I find myself praying more and more to the Holy Spirit these days. Asking Him for His gifts and for the fruits that St. Paul mentions in Galatians.
"For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." (Galatians 5:22-23)
What an intimidating list! I think I'd be doing quite well if I could have all those fruits!
Just like real fruit, growing spiritual fruit takes time. It would be wonderful to go to the local farmer's market and pick out a handful of joy, a basket of faithfulness, and a whole bushel of patience!
Yet I wonder if we would truly appreciate the fruits of these virtues if we could obtain them immediately.
Would we see our need for the Lord's graces if it were not so difficult to be that which He asks us to be?
Instead we need to trust the Holy Spirit to plant the seeds of His fruits in our lives when we ask. We need to nurture those seeds with prayer and practice. To be humble when He prunes, even though it is painful. To be hopeful and not lose heart when all we see are bare branches instead of abundant fruit.
Paul knew this when He wrote about the fruits and gave some encouragement in the next chapter.
"Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)
The tending, the growing-- even the pruning-- will be worth it.