Holy Men Utilize the Gifts of the Holy Spirit — #1: Piety

In the opening (Introduction) of his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI taught us that “Since God has first loved us, love is no longer a mere “command”; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.”

Our lives should be characterized by an abiding desire for God, a desire to love him more and more each day.  Some indicators that we have this desire would be an eagerness to pray and read God’s word in Sacred Scripture, and to seek and embrace his will for us.

Fr Adolphe Tanquerey taught that the Gift of Piety will help us by “begetting in our hearts a filial affection for God and a tender devotion towards those persons and things consecrated to Him, in order to make us fulfill our religious duties with a holy joy…This gift makes us see in God not merely our Sovereign Master, but the best and most loving Father…This same sentiment makes us love those persons and things which have a participation in the Divine Being and in his perfections.”

Here are some occasions on which we should engage (or ask for more of) the Gift of Piety:

  • If we seem to be taking the Fatherly love of God for granted, or have no real sense of it in our daily lives
  • If our desire to pray and read Scripture is tepid, or we neglect our relationship with God in other ways
  • When we find ourselves distracted at Holy Mass, unable to sustain a lifting of our heart to the Lord
  • If we never take time to consider what God’s will is for us, but rather only follow our own will
  • When we find ourselves being cautious or reserved about serving others
  • If we find ourselves envious of others, or skeptical of their motives
  • When we find it difficult to see the Face of Christ in others
  • If we are harboring any bitterness or unforgiveness toward others

If you can think of other times when men striving for holiness should engage the Gift of Piety, please share them with us in the Comment Box.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Formation, Gifts of HS summaries, Virtuous living

2 Comments on “Holy Men Utilize the Gifts of the Holy Spirit — #1: Piety”

  1. Glenn Yanik Says:

    Joseph Bagiackas in his book Mighty in Spirit gives further insight to the gift of piety. He says the practice of the virtue of justice ought to be the foundation on which the gift of piety is built.. Justice involves striving in all situations to treat every person as having great dignity and value as a child of our heavenly father.. Being a good citizen and patriot is another aspect of living the just life. Love of country.obeying of laws,working for the common good are duties owed by all persons in society.Bagiackas identifies three character traits we need to live a just life gratitude especially gratitude to God
    for his many gifts, truthfulness and friendliness and affection toward others.The result will be an infilling of the Spirit of Sonship
    and as we deepen our love for our Father we will grow in our confidence in Him and in His guiding and protecting hand over us.Veni Creator Spiritus

  2. Walt Says:

    Thanks, Glenn! For the sake of those who may not be aware, in Catholic tradition, each of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit is associated with one of the four moral virtues or one of the three theological virtues. Our exercise of a specific Gift will aid us in perfecting the practice of the accompanying virtue. Thus, to Glenn’s comment, if we want help in being more grateful, truthful or friendly, we should pray for the Gift of Piety.


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