Piety is an interesting virtue. We all know vaguely what piety means and if you were to imagine a pious person, you would probably envision someone praying fervently. But piety is actually a lot more than just being prayerful. It’s a pretty tough virtue that takes constant daily effort. The official Catholic definition of piety is “A special gift of the Holy Spirit; it perfects the virtue of religion, which is the practice of justice toward God. It produces an instinctive filial affection for God and devotion toward those who are specially consecrated to God. As an infused gift of God, it is ready loyalty to God and the things of God, arising not so much from studied effort or acquired habit as from a supernatural communication conferred by the Holy Spirit.”
That is a pretty hefty definition. Basically, it means we give to God what he deserves from us -love, time, prayer, worship and we respect the things and people of God . It means we pray to God because he is our loving Father and we want to spend time with him. We turn to him throughout the day and pray with deep intense faith that he is listening. When we see priests or consecrated women or nuns, we treat them with respect and kindness because they serve God. Even though piety is a gift of the Holy Spirit, we have to practice it every single day by making time for prayer.
Mother Teresa once said, “If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Listen in silence because if your heart is full of other things you cannot hear the voice of God. What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us.”
Prayer is all about getting to know God and letting HIM become a real part of your daily life. It is about talking to Christ, your friend. You can pray anywhere, anytime… about anything. This is true piety – giving God his rightful place in our lives.