gifts and fruit
"Set your hearts on the greater gifts. Now I will show you the way which surpasses all the others." —1 Corinthians 12:31—13:1
Because the most powerful charisms are useless without love (1 Cor 13:1-3), some Christians have wrongly concluded that charisms are unimportant and "all you need is love." The Lord does not say this in His word.
Love is essential, but not all-sufficient. In fact, the fruit of the Spirit, that is, love (Gal 5:22), is often produced by charisms, the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. For example, the writer of Second Peter teaches that the Lord graces us with love through a multi-faceted process, including such charisms as faith and discernment (2 Pt 1:5-7). Pope John Paul II has taught that charisms should be directed toward building unity (which is impossible without love) (Towards the Third Millennium, 47). So we not only must have love with charisms but also charisms as a way in which God graces us with love, "because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" (Rm 5:5).
Therefore, in this year of the Great Jubilee, "seek eagerly after love. Set your hearts on spiritual gifts" (1 Cor 14:1).
Prayer: Father, may I desire Your charisms so as to lay down my life in love. Come, Holy Spirit!
Promise: "There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love." —1 Cor 13:13
Praise: St. Andrew Kim Taegon was martyred in Korea in 1846. His father, a Korean farmer, was martyred twenty-five years earlier. "These also were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants" (Sir 44:10-11).
Reference: (For related teaching, order our book, Seek the Gifts of the Spirit.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000