DPPL 61: Values in Popular Piety

STA altar at night smallValues in popular piety, according to popes, we start with the Holy Spirit, the recognition that the Spirit guides people and the magisterium accepts this, in principle:

61. Popular piety, according to the Magisterium, is a living reality in and of the Church. Its source is the constant presence of the Spirit of God in the ecclesial community; the mystery of Christ Our Savior is its reference point, the glory of God and the salvation of man its object, its historical moment “the joyous encounter of the work of evangelization and culture” (John Paul II, Homily given at the shrine of the Virgin Mary of “Zapopang”, 2, in AAS, 71 (1979) 228). On several occasions, the Magisterium has expressed its esteem for popular piety and its various manifestations, admonishing those who ignore it, or overlook it, or even distain it, to adopt a more positive attitude towards it, taking due note of its many values (Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, 31; John Paul II, Allocution to the Bishops of Basilicata and Apulia, ad Limina visit, 4, in AAS 74 (1982) 211-213). Indeed, the Magisterium sees popular piety as “a true treasure of the People of God” (John Paul II, Homily given at the Celebration of the Word in La Serena (Chile), 2, in Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, X/1 (1987), cit., p. 1078.).
The Magisterium’s esteem for popular piety is principally motivated by the values which it incorporates.
Popular piety has an innate sense of the sacred and the transcendent, manifests a genuine thirst for God and “an acute sense of God’s deepest attributes: fatherhood, providence, constant and loving presence”, (Cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi 48) and mercy(Cf. Catechesi Tradendae 54).

Admonishing those who ignore, overlook, or disdain popular piety: I think there is a strain of people who are skeptics on non-liturgical spirituality. To what degree do people actively discourage this strain? I think it happens institutionally here and there, but more likely focused on questionable practices: St Jude chain letters, Medjugorje, excesses. Thing is, some people are attached to excesses, and they take not kindly to others suggesting perspective.

The Latin American bishops are cited here:

The documents of the Magisterium highlight certain interior dispositions and virtues particularly consonant with popular piety and which, in turn, are prompted and nourished by it: patience and “Christian resignation in the face of irremediable situations”(Puebla 965); trusting abandonment to God; the capacity to bear sufferings and to perceive “the cross in every-day life”(Evangelii nuntiandi 48); a genuine desire to please the Lord and to do reparation and penance for the offences offered to Him; detachment from material things; solidarity with, and openness to, others; “a sense of friendliness, charity and family unity”(Puebla 913).

What do you think?

The full document, the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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