On this day of the novena to the Holy Spirit, we petition for the gift of piety.
As in previous days, we start with the prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and rekindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the Earth.
False notions of piety include holier-than-thou self-righteousness, or a heavy-handed religious devotion focusing more on rules. Piety is actually a sincere, humble and faithful devotion to God, a pure religious and spiritual devotion lacking any mere human concerns.
Piety elevates us above the level of ordinary spiritual seeking and growth because it necessarily includes religion. Without religion we are merely stumbling around in the dark, designing our own god and going along the easiest path. Religion “imposes” duties and obligations that distinguishes us from the purely secular realm. It helps us focus on God, His love for us and aids in our response to Him. Religious duties and obligations are more easily followed when we honestly and sincerely seek to understand them and their meanings and origins. Otherwise we just think they are burdensome human inventions that people reject and then go off to be “spiritual” and not “religious” (a post on that is in the works).
For a recovered alcoholic to be pious means to have a sincere religious faith mixed with a desire for spiritual growth that challenges you to conquer your inner demons (or “character defects”). Interior conversion and conquering these demons is always a consideration for people leaving alcoholism and addiction, especially if you want to do “whatever it takes” to remain free of the addiction.
Matt Talbot was a pious man, free from addiction to alcohol through his practice of the Catholic faith. He independently discovered and lived a life according to the Twelve Steps of popular recovery movements years before they were written down. He is an excellent model for the person in recovery. Much can be learned about him here .
Being pious is not being self-righteous. Piety helps steer us in the direction of spiritual growth towards God and enables us to live religious lives.
Oh, Holy Spirit, bestow upon us the gift of piety so that we may sincerely seek out God in all things. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"