Shelly Henley Kelly ponders how the Holy Spirit's gift of Reverence, or Piety, is essential for a strong, faith-filled marriage.
When my husband and I were dating, he was not in the habit of attending church regularly. Even though he had no intention of converting to Catholicism he often came with me to Mass. As our family grew, he supported me when I became more involved, and he encouraged our children to follow.
Some years before he formally came into the church, I talked him into signing up for the marriage ministry, “Teams of Our Lady.” For a year we met monthly with other couples to grow together in our marriages and our faith. Unfortunately, our schedule at the time prevented us from continuing, yet the experience introduced concepts and practices that we would not have explored on our own, and went a long way toward helping us grow in reverence within our marriage.
The gift of Reverence (Piety) united through our Marriage covenant brings out an instinctive affection for God that makes us desire to worship Him. We recognize our total reliance on God and are filled with a deep sense of respect for God and the church, seeking ways to serve Him together with humility, trust, and love.
Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1604)
Now, my husband and I both serve in our parish, although not together. He leads the men’s group “That Man is You.” I serve as a Catechist and with the ACTS retreats. But the gift of Reverence continues to inspire us to serve and worship God together in the same way it did during our earliest years—by attending Mass every Sunday.
Where is God most present in your marriage? Where do you—as a couple—see the gift of Reverence (Piety)? Do you attend Mass together? Do you pray daily for your spouse? Do you pray with your spouse?
God’s love inspires us to want only Good for our spouse. When you love one another, you put the other person first—you humbly serve without seeking personal attention.
Come Holy Spirit, enhance your gift of Reverence (Piety) in our married lives. Allow us to put Christ first and serve Him with confidence in all we do in the home and with each other.
The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. (CCC 1661)
Copyright 2022 Shelly Henley Kelly
About the Author
Shelly Henley Kelly is a daughter of God, a Martha who strives to be Mary, living in the world, but not of the world, perpetually busy as breadwinner, wife, mother, catechist, and ACTS sister. A published author, Shelly writes about being a working mom and catechist at SoundMindAndSpirit.com and can be heard on various podcasts at SQPN.com.