Friday, September 23, 2011

St. Pio (and me)

"Our Lord sends the crosses; we do not have to invent them."

I have only recently begun to attempt a devotion to St. Pio, known for long as Padre Pio by those who love him. He is a great modern saint, a model of holiness and humility, something of a celebrity (though this caused him considerable distress), bearing the stigmata and a gift for reading souls. As I have long wished for spiritual direction, I have wondered, if I had lived then and sought his guidance as a confessor or spiritual father, what he would have seen in my soul. It is a comforting thing, to be known.

On the other hand, he could be severe with sinners who were insufficiently contrite. Maybe they were curious rather than sincere, or maybe still too attached to their sin or full of self-love? I have no doubt he was able to discern which was more appropriate, a gentle consolation or a sharp-worded rebuke. I wonder, thinking of my own selfishness, which one I would have needed? Still, I think of how many he accepted as his spiritual children, and say, "Why should it be too late because he is no longer on this earth? It must be much easier for him now to obtain blessings for them." This both scares and encourages me, but any saint of God cannot refuse a plea for help, right?

I am reading biographies from the library again, because I can't decide which one(s) to buy. The ordeals caused by his own superiors, whom he obeyed even when it grieved him deeply to do so, make me think of him as an ideal saint to invoke as a patron of priests. Especially now, with so much flying around about "celebrity priests"--the good and the bad, they need him.

My favorite post-canonization story of him is here.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us!

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