The Gift of Piety

Friends in the Lord, after the resurrection, Jesus Christ spent 40 days on this earth with his Apostles. They experienced his presence in his glorified body, speaking with them, teaching them I suppose, how to be good priests, and eating with them. That is the time we are in now, since Easter.
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But the time is drawing nearer for the Ascension, and Our Lord tells them that he is going to send an Advocate, this Holy Spirit, who will teach them and guide them. But Jesus was not only speaking about them, he was speaking about us, each member of the Church. In Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit and in a new way in Confirmation. We receive the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit: ‘Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.’
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We have at times, spoken of each Gift in detail, let us today take a closer look at the Gift of Piety. Piety brings to our hearts a child-like affection for God, and a respectful love toward things related to God.
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As we’ve said before, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are infused into us, they are not gained by our own work or effort. That is why they are called ‘Gifts,’ but we must act on them. The Gift of piety makes us see in God not just our Master and Lord, but a loving Father. As St. Paul said, ‘You have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry out Abba, Father.’
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Piety gives us a sense of confidence and love, without losing the reverence that we owe to God. Piety can bring a sweetness to our prayers and spiritual excercises, and a real desire to sacrifice for the glory of God.
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The true effects of this Gift are not emotional or sentimental. It does not lead us into consolation-seeking daydreams; true piety seeks to do the will of God out of love; an affectionate obedience. The Gift of Piety leads us to a total abandonment into the will of God, knowing that this loving Father knows far better than we do what is good for us.
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Piety leads us also to love those persons who are associated with our Father-God. The Blessed Virgin, the saints, the angels. We revere the Holy Scriptures, which is a love-letter from our Father. It leads us to a love of Holy Mother Church, and to any who are in authority over us, especially parents.
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Without this Gift, God seems to be our Master, prayer is a burden, trials are punishments, and the commandments are a burden. But with the Gift of Piety, anything we do or experience for our Father in heaven is sweet.

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