Ten Lessons from Padre Pio for Lent

Padre_PioWith Padre Pio’s relics visiting Rome for the Year of Mercy we’re reminded of his amazing biography and how infused his whole life was with the miraculous.

This website chronicles some of the astounding miracles attributed to him.

The one thing which is most devastating for the Catholic faith is modernism. Modernism is like a watery soup full of various unappetizing and inedible  bits floating round in it, but the bottom line is that modernism is religion without the supernatural. It is a form of faux Christianity that has reduced Christ’s sacrifice to martyrdom, his miracles to inspiring stories and his resurrection to a myth.

If religion isn’t supernatural then it’s not really religion. As a plain speaking Australian once said about liberal Protestantism, “That’s not a religion mate. That’s a set of table manners.”

The same can be said about modernism in Catholicism.

Chesterton said “Every age is converted by the saint who is most unlike it.” Therefore one of the best saints to counter modernism is Padre Pio who was a thoroughgoing supernaturalist. Padre Pio’s life was a constant witness to the reality of heaven and hell and the need to view this life as a pilgrimage to our heavenly home.

Lent is the time to renew our awareness of the spiritual battle, so here are ten quotes (in italics) from Padre Pio which remind us what really matters:

1. First of all–the need for spiritual warfare: Let us always keep before our eyes the fact that here on earth we are on a battlefield and that in paradise we shall receive the crown of victory; that this is a testing-ground and the prize will be awarded up above; that we are now in a land of exile while our true homeland is Heaven to which we must continually aspire. Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and we should keep this always in mind during Lent.

2. The rosary is the recommended weapon for battle. – Hold on tightly to the Rosary. Be very grateful to the Madonna because it was she who gave us Jesus. Love our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.

3. Don’t be afraid of humility. Humility is endless. Purity is power. Envision purity and pursue it. These also are weapons in the battle  – Humility and purity are the wings which carry us to God and make us almost divine.

4. Don’t expect instant success. The spiritual life is a long journey. It is the work of a lifetime. Take one day at a time and one step at a time. If you stumble and fall, get up immediately and keep going. Never give up. – In the spiritual life, you must take one step forward each day in a vertical line, from the bottom up.

5. Your unhappiness is not everything. Your happiness is not everything. Don’t allow your feelings to determine whether you think you are making spiritual progress or not. The world’s standards of happiness and “success” are completely different from spiritual progress. Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is your guide to the heavenly country, where He is leading you. What does it matter to you whether Jesus wishes to guide you to Heaven by way of the desert or by the meadow, so long as He is always with you and you arrive at the possession of a blessed eternity? Continue Reading

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