Piety and Fear of the Lord

Piety and Fear of the Lord

The sixth of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit is named Piety which has been called the perfection of religion.  A simple definition of religion is the act of worshipping God.  Piety instills the desire to worship God.  Worshipping God is an act of love.  Piety draws us to worship out of our love for God.  While some may consider worship a drudgery or something that we must do, Piety draws us to worship through love.

The final gift is Fear of the Lord.  Perhaps none of the seven gifts is so misunderstood than this last gift.  Fear of the Lord is the perfection of hope.  It might be better for us to call this gift “Awe” of the Lord, but somehow that just doesn’t fall of our tongues as easily.  Once again, we should realize that Fear of the Lord is born out of our Love for God.  We stand in awe of God and of God’s power.  Rather than instilling fear, that power instills in us an appreciation of Who God is and who we are.  God is the creator, we the creature; God is the Protector, we the object of that protection; God is embodiment of Love, we the objects of that Love.  Standing before this mystery brings us to Fear of the Lord as we live in hope of one day spending eternity with this love.

As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, we do not ask that the Holy Spirit come to us so much as we ask the Holy Spirit renew us; for we have all been blessed with Holy Spirit and all possess these gifts already.  However, like any physical muscle, if the gifts is not exercised, it can become a forgotten part of our spiritual arsenal with which we fight off the temptation to fall away from God and our faith.  The Holy Spirit was sent to lead.  We pledges ourselves to following the promptings of the Spirit as they come our way.

“Come, Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth.”

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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