Piety Reaches Out

Father Guibert notes that piety “is an interior life, but a life that cannot be confined within. It ferments like leaven in the midst of the soul, and as soon as it has attained a certain degree of heat, it must find a way out. As the heat of the sun sends forth its rays to carry to a distance its light and fertility, so the heart that is on fire with the love of God is unable, to keep, in confinement the holy ardour with which it glows.”

“Follow St. Paul when he is filled with Jesus, after having been overthrown by Him on the way to Damascus. When he says, ‘I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me’ (Gal 2:20), he gives you the measure of his piety.”

“There are three kinds of love that mingle together in the heart of the apostle: the love of Jesus Christ, the love of the Church, and the love of souls. But piety is exactly what kindles and sustains these three kinds of love.”

Concerning the love of Christ, he states: “It is, indeed, under the breath of piety that the love of Jesus commences and grows. In the living power of faith, the soul adores, in Jesus, its God made perceptible to the heart of man; it recognizes Him as merciful and good, condescending and generous.”

Concerning the love of the Church, he writes: “With the love of Jesus there is naturally joined the love of the Church, for it is in the Church that Jesus continues His life.”

And concerning the love of souls, he states: “Piety produces the love of souls. . . . Whoever participates in the life of Christ feels all that Jesus felt, and says with Him: ‘I have compassion on the multitude’ (Mk 8:2). ‘I will not send them away fasting’ (Mk 8:3). ‘Come to Me all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you’ (Mt 11:28). ‘Him that cometh to Me, I will not cast out’ (Jn 6:37). ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone’ (Jn 8:7). All these divine words rise to the lips and inspire the actions of those who pray, and of those in whom the life of piety bears sway.”

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

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