How often do you think about it? Do you ever wonder what it is going to be like? Mansions in the sky? A feast to top all feasts? Whatever your concept of Heaven might be, there is something that you need to be working on right now if you ever want to see it: developing the virtue of Piety, in the here and now. Piety is both a gift from the Holy Spirit and a virtue. To be pious, or in other words, to possess piety, means that you are holy, or saintly, in your thoughts words and deeds.
Do you think of others’ needs and address them before your own? Do you speak well of others, and of God, or do you put others down and speak dismissively and derogatorily of God? Do you live a life dedicated to God, or dedicated to earthly desires? The answers to these questions will tell you how much work there is to do to embrace and develop the virtue of piety.
To enter Heaven and to be in the presence of God, we must first be forgiven and purified of all sin. Therefore, if we put ourselves first, speak ill of others and/or of God, and embrace earthly desires over a life dedicated to God, then we’ll be spending a lot of time in Purgatory having our souls purified. What we do on this earth, the decisions that we make, how we conduct ourselves – it all matters! None of us is perfect. We all sin; but if our heart strives for piety, then our actions, words and deeds will follow suit and we will be more Christ-like. We will be pious.
A great many people think that to be pious is to be boring. Au contraire! Usually a pious person is filled with joy, peace and love; for that person is conformed to Christ. Take Mother Teresa for example. She had little in personal wealth, if anything at all, but she was saintly, while walking this earth and she was filled with joy, peace and love. She was conformed to Christ. The last adjective that I would ever give to describe Mother Teresa is “boring.” She was interesting; filled with life and determination to put other’s needs first before her own. She spoke well of everyone and she flourished doing the Lord’s work. We could all take a cue from Mother Teresa on being pious.
You may be thinking that Mother Teresa was not the average person. You may also be asking why you should want to be pious. We’ll address the answer to that question in our next reflection. Don’t miss it!