01_Known By Our Fruit

Jesus said they will know us by our fruit. Is the Holy Spirit producing fruit in me, or am I putting forth the rotten fruit of self-indulgence and self-reliance? Here’s how to take a spiritual inventory with St. Paul in Galatians 5.

Welcome Judith, Susan J., Coletta, Alice, Robert, Kelli, Janet, and Mavis, Bible Study Evangelista’s newest friends of the show!

LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin.

Listen (Receive the Word.)

Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

Augustinian –  Where has the Holy Spirit pointed out the rotten fruit of self-indulgence in your life? What about self-reliance? Remembering that you are in His presence, take a spiritual inventory of the “good fruit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. What comes to mind?

Franciscan – Take a field trip this week to a vineyard, orchard, or vegetable or flower garden; what do you notice about growth? What will happen to the fruit you see? If there is no fruit, what happened to the fruit that was once present? What would you do with a plant that did not and would never bear fruit?

Ignatian – Imagine you are walking with Jesus through the vineyard when He says, ” You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:16-20). As you walk with Him through the rows of grapes, what is Jesus doing with His hands? Can you smell the sun on the dirt and leaves? Do you hear the wind, or birds? How do the grapes taste on your tongue? How do they feel in your hand? What’s in your heart right now?

Thomistic – Memorize the nine fruits of the spirit listed in the Augustinian exercise, above, along with the reference (Galatians 5:22).

Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

In your journal or on your journal page (get a free page and user guide to the right), write down your thoughts and feelings regarding the Word you heard and observed in this episode. Has He spoken to you about a particular “pet” sin or habit? What do you sense God wants you to do this week about what you’ve heard and observed with Him? Take some time to talk to Him about that.

Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Holy Spirit, this week, please help me abide more and more fully in Jesus, the Vine. Bring to my mind, in those important moments of choice, to turn to You and lean on You for the fruit-bearing that reveals me as a true child of God. In You, I will be a sound tree that bears good fruit. Amen.


*LOVE the Word™ exercises are offered according to the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Ignatian, Augustinian, Franciscan, and Thomistic. These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.

Episode Resources

How is the Holy Spirit also using the daily readings this week to speak to you about your fruit? Here’s our Facebook community where you can post or chat with others about your daily #LOVEtheWordtakeaway.


Mat 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

Gal 5:22-25  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Read the Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript here, courtesy of Kristie Hynniman, who does our transcriptions for you.

14 thoughts on “01_Known By Our Fruit

  1. I have truly missed “Bible study spinach that tastes like cake”, I was nearing the point of calling for a medivac helicopter. Ok, let’s get started!

  2. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I started listening. paused you (sorry Sonja!), then decided to take the garbage out (my garbage out, Lord! More of you in!) before it got dark (while there is still Light!), then did the dishes (cleaning up), made a cup of tea (relaxing), watered the plants that were up high (Christ watering my soul), made my bed (brought order!), lit the Christmas candle, ( Christ is my Light!), and finally started again with my bible and notebook! Thank you so much! Can’t wait for more!

  3. Sonja, I just loved the beginning of this series, in particular the Ignation exercise. I could picture Jesus with me in the vineyard, leading me to walk with the Holy Spirit. I am working to memorize Galatians 5:16 as a reminder before I self-indulge. I want you to know how much I appreciate your teachings, you are a blessing to all of us.

  4. Thank you Sonja for your books and bible studies. You have been a blessing of an answered prayer. I started my journey for spiritual growth about 4 years ago. It start with Joyce Meyers and her book on the mind which was given to me as a gift. But I wanted something from my catholic faith on the subject. I finally found you by chance on Johnette B show. Wow it was the lord speaking to me through you. The subject was spiritual ware talking about your book. There is something about your voice and the way you speak that has me wanting to learn more. You are a true blessing. You have made the scriptures, the Bible come alive to me. I understand what I couldn’t before. You speak simply and to the point like I do. And it’s taught me so much about my catholic faith. We need more teachers of our faith in all our parishes. There is so much more I want to write but will leave here. Thank you for finding your way home. I hope to meet you one day. I will be writing about you on my Facebook page.

  5. Hello!

    A few friends and I are interested in beginning a Catholic Bible Study but we don’t know where to start. Which series do you recommend beginning with? Where can we purchase your study materials?

    Looking forward to growing in faith!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Chiara, You have a bunch of options!
      If you want a group-meeting style book study, I would start with the “Unleashed” or “Ignite” book and DVDs, available on this site or Amazon. “Unleashed” is more formative, while “Ignite” is a map for how to read and study the Bible.
      If you want something online, I would sign up at the bottom of this page for the weekly “Fruit of the Spirit” study, join the Facebook discussion group, and maybe have an occasional fellowship meet-up. This study comes directly to you.
      If you’re looking for an intensive dig-in-the-Bible study, “Fulfilled” is the way to go. It will be out this week or next with Ascension Press and available on their site and Amazon. Fiat!

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