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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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GIFT OF PIETY

A special gift of the Holy Spirit; if perfects the virtue of religion, which is the practice of justice toward God. It produces an instinctive filial affection for God and devotion toward those who are specially consecrated to God. As an infused gift of God, it is ready loyalty to God and the things of God, arising not so much from studied effort or acquired habit as from a supernatural communication conferred by the Holy Spirit.

This gift enables a person to see in God not only one's sovereign Master but a loving Father, according to the teaching of St. Paul: "Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out 'Abba, Father!'" (Romans 8:14-15). It engenders in the soul a filial respect for God, a generous love toward him, and an affectionate obedience that wants to do what he commands because it loves the one who commands.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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