This is a beautiful meditation on the kind of love we should have for our parents…and that our children should have for us.
The author transfers that meditation to the type of devoted love we need to have for God our Father.
It is beautiful….it is comforting.
from True Womanhood – Rev. Bernard O’Reilly
St. Clement praises in the Corinthians a “piety full of sweetness and modesty.”
Piety is a word of Latin origin, and, among the old Romans who first used it, meant that spirit of dutiful and generous love with which children do the will and seek the interests of their parents.
This sense of free, generous, disinterested, and unselfish devotion to the happiness, honor, and interests of one’s parents, is always contrasted with the selfish, mercenary, or compulsory service of a slave or a servant in a family.
True-hearted children make their happiness to consist in seeking how they can best please and honor father and mother: what they do is not dictated by the fear of punishment or the hope of reward or the prospect of gain or self-gratification.
The hope or certainty of delighting or pleasing or helping the dear authors of their being, such is the thought which prompts the labors or obedience of a loving child.
Not so the mercenary: his motive is to gain his wages. He bargains to do so muchin return for such a wage.
The happiness of the family, the interest or honor of his employers, their satisfaction or the praise which they may bestow, do not, most likely, enter into the thoughts or calculations of venal souls.
You have known, perhaps, in many families, daughters so noble-minded, that they were content to labor untiringly for their parents, placing their whole delight in doing all they could to lighten the burden of father and mother, or to make the home bright and pleasant for brothers and sisters, without seeking or expecting one word of praise and acknowledgment.
This is the best description of filial piety.
Only transfer to God’s service that same unselfish and generous disposition, asking yourself only how much you can do to please Him, to glorify Him, to make yourself worthy of Him, to make Him known and have Him loved and served by others, andyou have an idea of what piety toward God is.
Thus faith gives to the soul that “purity of intention,” which not only makes the thought of God habitual, but enables one to lift one’s eye toward the Divine Majesty in every thing that one does, in labor as well as in repose, in suffering as well as in enjoyment, at home and abroad, in company and conversation, as well as in solitude and silence.
It kindles in the heart that flame of love which makes one burn with the absorbing desire of pleasing Him supremely.
It is thus the foundation of piety, the motive power of every good work, just as fire is the generating force of steam, and steam itself is the mighty force which annihilates distance on sea and land and transforms all the industries of the modern world.
The soul accustomed to keep God before her eyes in all her ways, cannot help being pious in the truest sense: nothing can prevent her from seeking in all that she does the Divine pleasure, and of esteeming all that she can do and suffer too little for so great a majesty and such incomparable goodness.
This piety working ever beneath that all-seeing Eye must be both sweet and modest: sweet, in the calmness and gentleness with which every thing is undertaken and accomplished; modest, in that no seeking of self and no consciousness of evil can disturb or overcast the limpid purity of a soul which reflects only the light and serenity of Heaven, and is divinely sheltered from every blast of earthly passion.
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