Happy Feast of Pentecost! Today the Church commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. This might come as a surprise, but Bl. John Paul II had quite a lot to say about the Holy Spirit in his talks on the “theology of the body.” Today’s Sunday Pope Quote, then, is a passage from TOB about piety, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Bl. John Paul II: “The Holy Spirit, who according to the Apostle’s words [St. Paul] enters into the human body as into his own ‘temple,’ dwells there and works with his spiritual gifts. Among these gifts, known to the history of spirituality as the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (see Isa 11:2), the one most congenial to the virtue of purity seems to be the gift of ‘piety’ (eusebeia; donum pietatis). If purity disposes man to ‘keep his own body with holiness and reverence,’ as we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, piety as a gift of the Holy Spirit seems to serve purity in a particular way by making the human subject sensitive to the dignity that belongs to the human body in virtue of the mystery of creation and redemption. Thanks to the gift of piety, Paul’s words ‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you…and that you do not belong to yourselves?’ (1 Cor 6:19) take on the convincing power of an experience and become a living and lived truth in actions. They also open fuller access to the experience of the spousal meaning of the body and of the freedom of the gift connected with it, in which the deep face of purity and its organic link with love reveals itself.”
Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, trans. Michael Waldstein (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2006), no. 57.2