Today, we’ll be discussing the Gift of Piety, sometimes referred to as the Gift of Reverence. This is the gift that helps us to love and adore God as he deserves. This gift empowers and encourages us to want to joyfully serve God and others. Maybe you have heard this clever acronym for JOY -- Jesus, Others, Yourself; expressing the idea that true joy is found when we prioritize our lives to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous (Mt 6:33), next serve the least of these (Mt 25:40-45) and lastly care for our needs. This idea is so counter-cultural, and the reason why cooperating with the gift of piety, to help us order our priorities to properly worship God, is all the more important. When we embrace this gift, that way of viewing life will come more naturally.
The idea for this “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” series on CatholicMom.com originated from short segments I taped for Blink, a show on CatholicTV.
Little did I know that only a week after the recording, Pope Francis would announce that his next set of Wednesday Audiences would be dedicated to teaching that very same topic. In seemed divinely inspired, and putting all these pieces together, like a big spiritual puzzle, has been true gift.
Let us pray to the Lord that the gift of his Spirit may conquer our fear, our uncertainties, also our restless, impatient spirit, and be able to render us joyful witnesses of God and of his love, adoring the Lord in truth and also in the service of our neighbor, with meekness and with the smile that the Holy Spirit always gives us in joy. May the Holy Spirit give all of us this gift of piety ~ Pope Francis (go here for the rest of the text)
The concept of my Blink series was to integrate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and what God gifts us in them, with how we can use those graces to share our faith through social media. With the Gift of Piety and social media, first, we can acknowledge that the ability to share information quickly and often efficiently through social media, now affords us this great opportunity to be aware of people in need, and to mobilize help when necessary. We can use our Parish Facebook groups or pages to “Rally the Troops”, so to speak – to quickly arrange people to bring food to the sick, collect money for a family in need, or even for the day to day tasks of a parish, such as finding coverage for Mass roles such as Lectors or Eucharistic ministers. My parish uses this method of communication incredibly effectively, especially to assure Jesus is never alone in our adoration chapel.
We can use social media to be outward reaching people, offering a greater number of people opportunities to participate in active evangelization. Sharing the faith from your living room adds a new level of comfort, which say going door to door would not. When a door to door missionary comes to your home, most merely ask – “How can I pray for you?” Facebook, Twitter, Google+, even Instagram and Pinterest, allow us to do the same thing. We can tweet or post simply, “I’m going to Eucharistic Adoration today, can I pray for you?” Since my Facebook and Twitter accounts are linked, my request now can potentially reach over 2500 people on my accounts alone. It increases if I choose to expand to any other of the various social media outlets, including LinkedIn and Tumblr. In my posts, I make it clear you merely needed to favorite or like for a prayer, but you could leave a comment if you desired. Every time I am overwhelmed at the response, typically I have over 100 people taking advantage of my offer. I am amazed at how many people still believed in the power of prayer!
Piety shows forth in all our actions. It speaks to the world that we are Christians. It helps us treat others who may irritate us with kindness or a smile. Why is this? Love. When piety touches love it activates the virtues and we begin to live for Jesus with joy and gratitude, we are saints in the making – Tami Schuelke. See more at: Catholiclane.com
When my adoration hour comes, I actually take my phone to Adoration and pull up my accounts while sitting before the Lord. I offer my rosary for each and every one of them.
With this technology, I am able to look at their names and even pictures and in a very intimate way offer their petitions at the feet of Jesus. It has become a very regular part of my weekly routine. Often times I am surprised, touched, and inspired by who requests prayer, not always for themselves – and sometimes someone I would have never thought in a million years would sincerely respond to m offer. It is truly beautiful.
If you don’t attend adoration, or are uncomfortable bringing your phone into a church or adoration chapel – you can still pray for each of them – it does not need to be before the Blessed Sacrament nor by name. God knows who they are.
Although I have never asked, I am fairly sure, that there are others who are praying for them as well – as each request is clearly visible on their Newsfeeds or wall. With this very simple act, we are making a huge statement, and very clearly showing Reverence to God.
Read other posts in Allison's Social Media and Gifts of the Spirit series.
Copyright 2014, Allison Gingras
About the Author
Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.