But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23 NIV)
Nine fruits of the Spirit instead of one! They are all possible and really present in the Church. And each one is a debit-order that is made out in the name of the vineyard owner Jesus Christ. He did not provide sap and strength of his Holy Spirit in our Baptism. These nine fruits of the Spirit, which are found only in abundance amongst rather few of us are most pleasing to God. Yet even those amongst whom they are found will have to consent that for the most time it remains a struggle to bring forth these fruits – even if it could and should happen in power and vitality, with joy and praise. Even those of us, who want to be Christians most fervently must confess, that these fruits of the Spirit still grow rather poorly and sparsely amongst us. When will we do those deeds and full bring such actions in Jesus name that are worthy of bearing his name and start to be victorious and thus serve our Church honorably? Oh, that we would be heroes in following Jesus and not such weak and feeble warriors that are prone more than not to die rather than conquer.
Oh Lord strengthen your worn out and battle weary Christians, that too often oppose and reject the workings of your Holy Spirit. Help us with the word of your truth, grant repentance, conversion, faith and sanctification and let the fruits of your Spirit grow and flourish amongst us to the benefit of your Church and to praise your most holy name. Amen.
Help and bless me with celestial grace that I would always flourish in your presence; grant that the summer of your grace would bear forth ample fruit of faith all year round.
Make yourself at home within me that I become a good tree rooted deeply within you; grant that I be a beautiful flower in your garden blossoming to your glory always.
Elect me to your paradise and let my soul and body flourish and prosper to the very end so that I may at all times serve you willingly both here and there to your glory. (Paul Gerhard, 1607-1676)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Friday after the fourteenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 318 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.