faithful. As we’re allowing Jesus
to be Lord of our lives. And our truly surrendering ourselves
to the guidance of the Spirit. The fruits began to be able to,
the fruit of love, the fruit of peace, joy, chastity,
all these fruits are gonna be evident. Sometimes people try to
go after the fruits, but the fruits are borne from a life. You don’t go after them. And so I remember one of the times people were praying for the baptist of the Holy
Spirit, and a lady came back later and she says I didn’t get it. I said what didn’t you get? I didn’t get it. I said there’s no it. God baptized you in His Holy Spirit,
he filled you last week. Well tell me about your week. Well nothing really happens except,
I was really more joyful. I said duh, that’s a fruit. You experienced the joy that comes from
living a life in relationship with God. And so, the fruits are there for
us to experience. But we don’t go after fruits.>>So, the first thing we do,
is what we often do. And that is,
that we go before the Holy Spirit, and we ask that the Holy Spirit
first give Himself to us. That that it is a fruit of
the life in the Holy Spirit. So the first thing, and we’ve said this a million times,
we ask that the Holy Spirit come. The Holy Spirit would be present to us and
produce fruit. Like I just think of my own life. I would say probably 99% of the stupid
things that I’ve done in my life, or the simple things I’ve done in my life,
often are because I lack self control. My body tells me or the flesh tells me,
go ahead and do it, it doesn’t matter is not that big a deal. Go ahead and say this, or do that, and
I just lack self control in my life. And in a fruit of the Holy Spirit is self
control, and I just think it’s a really, really important fruit,
because It effects so many other things. So I prayed that God would send his Holy
Spirit upon me, and I would have a greater fruit of self control, that I would
be able to say no to the flesh. I’d be able to say no to
the ninth piece of pizza. I mean, I need this greater self control. Or joy. Just a beautiful,
beautiful fruit of the Holy Spirit is joy. Saint John the 23rd said, that the surest
sign of the Holy Spirit is joy. There’s something attractive about joy. There’s something about somebody who has
a great joy, that they have a passion for life, and a passion for living. And people recognize that and
they see that. I think that’s why Pope Francis
probably said in his. He mentioned joy I think 125 times,
or something like that in that text. Because we live in a world
that desperately needs joy. But I can’t just manufacture that joy. Joy isn’t just this temporary happiness. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that
allows us to know that God loves us. That it doesn’t matter what happens, that nothing about God’s
love is gonna change for us. And that produces It has a great joy. I love what Pope Francis
says particularly about joy. He says that we who are Christians, we who are Catholics,
we need to stop looking like sour pusses. I don’t know how they
translated that in Latin, but, they said often times we look like we’re
so sad, we’re frustrated, we’re angry. And we really allow the Holy Spirit to
come and bring us the presence of joy. The other thing he says, is Catholics need to stop looking like
they’re always coming back from a funeral? So, we pray, Lord, give me a greater
joy in my life, a joy for living, a joy in being saved, a joy in being
Catholic, a joy in being Christian. The Holy Spirit animates
my life in different ways now than it did when I was single. Every morning I set my alarm to get up
before the kids, so that specifically I can go to the bathroom in peace,
and throw up a quick prayer in peace. If I don’t I at least throw up a quick,
come Holy Spirit before I go get the kids. When I don’t do that, I feel like my
prayer is, come, fights, and tantrums. I feel like if I don’t call upon
the Spirit the moment I wake up, literally I feel like hell
breaks loose in my house. His presence is not here
unless it’s called forth. And for
us it very much animates my life In that, just very simple prayer that I pray,
but then also like, when my kids are in time out, the time
out is for them as much as for me. Because i’m sitting here i’m like,
Holy Spirit, you gotta change my furied anger into
right discipline, like in this moment.>>Another fruit of
the spirit is patience, and.>>And I call patience the banana of the
fruits of the Holy Spirit, because it so quickly goes bad? For me,
a banana has to be perfectly yellow or I don’t wanna have anything to do with it. Give it to one of the other
friars who likes it all brown and gross as far as I’m concerned. I find that for patience, it’s most often the fruit that’s
mentioned about somebody else. Sharon, she’s so patient,
John is such a patient person, I think part of the reason is because one,
because it’s so rare. Real deep patience is so rare,
and the other, it’s like all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, there’s
something really attractive about it. Think for a moment how your life
would be different with your spouse, with your children, with the people you
work with, if you had greater patience Imagine what your commute to work would
be like if you had greater patience. It’s not just making the decision, okay, I’m gonna be more patient I’m gonna be
more patient, because that often creates, actually, anxiety and more frustration,
because we’re not able to be patient. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, asking the Holy Spirit to be present
to us, it produces more patients.>>And so and the other scripture
is one that is really a deep one, that God came to heal the broken hearted. John 10:10 I came that you might have
life and have it more abundantly. Unfortunately most Christians, we walk around looking like we
were baptized in lemon juice. But God wants more for us, he really does. The Holy Spirit is to give
us animation and energy, not enthusiasm based on our own sense of,
we can do it guys. Let’s go, we can do it,
no, we can’t do it, but we know the person that can do it and
it’s the person of Christ. So, John 10:10, I have come that you might
have life and have it more abundantly and that scripture comes as you know, right
before the scripture that comes right before is the enemy comes to kill,
to steal, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and
have it more abundantly.>>It really is the first words on
my lips, if I don’t have time to do a longer prayer it’s come Holy Spirit,
and for me, I need that. Because instead of saying, come here Paul
Francis, I’m just like come Holy Spirit, fill me before I go out and
minister, teach, instruct my kids. I know that it’s him acting through me and
not just Casey, which I’m reminded of my need for that more now in marriage
and as a mom than I ever have been. All that he has for me, the need for
love, peace, patience, joy, kindness, gentleness, I need it all and
I’m calling on it specifically and I feel like sometimes I’m just so dry. When I’m at my wits end with a four year
old, a three year old and a three and a half month old,
I’m just saying you gotta fill me now and I never felt that dry until
I’ve been in this role. And conversely I’ve never felt so
filled up though at the same time. And it’s probably like you know
he uses you in your emptiness but it’s totally him acting through
that that is able to fill me up.>>The one thing I constantly try to tell
people, and the life lesson that I had was, I don’ have to have all the words
to be able to tell people about Jesus. All I have to do is share what He did
in my life, and how He changed me, who I was, my encounter with Christ,
and who I am now. And when people hear those words, that’s
more convincing than reading the entire Catholic catechism because
people see who you are and they see who you are now and
they can’t believe it. But they want that.>>Yeah.>>Cuz I see the joy and
they see a new sense of peace. And they see that I don’t
have to have what I used to think I had to have
to as a measure of success. My measure of success is
knowing the love of God and telling people about him, and
sharing that faith with others.>>I’m in love,
love is the greatest of the fruits. That love which produces self-sacrifice,
love which produces, or love which puts the other person first, it’s
It’s a love which is ultimately from God. And it’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit
that decides the way that we come into a relationship with the Holy Spirit more
profoundly, produces a greater love. Not just a love that I
decide I’m gonna love but a love which ultimately comes from God. That I experience the love of God and
the fruit of that, the fruit of the Holy Spirit Is
that I love better. It’s a lie right now I think,
that says a love is love or all love is equal, all love isn’t equal. The love of God is radically different and
the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is love, is different. It recognizes the beauty in the other
person, it’s not consumed with self, it’s a self-giving love,
it’s a self-sacrificial love, that’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, we need to pray that God
would send his holy spirit upon us. And we develop a relationship
with the Holy Spirit so that it produces much fruits because that
has a profound impact on the people that we come in contact with. Again, imagine your life, just in your
family if there was greater fruit, more generosity, more kindness,
more patience, more love, more joy. It changes our relationships,
it changes our family, it changes the people that we work with. The fruits of the Holy Spirit
are incredibly attractive, and you’ll have the same thing happen
to you that happened to me. Somebody’s gonna see a person so
patient or they’re so kind or they’re so generous or whatever,
and they’re gonna come to you and they’re gonna say,
how is it that you can stay so calm? Well let me tell you
what animates my life, we have an opportunity to tell
him about the Holy Spirit. We have an opportunity to tell
him about the wild goose, so here’s something practical for us. Go before the Lord be quiet and be still
and ask him to show you the type of fruit your life is producing, is it fruit of the
flesh, or is it fruit of the Holy Spirit? And I invite you to be really,
really honest about this because it has great consequences in our own life,
in our own spiritual life, but also the life of our family, our friends,
people we come in contact with. And maybe from there, maybe say for
a month, ask the Lord and his Holy Spirit to produce
a fruit in your life. Choose one, joy, so for
the next month go before the Lord, go before the Holy Spirit, and
say, Lord give me a greater joy, may I produce more joy in my life? I think that if we’re able to
focus on the Holy Spirit and then focus on a fruit of the Holy Spirit,
it begins to grow more. Let’s pray, Lord Jesus, we ask that you come
with Your Holy Spirit. Jesus by the power of Your Holy Spirit, reveal in our life the type of
fruit that our life is producing. In Your name, Lord, allow the Holy Spirit
to reign more in our life, free us from the fruits of the flesh, of anger and
frustration and bitterness and jealousy. Lord, Allow that fruit to
be pruned in our life, allow us Lord to produce the fruits of the
Holy Spirit, the greater love and joy and patience and kindness, gentleness,
self control, faithfulness. But we ask that our life would produce
more fruit so that we would experience you, and experience your love, and
experience your presence more. But then also so that the people that
we come in contact with can experience you and can experience your presence,
your peace, your joy, your love. Lord by your power of your Holy Spirit,
fill our hearts so that we would produce
a great abundance of fruit. May Almighty God bless you, the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen, Amen.