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Center for Catholic Education at UD

Fruits of the Spirit-- A Reflection on 2020

By Elena Niese

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

What is something good that happened in 2020? This is the question I have been proposing to others in these first few months of 2021. A time that has been marked with sentiments of “good riddance” to a year unlike any other we will ever experience. I do not ask this question in the attempt to somehow forget the immense suffering of this past year. I, too, experienced grief upon grief of plans uprooted, opportunities lost. There is a whole year and a half of my college career that I will never get back and that truth is no easier to swallow with the proposal of this question. But, I have also found that even in the midst of the greatest disappointments of this global pandemic, there were good days. In fact, there were great days, days that will stick with me as treasured memories for years to come. I think we ought to celebrate these moments.

Moments like my twin sister visiting campus back in February right before the pandemic hit. Then, singing our hearts out in the car on the long drive back to get my things from campus in the spring. Moments of solitude working from home this summer that helped me to fall in love with reading again, that reminded me with newfound conviction why I ever wanted to be an English teacher in the first place. Moments of French toast breakfast, socially distanced porch conversations, Christmas cookie making, and sweet time with family that I never thought I’d have. Moments like turning twenty one, being asked to be a bridesmaid, and having the opportunity to live with 5 of my best friends in a Faith, Vocation, Leadership house on campus.

Something good happened in 2020. And although we can allow this past year to be defined by a global pandemic and rightly so, this does not mean that it must be defined by the pandemic alone. We must simply adjust our vision and with new sight lovingly accept all that God has given us, rather than focusing on what has been taken away. I think it’s time we’ve opened our hearts to a God who never forgets His promises. I think it’s time to let Him fill our hearts with a resounding joy and lasting peace that surpasses all understanding. And mostly, I think it’s time we’ve celebrated these fruits of the Spirit that still penetrate through the deepest darkness. Springtime is upon us.


What fruits has the Holy Spirit born in your life this season? In this global pandemic? In a year like 2020? What fruits is the Holy Spirit revealing to you at the onset of springtime? With a new hope amidst this global pandemic? In the year of 2021?  

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