“…this present life is given to us only so that we may acquire the eternal one.” (Saint Padre Pio).
One of my favourite saints, to whom I have developed a deep devotion since the moment of my conversion – which occurred through Grace and no merit of my own – is Saint Padre Pio…
Saint Padre Pio suffered terrible persecution within the Church itself, by members of the clergy and bureaucracy who mistakenly believed that he was inventing his strong sense of spirituality. During his lifetime, he suffered not only intense physical pain from the Stigmata, but also the emotional pain of being ordered to cease communications with his spiritual children, and being denied the opportunity to publicly offer Mass or hear confession for many years.
And yet, he approached all the tasks of his life with equanimity because he understood the purpose of this life. In fact, Saint Padre Pio said, “Always keep in mind this meaningful lesson that is worthy of being well understood: this present life is given to us only so that we may acquire the eternal one. The failure to understand this leads us to set our affections on things of this world that we are passing through, and when it is time for us to leave it, we become terrified and upset. Believe me, in order to be content during our pilgrimage, we need to keep before us the hope of reaching that home where we will live eternally, and in the meantime we need to be steadfast in our faith. Since God has called us to Himself, He is concerned about our journey to Him, so He will never allow anything to happen us that is not for our greater good. He knows what we are, so He will stretch out His Fatherly Hand when we falter so that nothing can hold us back from running swiftly to Him. However, in order to fully enjoy this grace, we need to have complete trust in Him.”
And to trust in God, we must follow the example of our Blessed Mother, who made HASTE to do the work of God, even at great inconvenience to herself...
“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.” (Luke 1:39-56).
And it makes me wonder – as I consider the various occurrences, and stresses of my own life – if Our Blessed Mother made such HASTE for her cousin, Elizabeth, how much more does she help me, who is HER CHILD?
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.