Thursday, 18 August 2016


                                  THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT   6. PIETY  

Worship, Adoration, Gratitude – as a matter of justice we owe God that supreme act of justice.  Why? -because all that we are, all that we have comes from Him.     What is more, God  wants  us to accept Him as the most loving, the most caring of parents. This combination of RESPECT for One who is greater than ourselves and LOVE for One who has chosen to see us as His beloved children is known as ‘PIETY.’

On Mt. Sinai  the Lord God revealed to Moses that His Chosen People were duty bound to show Him a level of respect that belong to Him alone, “I am the Lord your God… You shall have no other Gods to rival me,” to which He immediately adds, “I act with faithful love towards thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”   (Exodus 20.2,6).
It is our glory that we are in such a beautiful, intimate relationship with our Creator.    To Him we owe respectful, obedient love – that is, Piety. Something of the sort must surely filter down to the most basic  of human relationships – those within the family…the nursery of humanity.  For better or for worse the level of  this Domestic Piety will impact upon the stability and contentment of the home, and ultimately on society itself.
Knowing this the Creator  decreed , ).“Honour your father and mother so that you may live long in the land that the Lord God is giving you,”(Exodus 20.12

We are entitled to infer  that the orderliness and  decency  of  Domestic Piety   should be woven into  those situations that require leadership and co-operation - a reasonable exercise  of authority, a willing compliance and, most certainly, mutual respect. This surely is basic common sense. Would that it were common practice!
This bed-rock justice in human affairs becomes a dimension of religion when inter-action between humans is determined by what God intends and requires of us. Our  Piety towards God then leads to Piety  towards each other. It is in this context that the Holy Spirit breathes His Gift of PIETY  into  individuals and into society itself.
Jesus – the Son  of God, the Son of Mary, lived Piety from the Nazareth  childhood  within the family, (Lk.2.51),  to the Calvary  obedience even unto death.   (Phil. 2.8).

  St. Paul described how a culture of Piety is meant to Christianize family life,  “Whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as you should in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be sharp with them. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord.  Parents, do not irritate your children or they will lose heart, (Col. 3)
Speaking globally, our relating to God is scarcely flourishing; to a large extent traditional family relationships are  floundering.  There is an urgent  need for us to re-discover and strongly promote the Gift of the Holy Spirit known as ‘Piety’.
Peter Clarke, O.P.

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