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Wednesday of the sixteenth week after Pentecost

The gift of piety

From book "Divine Intimacy - Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day Of The Liturgical Year"... Presence of God O Holy Spirit, Spirit of piety, ...

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Divine Intimacy

Fr. Gabriel

Presence of God

O Holy Spirit, Spirit of piety, give to my heart the spirit offilial love.


I. By means of the gift of piety, the Holy Spirit gives a new touch to our spiritual life, a touch of delicacy and sweetness which perfects and simplifies our relations with God and our neighbor. Basically these relations are regulated by justice, the virtue which inclines us to fulfill every duty and to give to each one his due. But ifwe were guided in our lives by justice alone, our path would be very arid, and fidelity, difficult. When, however, a sense of filial piety toward our heavenly Father is developed in us by the action of the Holy Spirit—a sense which, in practice, is expressed in ardent desires to please Him in all things—then we pass beyond the limits of justice—always a little rigid—and devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the service of God. Incited by that profound cry of "Father!" (Gl. 4, 6) which the Holy Spirit repeats within us, we rise toward heaven, longing to win God’s heart and to behave in all things as His true children; then the most difficult, laborious tasks become easy and sweet. This is how the gift of piety helps the virtue ofjustice as well as the virtue of religion. By this gift, "the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God" (Rm. 8, 16](https://vulgata.online/bibleRm.8?ed=DR2&vfn=DR2Rm.8.16:vs)); and this truth becomes a living, personal experience, capable of elevating us to God with entirely new filial ardor, ardor which will make our prayer easier, transforming it into an intimate heart-to-heart talk with our heavenly Father.

Therefore, if we aspire to live in close union with God, it is right for us to desire and pray for this gift. Under its influence our prayer will become more affectionate, more filial, and we shall attend with greater facility to all that concerns divine worship. Let us ask for this gift, especially when we seem to be very dry and cold, so that in times of trial and interior suffering by its help we shall go to God as a child to its Father. Furthermore, our diligent, constant application to prayer, notwithstanding the lack of sensible devotion, is one of the best dispositions for bringing upon us the life-giving breath of the gift of piety.

II. The gift of piety perfects justice in our relations with others by helping us to smooth over differences and overcome the feelings of reserve and coldness which, in spite of ourselves, may remain in our conduct, particularly toward those who are disagreeable and unfriendly. The gift of piety inspires a sense of the divine paternity, not only in respect to ourselves, but also in respect to others; it makes us realize that this same paternity extends, not only to ourselves, but to all men, near or far away, friends or enemies, since there is only "one God and Father of all, who is above all" (Ef. 4, 6). The knowledge that God is the Father of us all must not be confined to our thoughts, but should penetrate our life in a practical way and sweetly influence our relations with others, giving them warmth and ease. This is just what the Holy Spirit wishes to accomplish in us by means of the gift of piety, by which He inclines us to meekness, indulgence, and kindness to all because we are all children of the same Father. The Holy Spirit teaches us that our supernatural kinship is a stronger bond between ourselves and others than the bond of flesh and blood, because the former springs not from the will of man, but from the will of our heavenly Father, who "before the foundation of the world... hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself" (Ef. 1, 4-5)). By means of this bond, the Holy Spirit urges us to overcome all the difficulties we may meet with in dealing with others, treating them all, not as strangers, but as brothers.

If we wish to respond to the inspirations of the gift of piety, we must make every effort to be kind and gentle, and to form the habit ofseeing in everyone, even in those who may be opposed to us, a child of God and our brother. When we find it very difficult to do this, instead of becoming discouraged, let us appeal more insistently to the Holy Spirit, begging Him to accomplish in us what we cannot do by ourselves.


"O Holy Spirit, guide my soul, because all who are led by the Spirit of God, are truly the sons of God. You teach me that I have not received the spirit of bondage to live in fear, but the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby I can cry to God: ‘Abba, Father!’ You Yourself give testimony to my spirit that I am a child of God and a joint-heir with Christ : because, if we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified with Him" (cf. Rm. 8, 14-17).

"My God, send forth Your light and Your truth, that they may shine upon the earth : for I am like land that is dry and barren, awaiting Your light. Pour forth Your grace from above; water my heart with the dew of heaven; send down the waters of devotion to wash the face of the earth, to bring forth good and perfect fruit. Lift up my mind oppressed with the weight of my sins, and raise all my desires toward heavenly things, that having tasted the sweetness of supernal happiness, I may have no pleasure in dwelling on the things of this earth.

"Draw my heart to You, and deliver me from all vain human consolations, none of which can fully satisfy my desires or make me happy. Unite me to Yourself by the inseparable bond of Your love; for You alone are sufficient for the soul that loves You, and without You, all is vain and of no value" (Imit. III, 23,9.10).

O Holy Spirit, create in me the heart of a child toward its heavenly Father, a heart that seeks Him always, loving and serving Him with good will. Create in me the heart of a brother toward all my neighbors, so that I may overlook all differences and be kind, gentle, and meek with all.

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Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice

Tuesday of the sixteenth week after Pentecost