EVERY GREAT JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A FIRST STEP
There are terms which have fallen into disuse. Practically nobody says them. Our mentality, supposedly more adult, cultured, useful, rational, technical, ‘cold’… does not know what to do or how to react to certain words. It seems that piety has to be seen with sentiment, emotion, feelings. And it seems that it is some sort of sentimental inclination towards a particular reality. At least in certain contexts it is synonymous with devotion, that is, love, reverence and respect for a reality, whatever that may be. It is a term close to pity, empathy, sympathy, compassion. And also God, his name and his reality, can inspire and, in fact, inspire in believers, devotion, love, respect, feelings, reverent affection, tenderness, veneration, worship, that is to say, piety.
The word ‘Father’, Abba, on the lips of Jesus of Nazareth, evoke with emotion the behaviour and expression that we could translate as ‘daddy’. Love for God inspires and moves many attitudes, behaviour, commitments, emotions, feelings… but above all the trusting, filial attitude of admiration, thanksgiving, devotion, respect, veneration, that is to say, piety.
The ultimate revelation of God contained in the Christian Bible, comes from the beloved apostle and his community: ‘God is love’. It could be, and assuredly it will be, that among other more individual and human factors, God himself also educates and forms a heart of flesh, that is to say, an altruistic, compassionate, generous, free, human, merciful, caring heart. Furthermore, he gradually does this from earliest infancy, from the first years of life and experiences which a child has. It is also possible that our heart has gone out of us or gradually hardens until it is like a heart of stone… How is your affectionate, filial love for your Father God?