On this sixth day of our novena to the Holy Spirit we focus of the gift of Reverence. This is the translated word from the Latin word pietas or Piety. That word originally meant the respect children have for their parents, that therefore came to mean devotion to God our Father. But St Gregory the Great turned it round: the Piety which is a gift of the Holy Spirit is the heartfelt mercy that leads us to help others. “By this gift, we share God’s own reverence, Gods own devotion, God’s own cherishing towards all his children.”
Today is the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury. Gregory the Great sent Augustine to preach the gospel after seeing English slaves on sale in Rome. He famously said, when asked where they had come from, “Not Angles but angels”. He showed great respect or reverence for these slaves and sent Augustine on his mission to the people of this land.
Come, Holy Spirit renew in us your gift of reverence that we might treat one another with honour and respect. In our homes, help us to be respectful to towards one another. In our relationships at work and with people we don’t know, help us to show respect. Help us, above all, to have faith that is deeply reverent.
Archbishop John invites everyone in the Diocese to join him for a special online gathering this evening. He will be leading a live streamed May Devotions, including a Scriptual Rosary at 7pm from the Cathedral. At this time when we are asked to be more isolated than usual it is an opportunity to “spiritually gather” together.