Success and Fruits
In the spiritual life, in the spiritual combat, it is advisable to distinguish successes of fruits.
The word "success" comes from the Latin "exitus" which means "exit". You may have seen at the exit of a cinema or a theatre the English word "exit", which means the same, to go out. In Latin, it means that something is over, that it has reached the end of something. By using that word in Castilian, it is understood as a good result concerning something: for example, it gave a successful examination, that is to say, it was approved. Or he also talks about a successful businessman: he did well in his businesses and had the expected result or a better one even than expected.
Can we talk in the spiritual life of success? For example, am I successful if overcome a defect or if I stop sinning? In a sense, we could use that term. But there is an accent on the word "success" that should be reviewed: seeing it only as of the result of my effort, my intelligence, my ability to achieve something. Success is accompanied by willpower, entrepreneurship, not giving in to obstacles, being constant. All these good and holy attitudes, but I believe that they do not come to express what the Christian has as mission and task in his life and spiritual combat.
Let's see the word fruit: we all know what the fruit is. It comes from the Latin "Fructus", which in turn derives from "Fruit" (which is to enjoy something, enjoy, even savor). This is what has happened after our efforts, but not only has the will to intervene, but also other factors in which one cannot get in the right. The fruit of a tree, for example, has not only depended on me as a farmer to care for it, but also that climatic factors, birds or insects have not eaten it and many more elements. The fruit is also a result but knowing that it has not only been because of my ability, ability or will but also because others intervened.
In my spiritual life, in spiritual combat, sometimes it seems that execution is not "successful." And surely it is. The author of all Good is God, and he knows when to give us the virtues and gifts we need for our life and apostolate. If we believe that our life has to be "successful" We are not understanding the relationship between God and man. On the other hand, in a seemingly unsuccessful life, I can be full of fruits. Perhaps I was not as good as I wanted in the role that I played, in the responsibility I had in life, in the commitment I acquired. But that's not why my life ends there. On the contrary: I must be shrewd enough to discover the fruits with which God wanted to show me his love in those moments of apparent failure, disappointment, sin or fragility.
The fruits in the spiritual life are understood from the perspective of GOD. And the first fruit that we are given is life. The second, as a greater blessing, Christian life. And from those who hang from the tree of our lives and that we must learn to discover with the eye of faith. In a spirituality daily life, the fruits are numerous and are at the fingertips. What we must educate is the vision of faith that in every moment and circumstance allows us to discover the fruits of grace in others and our own life.
Remember, as stated above, that fruit is associated with "enjoyment". The Christian who learns to see the fruits in his life enjoys them. And as a result, he is filled with joy in seeing God's work in his life. Perceiving that we have something of that experience of God in creating everything and seeing "that was very good" and therefore "rested". The joy that the Christian experiences in seeing the fruit or fruits with which God has blessed him resembles God resting, seeing the good of creation and enjoying it. This does not come out of reality but quite the opposite: who sees the reality can face the worst evils because he knows that neither his sin is capable of snatching the divine fruit with which the baptism has adorned the own soul and that of the other Christians. Who knows how to see the fruits of God knows how to see sin and fight it with greater firmness and realism than who, believing to be more realistic, remains only seeing the sin or the bad of life.