The following homily notes can provide useful points for meditation or further study. I have added some notes and biblical references related to the subject matter treated of in the notes. These additions are in red. Quotations are from the Douay-Rheims Bible, but the scripture links are to the RSVCE for those wanting a more modern translation.
FOUR FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."
It is certain that man ought to possess these fruits chiefly for three reasons. Firstly, on account of necessity, " Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire," S. Matt. 3:10. Secondly, on account of their sweetness, because they refresh the mind with ineffable delight, "I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste," Son 2:3. Thirdly, on account of profit, because they confer many benefits.
I. The first fruit, Love, has three wonderful virtues.
(1) Because the man who eats this fruit is made unconquerable: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution ... in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us," Rom. 8:35-38. It is because of Christ that we are conquerors, see John 16:33; Col 2:4-15; 2 Cor 2:14-16.
(2) Because every good and evil profits him who is refreshed by this fruit: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose," Rom. 8:28. "All things;" Gloss: things good and evil.
(3) Because he who eats such fruit shall not die eternally: "Charity never faileth," 1 Cor. 13:8. See Song 8:6-7.
II. The second fruit, Joy, has likewise three great virtues.
(1) Because the eating of this fruit makes men strong to conquer every evil spirit: "Spiritual joy is one means of conquering the enemy," S. Anthony. "Be not sad: for the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Neh 8:10). "Hark, glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: The right hand of the LORD does valiantly" (Ps 118:15). See 1 Kings 2:1; Ps 35:9.
(2) Because it makes men live forever: "No joy above the joy of the heart," Sir 30:16."Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shalt fill me with joy with thy countenance: at thy right hand are delights even to the end" (Ps 16:11).
(3) Because it leads those who eat it to the glory of the heavenly kingdom: "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," Rom. 14:17. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field" (Mt 13:44). "But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (1 Pet 4:13).
III. The third fruit, Peace, likewise has three great virtues.
(1) Because it protects man from all evil: "The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus," Philipp. 4:7."Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid" (Jn 14:27). Sometimes what we may think is evil-discipline from our heavenly Father-is in reality meant to bring us to the peaceful fruit of righteousness (see Heb 12:1-11, especially verse 11.
(2) Because it causes men to become sons of God: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God," S. Matt. 5:9. Thus we are called upon to imitate Jesus, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace: For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us...and his name shall be called...the Prince of Peace" (Isa 9:6).
(3) Because in the place where the fruit is found God willingly dwells and rests, "In Salem
[i.e., peace] also is His tabernacle," Ps 76:2 [76:3 NABRE]. "My people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence, and in wealthy rest" (Isa 32:18).
IV. The fourth fruit, Long-suffering, or Patience, has also three great virtues.
(1) Because the eating of it gives man wisdom: "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding," Prov. 14:29. Wisdom fosters patience (long-suffering): "She will bring upon him fear and dread and trial: and she will scourge him with the affliction of her discipline, till she try him by her laws, and trust his soul. Then she will strengthen him, and make a straight way to him, and give him joy, and will disclose her secrets to him, and will heap upon him treasures of knowledge and understanding of justice" (Sir 4:19-21).
(2) Because it preserves the soul of man: " In patience possess ye your souls," S. Luke 21:19. "For patience is necessary for you: that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise" (Heb 10:36). "For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.
Rom 8:17 And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him" (Rom 8:16-17). "Wherein you shalt greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in divers temptations: that the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honour at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet 1:6-7).
(3) Because it makes even bitter things sweet, so great is its sweetness: "My brethren, count it all joy when ye full into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting
nothing," S. James 1:2-4. "Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you: as if some new thing happened to you. But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honour, glory and power of God, and that which is his Spirit resteth upon you" (1 Pet 4:12-14). "And not only so: but we glory also in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience trial; and trial hope; and hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost who is given to us" (Rom 5:3-5).