Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained

Question:  I’ve heard that gratitude is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. What does that mean?

Answer:  In St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he talks about the “fruits of the Holy Spirit.” He is referencing an idea that Jesus talks about frequently in the Gospels. “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16). He uses the example of a plant. If the plant is healthy, it will bear good fruit. If the plant is unhealthy, it will bear rotten fruit or none at all. Jesus echoes this idea at the Last Supper, when he says that if we remain close to him we will “bear much fruit” (John 15:8). If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will bear the fruits of the Spirit!

Technically, gratitude is not one of the fruits St. Paul lists. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). But doesn’t that sound like the response of a grateful heart? When we’re grateful, we experience a sense of joy and peace that makes it easier to love. We can be kind, patient, generous, and gentle with others rather than possessive or competitive. When we’re grateful, we don’t need to grasp at what we don’t have. We practice self-control. Gratitude helps us to be faithful, knowing God will always be with us. Sounds like good fruit to me!

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