Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that a tree is known by its fruits. In the fifth chapter of his Letter to the Galatians, Paul makes this very specific. He tells us that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control,” implying that the Spirit’s presence in one’s life can be read from its radiance in these soul-expanding qualities.
All of Paul’s “fruits of the Holy Spirit” are marks of an outward-looking, expansive magna anima (great soul), which stands in contradistinction to the pusilla anima (the cramped soul) of the sinner. Thus love is willing the good of the other as other; joy is self-diffusive; patience bears with the troublesome; kindness makes the other gentle; self-control restricts the havoc that the ego can cause; etc.
When is the Spirit present? When these attributes are awakened and sustained; when our souls are made great.