June, Piety and You

Sacred Heart card GermanJune is traditionally dedicated to foster devotion and piety for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Speaking of piety, consider what you might do regarding your own pious, devotional practices. Hint: don’t be afraid to be pious! We lose nothing by being devout. We gain ineffable benefits.

Do not be afraid to bend yourself down before God. Address the angels and saints as your intercessors and patrons.

Be simply pious.

Man was made to be pious.

This is the essence of Religion: to give due reverence to God.

Without piety we are empty shells.

The sin of our First Parents was the opposite of piety: act like self-sufficient self-gods.  We can drift into sinful defiance of God by neglect of piety and devotion.

Consider the benefits of devotion, and then consider the downside of being, not impious, in the sense of being wicked, but slothful, haphazard, lukewarm. How did our Lord describe the fate of the tepid?  It wasn’t good.

People might hesitate to be pious because they then have to give up things that are incompatible with piety. Benedict XVI said in the sermon for his inaugural Mass in 2005:

“Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great.”

To develop a habit, and being pious and devout is a habit, start small.

Firstly, examine your conscience daily, in the evening, looking not just for sins you committed, but also how you sinned by omission.  That is how we ferret out negligence in regard to the virtue of Religion.

Next, during the day, say brief, silent prayers. No one needs to know that you prayed.  Pick one.  How about, “Jesus, meek and humble of heart: Make my heart like unto Thine.”  That little prayer has it all.  It drips with piety like Jesus’ wounded Heart.  It’s wonderful.

Next, research opportunities for public devotions and attend.  Never mind that they are unfamiliar.  Just go.

And…

GO TO CONFESSION!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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10 Responses to June, Piety and You

  1. anna 6 says:

    Thank you for this timely and important reminder!
    I love that quote from Benedict’s homily. It moves me deeply every time I come across it.

  2. tpodonnell says:

    Some more food for thought:

    Pope Francis addresses popular piety in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in the following paragraphs: 69-70, 122-126.

    Now, Pius XI did not consider devotion to the Sacred Heart to be merely one inculturated devotion among many, but the summary of all devotion (and Benedict XVI agreed, certainly). But Francis’ words are worth reflecting on as well. Austen Ivereigh’s biography of our Holy Father reminds us that Francis was an ardent supporter of popular piety against many of his fellow Jesuits who wanted to stomp it out.

  3. Auggie says:

    I would assume that most readers of this blog are already very pious and struggling with a liberal parish that is working against their piety. Personally, I was warned against reading books published by Tan, and the priest gave me a very long hug. Yeah, I’m pious and pissed.

  4. HealingRose says:

    Thank you Fr. Z! That’s so much of what I’ve been pondering lately!

    I’m tempted to print out large quantities of this post to hand out. On the reverse side, I would print the scheduled confession times for all churches within a twenty mile radius.

    People need to stop trying to schedule God into our lives and just start doing for Him through devotions and confession. It’s amazing how He will work everything else into my schedule after I put Him first!

  5. stuart reiss says:

    I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Comments like these should come with a warning.

  6. stuart reiss says:

    my comment was in response to…. Auggie…

  7. Orphrey says:

    A couple of years ago, my wife and I wanted to do a home enthronement to the Sacred Heart. We were told by our priest that it is “old-fashioned.” This was ironic, since he is a pastor at the church of the Sacred Heart! (In the end, we did do a home enthronement and consecration of our family to the Sacred Heart, with another priest.)

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  9. yatzer says:

    Thank you for pointing out what pious is supposed to mean. In context of where I’ve heard it, it seems to mean hypocritical in a religious way. As in, “She’s so pious.” said in a rather sarcastic tone. I would not have the nerve to ask for an enthronement of the Sacred Heart. Around here I was told the rosary is old fashioned. I do believe this is changing, though, from what I’ve heard about our new priests, and hope that’s true.

  10. MouseTemplar says:

    I’m attending my 2nd First Friday Mass tomorrow as part of the Nine First Fridays in Honor of the Sacred Heart. There’s even a website that reminds me and helps me keep track!