REFLECTION: Singing and dancing piety PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 January 2012 14:17

Given our nature and our condition, we have to understand that our piety should not just be a purely spiritual affair. It should also be expressed in the flesh, with our senses—eyes, ears, touch—helping in developing and sustaining it.

We can readily see this in our natural filial piety toward our parents, for example. We have all sorts of practices and customs to express that piety. We kiss our parents or make “mano po” every time we arrive or leave home. We keep their pictures in our wallets or in our rooms. We just don’t keep our love and respect for them in the mind.

Our piety has to correspond as much as possible to the fullness of our nature and condition. That correspondence will make our piety more genuine, abiding and effective. That will also help protect us from the danger of temptations, distractions, sins and scandals.

Especially these days, when our senses are constantly bombarded with sensual images and messages, with all kinds of vulgarities and profanities, it is urgent that we deliberately train our senses to be actively engaged with the proper object of our life.

And that can only be God and that we learn how to love properly through them, not allowing our love to deteriorate to merely animal urges. We have to understand that things enter us ordinarily through the senses first, and that therefore the proper education of our senses comprises one of the more immediate needs of our times.

Of course, we have to learn how to develop this particular aspect of our piety. For sure, it should not just be a purely external affair, done more for show or appearance. It has to be vitally united to the convictions of our faith. Our senses should be connected to our reason and to our faith.

That’s why we have to pray hard and to importune our Lord to give us more grace, more strength and light, so our senses can function properly. For those who find it hard to pray, then let’s pray for them, and wage a continuing apostolate of doctrine and catechesis.

If we ourselves find it hard to pray, then let’s ask others to pray for us. In the meantime, let’s try to study the doctrine of our faith assiduously and start to go through the process of learning certain practices of piety.

These practices of piety can be spending time in prayer and meditation, going to the sacraments, especially Mass, communion and confession, participating in some collective means of formation and piety, etc.

No matter how awkward we may feel at the beginning, let’s just try to persevere. Virtues are usually attained by way of discipline and self-denial. In time, we will understand more and appreciate better the wisdom and beauty of these practices.

Also, we should never think lightly of the little things that effectively begin and develop our piety, like looking and admiring pictures and images of our Lord and the saints, saying or singing spontaneous ejaculatory prayers that spring directly from our heart, offering flowers and other signs of devotion, including dancing, to our Lord and the saints, etc.

Not unusually do little things help in fanning the flame of love alive and bursting. This is something we should always keep in mind, because our tendency is to be fascinated only when big and extraordinary occasions and events come our way.

While there is need to be discreet and natural about these practices given our human condition, we should see to it that we are actually oozing with love and affection for God and the saints.

This is, of course, a personal affair, and so let’s allow our conscience to tell us about the extent and intensity of these practices. It’s in our conscience that we can hear the voice of God, who always intervenes in our life and tells us what and how to do things. It’s there also where we bring our personal considerations to him.

Let’s take advantage of our usual actions to keep our piety alive, like attaching some ejaculatory prayer or pious thought to things like whenever we open or close a door, climb up or down the stair, or when we take a shower or fix ourselves in front of the mirror, etc.

These practices should be second nature to us. With our current general mentality, they may be considered as a little bit exaggerated, but they actually are not. These practices would only show that our soul and our faith are alive and kicking