Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bishop’s Note: July 09, 2015 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Piety

Bishop Eric Menees

Let me ask you a question: When did you first realize you were in love with the Lord? The very realization that you are in love with the Lord is, in fact, a gift from the Holy Spirit! This is the gift of Piety – the desire to love and worship the Lord!

The Spiritual Gift of Piety is what St. Paul was referring to when he wrote about a “Spirit of adoption” in his letter to the Romans: “[15] For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)

For me, I recognized this gift soon after accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The Church I was attending was St. Paul’s in Tustin. I was hungry to learn, and hungry to spend time with the Lord. So, in order to do both, I began attending the mid-week Eucharist on Wednesday nights. I wanted to arrive at church early and leave late – because I wanted to spend time with my Heavenly Father.  

Through the Gift of Piety we realize how loving and merciful our Father is, and how we are loved beyond our wildest imaginations. The Gift of Piety helps us to known deep down that the Father’s love is steadfast and everlasting. It begins by recognizing that we are the adopted sons and daughters of God. God the Father chose us to be His sons and daughters,  God the Son died for us to make us His sons and daughters, and God the Holy Spirit dwells eternally with His sons and daughters. As we accept this love, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to respond with the devotion of our hearts, minds, and bodies.

If all of this sounds foreign to you – if you find going to church or other spiritual disciplines to be a chore and a waste of time – I bid you to pray. Pray that God the Holy Spirit will fill you with a Spirit of Adoption and love!

“Heavenly Father instill in me the knowledge of your Grace and Love; the very character of a father’s love for his child.  Grant me, Lord, a desire to know you and to love you with my whole heart. Grant me the longing of a child to be with his father not only for a single moment in time but to enjoy for eternity.  This I ask through your only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Amen”

Catechism Questions 135 - 137

135.    How does God forgive your sins?
By virtue of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, God sets aside my sins, accepts me, and adopts me as his child and heir in Jesus Christ. Loving me as his child, he forgives my sins whenever I turn to him in repentance and faith. (2 Corinthians 5:16-18)

136.    How should you respond to God’s forgiveness?
As I live in the grace of God’s constant forgiveness, so I should live in constant thanks and praise to him; and as I have been loved and forgiven, so I should love and forgive without limit those who sin against me. (Matthew 6:12; 18:22)

137.    What is grace?
Grace is the gift of the triune God's love, mercy, and help, which he freely gives to us who, because of our sin, deserve only condemnation. (Acts 20:32; Romans 3:24; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 1:6-7)

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