Fear has a negative element, making us flee from sin; but the soul needs a more filial attitude toward God.

The gift of piety inspires us precisely with a wholly filial affection for our Father in heaven, for Christ our Savior, for our Mother, the Blessed Virgin, for our holy protectors.

This gift supplies for the imperfection of the virtue of religion, which renders to God the worship due Him, in the discursive manner of human reason illumined by faith.

There is no spiritual impulse and no lasting fervor without the gift of piety, which hinders us from becoming attached to sensible consolations in prayer and makes us draw profit from dryness, aridities, which are intended to render us more disinterested and spiritual.

St. Paul writes to the Romans: You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father)…

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groaning.

By this gift we find a supernatural sweetness even in our interior sufferings;

it is particularly manifest in the prayer of quiet, in which the will is captivated by the attraction of God, although the intellect often has to struggle against distractions.

By its sweetness this gift makes us resemble Christ, who was meek and humble of heart.

Its fruit, according to St. Augustine, is the beatitude of the meek, who shall possess the land of heaven.

St. Bernard and St. Francis de Sales excelled in the gift of piety.

R. Garrigou-Lagrange OP (1877-1964): The Three Ages of the Interior Life.