The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are Manifested in Mary

Assumption by Mateo Cerezo

God dwells with us most intimately through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is sent by the eternal Father and by Jesus to give us light, comfort and strength, and to stir up within us a newness of life.  With personal concern, the Spirit wills to sanctify and lead each and every one of us to perfection.  As we gradually become a part of the new creation – a new beginning with new life in Christ – we are opened more and more to the transforming gift of the Spirit, which opens our minds to the fullness of truth and touches our hearts.

Saint Paul, writing to the Galatians, contrasts the ways of this world, and its various sinful works of the flesh that lead us away from the kingdom of God, with the fruits of the Spirit, imploring us to “live by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:19-23).  When we reflect upon these fruits, do they not describe in exemplary fashion one person in particular – the Blessed Virgin Mary?

In the fullness of grace, our Blessed Mother exhibits the fullness of love and truth.  She is generous in charity, patient, kind and gentle; she is good and faithful, chaste, modest, and temperate.  Her spirit rejoices in God her savior and she is at peace even in trying times because of her trust in the Lord (Galatians 5:22-23; Luke 1:47).

Three times in this life Mary was blessed in a special way by the Holy Spirit – at her Immaculate Conception, at the Annunciation and at Pentecost – and we are the beneficiaries of the immeasurable fruits of the Spirit produced in her.  Through her maternal protection and intercession, we obtain pardon for our sins, health in times of sickness, strength of heart when we are weak, consolation in the face of affliction and help when we are in danger.  Above all, she is the Mother of Christ our Redeemer, and our Mother.

We ourselves “have the first fruits of the Spirit,” says Saint Paul, “as we wait for the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).  Mary, however, did not need to wait.  Corruption of the body in death could not claim her as it takes each of us.  Living in the Spirit, freed from original sin and its consequences, she enjoys already the fruit of the redemption of the body, having been assumed body and soul into heaven when her earthly days were complete (Munificentissimus Deus, 44).

Like all the special graces and privileges bestowed on Mary by the Spirit through the merits of Christ’s redeeming love, the Assumption does not separate Mary from the rest of the redeemed People of God, but unites her more intimately with each one of us.  We have received the pledge that through the fruit of her womb, we too may taste of the fruit of the redemption in the resurrection of the body and eternal life in the world to come.

Each of us is called to this sublime destiny.  The more receptive we are to God’s presence in the Spirit, the more we allow the Lord to work in us and through us, the more fertile we will be, the more his grace within us will bear the fruit of a new creation, and the more our witness will blossom with love, joy and peace (cf. Galatians 5:22; Matthew 13:8, 23).  The Blessed Virgin Mary, in her life and her Assumption into the heavenly city, is the Lord’s sign to us of the truth of this Good News.