Pray, Hope, Don’t Worry
I read Padre Pio, True Story Revised, about a year after I came home to the church and was a bit overwhelmed with the account. It had been 20 years since I’d even thought about a Catholic saint, though as a schoolgirl taught by the Dominicans, we had read our share of saintly biographies.
Despite the fact that I’ve never really adopted him as one of my patron saints, somehow he keeps showing up in my life: cards over a patients bed in the nursing home, a Padre Pio book on a bed table in the hospital. I kind of got the message when a prayer card from the Capuchins arrived in the mail, so I set it on the refrigerator, reminding me to look to Padre Pio more often than when I need a special favor.
What strikes me most about his life, besides the preternatural phenomena he is so well known for: miracles, bi-locations, prophecy, reading of souls in the confessional and the stigmata, is that he seemed to have a very human side when dealing with people.
For all his extraordinary gifts, he was not above just saying it like it is.
Once for example, a psychologist said that he “meditated neurotically” on the passion, causing his body psychosomatically to reproduce replicas of Christ’s wounds.
“Right,” Padre Pio responded,” now you go meditate like that on a bull and see of you grow horns.”
And he often found his own trials a challenge. Can you relate?
Religion is a hospital for spiritually sick people who want to be healed.
To be healed they submit themselves to suffering.
to the lance,
to the scalpel,
the fire and bitter medicine.
In order to be spiritually cured, they must submit to all the painful procedures of the Divine Physician.
I don’t think he’d be too worried about calling out the cancer of sin so prevalent in our times; nor concerned one bit about people’s approval.
I love him.
From the prayer card on my refrigerator:
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina,
You were generously endowed by God, the Giver of all good gifts of the Spirit,
signing your body as a living witness to the saving Passion and death of Jesus, His Son.
Many looked upon the reflection of the of the Crucified Jesus in your body and experienced anew God’s saving mercy.
Through your ministry God reconciled penitents to Himself and invited them to taste His sweetness in the Holy Eucharist.
Through your powerful intercession before God,
pray for us,
that we may follow your example of prayer and penance and come to follow more closely our Risen Lord
so that we may one day rejoice with you in that kingdom where God calls all His faithful children
to live on the light of His love and eternal peace.
Pray for us St Pio of Pietrelcina -
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
- quotes: Voices of the Saints, Bert Ghezzi, pp 728-729