“For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness, with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.”

2 Peter 1:5-7

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Galatians 5:22-23

Another fruit of the Holy Spirit is goodness. Growing up, we were often told to be good. This meant helping with chores, not fighting with your siblings or making a mess. It meant doing what pleased your parents and teachers.

There is more to being good than the external pressures to conform to social norms. Goodness is about living a life of virtue and integrity, worth and excellence. It is also about kindness, tenderness and goodwill.

Goodness is one thing we can detect in others. Yet, we struggle to recognise it in ourselves. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are beyond our control, and it becomes easier to see the worst, rather than the best, in ourselves. We become impatient and need God’s immediate intervention. When we lose our loved ones, or they fall critically ill, our faith seems to be taking blows from every angle. How do we survive, let alone add goodness to our faith that is already wavering? It is in these times that we find ourselves at odds with everything. We feel overwhelmed as though an excessive weight is weighing us down.

St Peter reminds us that goodness supports our faith. Goodness is a building block of faith and leads us ultimately to love. Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, says that “You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.”

Do I become absorbed in the difficulties in my life and forget to look out for the needs of others? When times are tough, do I focus on the negative or do I look for the goodness in me and allow it to emerge.

Gracious Lord,

Give me the will to always find the courage to make an effort to add to my faith. Help me to strive to live a life of integrity and excellence and to find goodness in myself.


Ms Nonto Thulile Mhlongo

Nonto Mhlongo is an intern at the Jesuit Institute, specialising in Ignatian Spirituality.

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