A Life of Piety in Christ

Father Guibert states: “In the person of Jesus Christ [God] vouchsafes to make Himself seen and heard and touched, and He further vouchsafes to make His presence perceptible in our midst under the Eucharistic species until the end of time. If, then, it be in Jesus Christ that the Christian possesses his God, Jesus Himself will be the first principle of his life of piety, Jesus Himself will call forth the feelings of love and acts of prayer that bring God within us, and it is from Jesus that we shall get the fruitful activity which is piety.”

“That He is the soul of our piety, He Himself tells us in the Gospel: ‘Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt 18:20). When Jesus says to His disciples, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me’ (Jn 14:6), He evidently puts Himself forward as the religious Mediator who is necessary for us to go to God by means of piety. And He reveals to us a still closer intimacy: ‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.’ (Jn 15:4)”

“Jesus lives in us to shape our prayers, and He gives us His Spirit to be the soul of our religion. ‘The Spirit,’ says St. Paul, ‘helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings. And He that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit desireth; because He asketh for the saints according to God.’ (Rom 8:26, 27) He says elsewhere in his epistles: ‘Because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father’ (Gal 4:6). . . . Our life of piety belongs to [Christ] even more than it does to us. It is sufficiently our own for us to get the merit of it; but it so far belongs to Him that we are bound to give Him all the glory of it.”

Quotations from Jean Guibert, On Piety (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1911).

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