Fruits of the Spirit and relations with the neighbor

Acts of virtue accompanied by a certain spiritual suavity deserve the name of "fruits" of the Holy Spirit. The Virgin Mary is a great model of these fruits.

1. Kindness

The first of these fruits is benevolence, also called amiability and kindness. It is with this disposition of the heart, shown on the outside too, that we welcome with grace and kindness those that come to us seeking assistance and comfort.

Mary never lacked kindness. This can be seen during the public ministry of Jesus--the needy often chose to turn to her, as we can see during the wedding at Cana, and after the Ascension of Our Lord. Tradition tells us that the apostles and disciples confidently turned to her for help with the difficult and multifaceted problems of apostolic life.

2. Goodness

Mary’s amiability would not amount to much if this virtue had not been accompanied by her goodness of heart, another fruit of the Holy Spirit, by which the soul is ready and seemingly transformed by the desire to do good for others.

And it is precisely this need of Mary’s Heart that impresses us most when we think about her. We know we are knocking on the door of a heart eager to see to our needs.

3. Forbearance

Since the goodness of man on this earth has limits, it is important that another fruit of the Holy Spirit comes to complement it. This fruit is forbearance, or patience, in which the well-wisher never tires of spreading his blessings.

This fruit shines forth from Mary in a wonderful fashion. Mary, who has already done so much good for humanity, does not and will never cease to do good: the treasures of her motherly kindness are inexhaustible.

4. Indulgence

This fruit of the Holy Spirit guarantees the continuity of Mary’s goodness for us. She continuously showers the abundance of her blessings and graces even upon those who are unworthy or bitterly ungrateful.

5. Faith, Sincerity, Trust

Last but not least, among the fruits of the Holy Spirit concerning man’s relations with his neighbor, is faith in the sense of sincerity or honesty. Mary’s simplicity, openness, and sincerity are exemplary in the Gospel texts.



Father Gabriel Roschini

Dizionario di mariologia, editrice studium – Roma 1961, p. 178-179