New Evangelizers: Fruits of the Season

Fruit Basket by Edouard Manet (Wikimedia commons)

Fruit Basket by Edouard Manet (Wikimedia commons)

featured in NewEvangelizers,com

Whether the holidays bring us closer to our family or we still keep our distance, they are always our family. Some family members are more loveable than others. We are more loveable to some of them than to others. But we are family. We struggle with accepting them as they are while we long for them to love us the way we need to be loved.

The Lord promises that he makes everything new! Can you step back and take a new look at your family, warts and all, and see that the fruits of the Spirit are beginning to emerge in them and in you? Perhaps there is more than a hint of love and a little more joy since the last time you were together. Do you notice you bring more peace into the family gatherings? Are you more patient than ever before? Is one of them kinder to you than you remember? Do you see that goodness in them that the Lord puts in every one of his children?  Are one or two of them more faithful to family celebrations and gentler with you? Are they teaching you self-control, even the hard way?

 We may have a strong desire to heal broken family relationships. But our commitment to difficult family members does not require us to suffer in silence.  The Lord values family unity so much that when we give him our damaged relationships, he will heal them in his time. Healing is well within the Lord’s power. He can heal any relationship problem when we call upon him and commit to love and serve those he gives us to love. It may not be an easy journey of love, but it sure is hard enough!

When we act on our decision to love and care for one another by bringing the Lord into the family, the feelings will come later. Be not afraid! Those feelings will confirm that the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control he wants for you are growing each season.

Are you open to detecting the fruits of the Spirit emerging in yourself and your family?

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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