SAINT PADRE PIO: PRAY FOR US!
Padre Pio is a saint with innumerable insights on this road to Christ. One could spend days or weeks or even a lifetime soaking up the wisdom of Padre Pio. Here are ten quotes to enrich your spiritual lifeas we Celebrate his feast day.
“Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart.”
God does not want merely external forms of worship. He wants our whole soul to be on fire for Him. When we pray, we must pray with the investment of our whole soul, for it is a great treasure to him; he hears the cry of our hearts. Without the investment of our whole soul in prayer, prayer becomes empty. Our hearts must be aligned with the words we pray; there must be harmony. We cannot fool God with words; he knows our hearts.
“Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.”
Prayer is an internal and sometimes external invitation for God’s grace and mercy. Prayer is our chance to communicate with God, our chance to be honest with him and reveal ourselves before him. While he already knows everything about us, it is still a chance for us to confess our desires and thoughts. Prayer helps us keep our connection to God alive—the content of the soul’s breath, just as oxygen is the substance of our breath.
“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.”
Through suffering and sacrifice the soul can be purified of its selfish ways. Sometimes it is only pain that can bring us closer to God; sometimes it is the only way to purify our souls from their selfish tendencies. Selfishness blocks off a soul’s complete openness to Christ.
“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.”
Temptations can hold power over us. They can keep us in fear. The fear of sinning can get in the way of learning to completely resign our will to God’s. That fear can in time erode a true and lasting trust in God. Assaults of the devil are nothing when matched with the mercy and love of the Lord.
“The most beautiful act of faith is the one made in darkness, in sacrifice, and with extreme effort.”
When everything is going against you, holding on to Christ anyway is a great triumph. To continue to hold on without relief is a great act of faith and trust in the Lord. To sacrifice to God, offer up a small comfort or even a large one is beautiful. That act of giving to God especially when it is hard shows a magnitude of spirit.
“Happiness is only found in heaven.”
Heaven is our end goal. Comforts of this world are not eternal nor can they satisfy the soul the way the love of the Lord can. Happiness on this earth can distract us from the fact we were created for a life united to God in heaven.
“Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your spirit. You must hate your defects but with a quiet hate, not troublesome and restless.”
As a Francsican, Padre Pio was dedicated to St. Francis’ way of life and his purity of faith. The fact that we sin should not lead us to despair. If you are opening your heart to God, seeking His will in all things, then you should accordingly put your defects in His hands as well. We should trust Him with the progress our souls-never be despairing.
“Have patience and persevere in the holy exercise of meditation; be content to begin with small steps till you have legs to run, better still wings to fly.”
Prayerful meditation or prayer, in general, does not always come easily. Beginning with one prayer, then gradually progressing is sometimes the only way forward. God loves us even when we take small steps towards Him. As long as we are going in the right direction, we are living by His grace.
“Do not fear. Jesus is more powerful than all hell.”
Whatever fears we have in life can be forgotten with the name of Jesus. If anxiety or worries cloud your mind, remember that Jesus is more than any of our fears. The promise of His love, His mercy is more than anything.
“The field of battle between God and Satan is the human soul. It is in the soul that the battle rages every moment of life.”
The imagery of the soul as a battlefield is quite apt. The struggles of the will occur in the soul. The goodness or baseness of our actions is a result of the movements of our soul. That is where we must focus our attention. We must look inward and recognize that this is where we must ask God to protect us.