The Holy Spirit grants us seven gifts: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. They are divine abilities distributed as God knows is best for the Mystic Body of Christ. Not every Christian has the same gift, just as not every part of the human body performs the function of seeing, hearing or walking (1 Corinthians 12:14-26), but as we work together Christ gives his church growth. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
There are nine biblical fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), and the Catholic Church recognizes twelve traditional fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, humility or gentleness, fidelity or faithfulness, modesty, continence or self-control and chastity. Love, the foremost fruit of the Spirit, is so wonderful that Paul describes the ideal Christian in an entire chapter (1 Corinthians 13) to praise love, which is brought to perfection through union with Christ.
Catholics bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit when they cooperate with His gifts. When the apostle Paul wrote: “I want you to desire the best gifts. I will show you a much better way” (1 Corinthians 12:31), he exhorted us to create a balance and undertake a correction of spiritual values for increasing resemblance with Christ. Catholics receive the sacrament of Confirmation to practice good deeds when they stay firmly attached to Jesus (John 15:1-8). We should be in the state of grace for a constant growth in holiness.
The Advocate can grant His gifts suddenly at any stage of the believer’s life. Specific gifts are bestowed upon some believers when they first received the Holy Spirit. Other gifts were imparted at various turning points of the Christian walk (1 Timothy 4:14). Believers may desire and ask for certain gifts at any time (1 Corinthians 12:31 and 1 Corinthians 14:13). The Bible makes it clear that everyone receives the Holy Spirit the moment he or she believes in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 1:13-14)
“Live by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), not by the “desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:17). As we yield to God’s Spirit (Romans 8:13-14), and as we are led by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9), we will have Jesus Christ’s mercy and compassion for others and his love for God’s way of life. Paul describes some of the acts of the sinful nature: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies … Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)