Piety is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. So, what exactly is it, and what does it entail? It is simply the reverence for God and devout fulfillment of religious obligations. This gift enables a person to see in God not only one’s sovereign Master but a loving Father, according to the teaching of St. Paul: “Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out ‘Abba, Father!'” (Romans 8:14-15).
Pope St. Gregory taught, “Through fear of the Lord, we rise to piety.” The basic definition is “to give filial worship to God precisely as our Father and to relate with all people as children of the same Father.” The gift of piety fosters the following spiritual dispositions: first, filial respect for God as a loving Father; second, a generous and childlike love so that a person wants to please God, even if it means making sacrifices; and third, loving obedience toward the teachings and commandments, respecting them as expressions of God’s love for us
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The gift of piety perfects the virtue of justice, enabling the individual to fulfill his obligations to God and neighbor and to do so willingly and joyfully. With piety, the person is not only motivated by the requirements of strict justice but also by the loving relationship he shares with his neighbor.
We are called through the Holy Spirit to love our neighbor and to show each other what being a disciple looks like. The saints did this best, and what better way to live piously than to mirror the lives of the saints in being Christ-like? Honoring saints involves honoring a life lived like Christ’s and praying for intercession
PRAYER FOR PIETY
O God of Righteousness, steadfast loyalty and love, grant us your grace of true piety: When self-promotion tempts us to boast of our accomplishments, grant us humility. When seeking recognition as a sign of importance tempts us, grant us awareness of being a child of God. When thoughts and words of rash judgment tempt us to condemn others, grant us self-awareness of our own faults in need of healing. When the need for praise from others preoccupies our minds, grant us interior peace of heart. When pretense masks the desire for real connection, grant us opportunities to serve others with unassuming care. Lord, may our piety be grounded in your love for us and manifest in random, humble acts of kindness. Teach us by your own example how to serve others for their greater good and how to savor our relationship with you, Source of every good. In your loving name we pray. Amen
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