Piety

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Mother Mary next to a Pelican, Flaming coffin, rites and venerated dead, Romanticized, Piety

In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue that may include religious devotion, spirituality, or a mixture of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility.

Etymology[edit]

The word piety comes from the Latin word pietas, the noun form of the adjective pius (which means "devout" or "dutiful").

Classical interpretation[edit]

Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man with pietas respected his responsibilities to gods, country, parents, and kin.[1] In its strictest sense it was the sort of love a son ought to have for his father. Aeneas's consistent epithet in Virgil and other Latin authors is pius, a term that connotes reverence toward the gods and familial dutifulness. At the fall of Troy, Aeneas carries to safety his father, the lame Anchises, and the Lares and Penates, the statues of the household gods.

In addressing whether children have an obligation to provide support for their parents, Aquinas quotes, Cicero, "..."piety gives both duty and homage": "duty" referring to service, and "homage" to reverence or honor."[2] Filial piety is central to Confucian ethics.[3]

As a virtue[edit]

In Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, and Anglicanism, piety is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. "It engenders in the soul a filial respect for God, a generous love toward him, and an affectionate obedience that wants to do what he commands because it loves the one who commands."[4]

Piety belongs to the virtue of Religion, which the concordant judgment of theologians put among the moral virtues, as a part of the cardinal virtue Justice, since by it one tenders to God what is due to him.[5]

Pope Francis described piety as recognizing “our belonging to God, our deep bond with him, a relationship that gives meaning to our whole life and keeps us resolute, in communion with him, even during the most difficult and troubled moments” in life. [6] Heavenly intercourse is to live a life in communion with ourselves and god in our daily lives.

To live a life of piety is to live it with a conscious grace, a grace to be shared with others.[7] Inwardly renewed by the humility of true penitence and reconciliation, where errors, shortcomings, misjudgement, transgressions are turned to a inward voice. Discernment is the bountiful benefits arising in seeking out and asking why. We are serving, with devotion and belief in divinity of god that is yet to be remembered or lived is made conscious and given voice. Our judgement isn't centered on outdoing someone else, placing trust or yielding in deference, like in anyone's judgement of another. Inward renewal brings us closer to equanimity, compassion, charity and humbleness, fellowship is to place higher appreciation and care in diligence in serving a authority that is neither an self-abasement, nor severe. The word of god is obeyed because we honor himself, that provides us with lasting joy. "Everything you do or say, then should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus as you give thanks through him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:17 GNT).

Disciplined life is part of honoring himself, the right motivation makes the difference between spirituality as a fellowship and outwards acts of piety as idolatry. The Mass, or Divine liturgy, the Mass of the Eastern Orthodox Eucharist of the Byzantine rite, was a liturgy of good pious acts endowing the laity and faithful. "My preaching was not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Cor 2.4, emphasis added), furthermore believers must seek “the wisdom that comes from heaven” (James 3:17). Every determined action should be decided with the intention that the public where to write the history books and relate those actions to the public's discrimination and respect. Every offering given freely as a message to all the earthly messengers that they relate to the Lord and every message be given to those who won't relate it to God. Honor that has vested powers in any process must be first presided over before it is a legitimate exercised power and must have a place to put its use which is blessed by the most respected members of a congregation.

Disciplined life starts with adhering to a few simple exercises; walking around consecrated graves, offering a seat to those who need it more, controlling our emotions is more important than finding fault; refraining from indulgence as a matter of grace, if place we place luxury higher than reconciliation than it is as though we hold ourselves above Christs kingdom, fasting and holding to three elements or practices of the book of prayer's period and during off hours, refrain from work and abridge all labors during holy days; do not indulge in one's self and self-pity, forgo oversleeping or long nights, then you will be satisfied by food,[8] if you find fault within a fellowship or a brother rebukes personally speak to him alone in confidence as in accordance with biblical correction;[9] if you are to give in return or answer favor, strive to doing or accomplishing twice as much as you have gained in return,[10] pray with mind and not with spoken words;[11] pray for the faithful and grateful dead,[12] piety is given forth in Mass, always pray during Mass,[13] observing and attending the Holy Week processions, the believer is letting the gifts be visible to others, everything that comes from faith is a gift, wonder and awe keeps its form even when things go awry,[14], and everything that moves by grace is bestowed. Rather the faith and practice of a fellowship like an authority which observes Christs kingdom, using His authority and is providing more honor to the teachers, elders and loyal communion, doesn't wither and punish the body and won't slow down the spirit.

Discipline can begin and end with “self-interest.” Paul said, “They discipline themselves for an earthly crown, but we discipline our self for a heavenly crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25). Discipline is easier when the resistance to discipline has been removed, from the heart. Inward resoluteness should include setting a priority on discretion, changing language to suit the audience to receive our communion, match the speed of a pardon or proposal of the congregation receiving the gospel to maintain attention. Give no ounce of time to rejection as the initial perception, have a unfettered patience for ignorance and let it be without judgement. We can carry with more dignity when we increase our focus more on those inattentive than we are to receive. If it all prompted give the utmost due attention. We should speak no evil of the politics of any person, and to never place politics above faith. (Lk 10.5). C.S. Lewis emphasized an ordering power; "authority exercised with humility, and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.".[15] Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. [16]

"Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house' (Luke 10:5-6). " Blessing food we are about to eat, the bathing we are about to take and the person whose insults or curse we receive, a spiritual discernment for the happiness, wealth and health of all people, territory and homes. Blessing is spiritual authority of all believers and disciples (Lk 24:50), this is to fulfill the promises of God’s salvation and coming kingdom. Blessing is to praise and glorify. The first example of blessings in the New Testament are the beatitudes. Whatever is asked in prayer, believe it will be given to you, feel from the result, ask it and it will be given to you. To believe is to receive as though it is being given, to believe it will be given is to know the important thoughts of purpose as though its being given, to believe it will be given is to know it's Gods will, to believe it will be given as though it has been given is to know its felt influence on ourself and to believe it will be given is to restore its permanence as though as its being given. "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Mat 28.18) NASB. Blessings are a example of His divine gifts that spreads His sovereign freedom. A strict right is all Christian employers have that same right and privilege to speak blessings over their employees. Christian teachers in the community can pray blessings over their students.

Ground rules of authority in Christs Kingdom, which He has full authority over include;

  • Spiritual authority is our legal right through Christ. It is given on trust or delegated to us and we are accountable to God. Spiritual authority in Christ is our legal right.
  • Spiritual authority is a by-product of serving God and is not an item in its own right. The right to use Gods power provides relief from attachments.
  • Authority should be used with spiritual discernment. Is this the right situation or time?
  • Authority decisions of biblical importance and context are made they should be backed by prayer and intercession.
  • Authority must be used for the purpose it has been given. It is for Christ's kingdom and not our reputation. Jesus warned against this in Lk 10.17-20 and refused to 'show off' when asked by the Pharisees for a sign (Mat 12.38). Authority must be used in humility.
  • All use of authority must be guided in love and compassion
  • We learn spiritual authority in an experiential context as we operate in Christian ministry. Higher truths are placed above lower truths, that is experience.[17]
  • Authority must never be used in excess of a specific verse's biblical validity and restrictions that are implied which is contravening God's will. Commands and exhortations are specific or general. Ethical considerations has valuable context by specific commands, self-appreciation may be of want when we complement discernment. We have more to express with inward renewal when we carry ethical positions with experience. "General includes all things pertaining to it, but a specific command limits. When specifics are listed, all else is excluded. When general is listed there is liberty to decide how or what to do, but when specific is given, we have no choice of how or what to do."[18]

It is not given so we can try to place ourself above Christs kingdom. God's power flows through His word. Further ground rules are;

  • Authority in Christ is by design, to hold His name in Glory of His kingdom is to relinquish all vows, curses and dedications that are given in to sin, such as of the Old Testament (1 Jn 1.9).
  • We have authority to be free from the use and administration of force to conversion through coercion.
  • We have authority to refuse renunciation of our faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ as savior.

The power of the Holy Spirit, like the baptism of the Holy Spirit, has given us rights or power to exercise. It is our 'great commission' to spread the Word and make all members of all nations disciples. The rights of our followers of Jesus Christ, for example include;

  • Authority and power over unclean spirits (Mk 6.7),
  • Authority and power to heal disease (Mat 10.1),
  • Authority and power to move mountains (symbolic or otherwise) (Mat 17.20),
  • Authority to announce the forgiveness of sins through Jesus (Jn 20.23),
  • Authority is to bless any believers and disciples (Lk 24:50), to recognize favor by God (Mat 5:3; Lk 6:20-22)
  • Children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5)


Pope John Paul II stated in Christifideles Laici, within his 1988 document on the laity; “The fundamental objective of the formation of the lay faithful is an ever-clearer discovery of one’s vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one’s mission.”.

As devotion[edit]

Devotion is not obtained by rigor but by the inordinate servitude, while the self-control by rigor will become unwholesome, little more than a personal conceit which lacks divinity. Firstly, devotion is obtained by affective piety and dynamic routines, ethics and reverent commitment to pious acts. Secondly, inward resoluteness will impart an impulse to self-discipline, the acid test is following through permanent adjustments as a living pattern, and whether it is driven by the want of orderliness, consistency, purpose and improvement. Thirdly, we may outwardly submit and be inwardly seething, taken in by bitterness, intimate affection and material wants. It is not just an impulse, but the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to keep on, when all natures cries out in gusty winds of temptation. Holiness is bestowed by our own patience and faith, not tears. "I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved." "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. " (Psalms 16:8-9).[19]

In reference to the Christian iconic image for Pelican Medieval imagery inspired by Physiologus, an anonymous author, which has been used extensively since its 2nd century works, similarly to Mary's Piety, a quote which identifies the significance of purity and illustrates a piety; “O loving Pelican! O Jesu Lord! Unclean I am but cleanse me in Thy Blood of which a single drop, for sinners spilt, can purge the entire world from all its guilt.” by Adoro Te Devote.

Holiness is needed to purify one’s motives in seeking a disciplined life. Paul says, “They do it [speaking of athletes disciplining themselves] to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible, lest I should be a castaway, and becoming a castaway I should dishonor God” (1 Corinthians 9:25). Levity is the frequent sign of unwholesomeness and hollows resting conviction.[20] Paul’s underlying passion is wanting to serve God, honoring the dead and honoring the fellowship is dependent on god absolutely, if its retained its with dignity. All words spoken out of turn and without consideration of self-restraint, holiness and inward renewal or resoluteness is folly. This is true in sports, business, loving relations, family and the church, all for keeping the faithful.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Cicero, Nature of the Gods, 1. 116 and On Rhetorical Invention, 2. 66.
  2. ^ Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, "Question 101. Piety", Article 2
  3. ^ Wonsuk Chang; Leah Kalmanson (8 November 2010). Confucianism in Context: Classic Philosophy and Contemporary Issues, East Asia and Beyond. SUNY Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-4384-3191-8.
  4. ^ "Gift of Piety", Catholic Dictionary
  5. ^ Delany, Joseph. "Virtue of Religion." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 12 May 2018
  6. ^ Glatz, Carol. Catholic Herald, 4 June 2014
  7. ^ Pusateri, J. Brian. "Piety as an Ideal". ConstantContact.
  8. ^ Anderson, Brian. "The Self-Discipline Of The Christian – Pt. 2".
  9. ^ "How can I learn to control my tongue".
  10. ^ Anderson, Brian. "The Self-Discipline Of The Christian – Pt. 1".
  11. ^ "Discipline: To Tame the Tongue".
  12. ^ "Weekly Prayers for the Faithful Departed".
  13. ^ "Piety gift of the holy spirit".
  14. ^ "The Acid Test of Being a Christian".
  15. ^ "Top 15 Christian Quotes About Authority".
  16. ^ Anderson, Brian. "The Self-Discipline Of The Christian – Pt. 2".
  17. ^ "Our Authority in Christ A comprehensive look at spiritual authority Operating as God intends His church to operate".
  18. ^ "Authority and how to Determine it".
  19. ^ "Discipline: To Tame the Tongue".
  20. ^ "The Separatist Heart of the Christian Fundamentalist".

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Virtue of Religion". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

External links[edit]