Have you ever referred to someone as ‘a good person’? I have, and then I have thought to myself, what does that mean? Is a person ‘good’ because they treat me well, or are easy to work with, or perhaps just have a pleasing nature about them? Keating says this fruit of the Spirit is “an affirmation that all creation is good.”
Goodness is less about a personality characteristic and totally about our relationship with creation.
It seems to me, today is vital time for the fruit of goodness to be nurtured. We are in a ‘green revolution’ due to all the damage we have inflicted on creation. Stewardship is a valuable charism of Benedictine spirituality. The Rule of Benedict has references to it. I know when we built the Monastery in Rock Island we were conscious of being respectful to the nature on our property and not disturbing the natural wooded area, planting native prairie grasses and investing in geothermal heating/cooling system. One little footprint in the universe. However, little footprints can lead to long walks of goodness towards all creation.
The fruit of trust in the Spirit begs us to be conscious of how we treat the world and all creation. Goodness treats the universe and all creation with reverence and love. It is a world we must all share in and never own.