Every now and then, God sends extraordinary people to our world who act as a bridge between earth and heaven, and they help thousands of people to enjoy eternal Paradise. The twentieth century gave us an especially unique one: the Capuchin friar Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who was born in that small town in the south of Italy and died in 1968 in San Giovanni Rotondo. Saint John Paull II raised him to the altars in 2002 during a canonization ceremony that beat all attendance records. Today, it can be said that he is the most venerated saint in Italy.
Padre Pio received special gifts from God, such as the discernment of souls and his capacity to read consciences; miraculous healings; bilocation; the gift of tears; the fragrance of roses that he gave off; and, above all, the stigmata in his feet, hands and side that he suffered for 50 years.
Throughout his life, he wrote thousands of letters to those to whom he gave spiritual direction. Those letters are a source of practical Christian wisdom that is very relevant today.
Ideas to help in the face of suffering
We offer our readers this small selection of ideas from Padre Pío regarding suffering, taken from those very letters. They go straight to the point. They give us hope and lift up our soul:
1. “If you can talk with the Lord in prayer, talk to him, offer him your praise; if, due to great weariness, you cannot speak, do not find displeasure in the ways of the Lord. Stay in the room like servants of the court do, and make a gesture of reverence. He will see you, and your presence will be pleasing to him. He will bless your silence and at another time you will find consolation when he takes you by the hand.”
2. “The more bitterness you experience, the more love you will receive.”
3. “Jesus wants to fill your whole Heart.”
4. “God wants his omnipotence to reside in your powerlessness.”
5. “Faith is the torch that guides the steps of the spiritually desolate.”
6. “In the uproar of the passions and of reverses of fortune, we are upheld by the comforting hope of God’s inexhaustible mercy.”
7. “Put all your trust only in God.”
8. “The best consolation is that which comes from prayer.”
9. “Fear nothing. On the contrary, consider yourself very fortunate to have been made worthy to participate in the sufferings of the Man-God.”
10. “God leaves you in that darkness for his glory; here is a great opportunity for your spiritual progress.”
11. “The darkness that sometimes clouds the sky of your souls is light: by means of it, when it arrives, you believe you are in darkness and you have the impression that you are in the midst of a burning briar patch. It’s true that, when brambles burn, it gets smoky all around and the disoriented spirit is afraid of not seeing or understanding anything anymore. But then God speaks and makes himself present to the soul, that glimpses, understands, loves and trembles.”
12. “My Jesus, love is what sustains me.”
13. “Happiness is only found in heaven.”
14. “When you feel despised, imitate the kingfisher, who builds its nest on the masts of ships. That is to say, raise yourself up above the earth, elevate yourselves with your mind and heart to God, who is the only one who can console you and give you strength to withstand the trial in a holy way.”
15. “Be certain that the more the attacks of the devil increase, that much closer is God to your soul.”
16. “Bless the Lord for your suffering and accept to drink the chalice of Gethsemane.”
17. “Be capable of bearing bitter sufferings during your whole life so you can participate in the sufferings of Christ.”
18. “Suffering born in a Christian way is the condition that God, the author of all grace and of all the gifts that lead to salvation, has established for granting us glory.”
19. “Remember that we cannot triumph in battle if not through prayer; the choice is yours.”
20. “Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is a key that opens God’s heart.”
Article originally published by “Religión en Libertad.” Translated by Matthew Green.