Padre Pio: A Closer Look

Over a number years I have visited the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, NJ and passed by the life size statue of St Padre Pio, the Capuchin monk who was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope John Paul 11 now St John Paul The Great. I stopped and looked but never felt any spiritual connection with this Franciscan who lived at the San Giovanni Monastery and had the stigmata, the wounds of Christ. For many years he was both maligned and revered by the Vatican, many Catholics and others. I believed he was authentic but paid little attention to him.

Then a few weeks ago I received a book, Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry, written by Diane Allen who included true stories of numerous people she interviewed who had experienced spiritual, physical, financial help and also many who received personal guidance in their relationships and vocational choices from this humble friar.

Miraculous incidents of bilocation, healings, conversions, etc. are included. The most impressive revelation in this book for me is his profound love of God and people. He was known for the gift of reading souls and the tremendous number of confessions he heard. He could be severe in some cases, but he meant it for the salvation of the person’s soul.

In the modern world where the tangible, scientific, and intellectual are valued most– purely things of human understanding– we can surely profit from the mystical, miraculous, and yet the truly human saint. Perhaps you might take a closer look at this Spiritual Father.

 

 

 

Sunrise:poem

I rushed to see the sunrise
As it appeared through barren branches
Each rising like prints on fingers
Its own alone
This one ushers in the first spring-like day
The night’s rain dampening the earth
Songs of unseen friends of flight surround me.
I may not see another sunrise
And for certain not one the same
The orb with glorious rays
I cannot bear to see directly
Still its light reveals itself in everything and everyone
I do not rush to leave
My place here in the sun.

April 5, 2017

 

 

 

Easter Sunday: Excerpt from Daybreak

I saw the place where we hid yesterday and then the tomb. The entrance was open, the specially made stone rolled to one side. There were no guards or mourners. I hesitated but could not resist entering. The slab was empty where a dead man should have been. Only the burial cloth with the costly scent of myrrh and aloe remained. An appealing fragrance filled the tomb. It felt sacred. In one corner on a small ledge, I noticed the face cloth folded neatly. The light from the entrance lit up the whole area. He had risen as He said!

Trembling I knelt on the stone floor uttering a prayer of gratitude. The Messiah had come. Born like every man, He died so men might live forever. He conquered death by dying and rising. Who could understand the mind of the Lord?

I left the tomb and walked outside into the light. Everything appeared more intense and vivid. Something made me look down and I saw a patch of tiny white flowers. They were the kind I’d picked for Sarai the night we met on the roof of my uncle’s home.

I had to tell my dearest relatives: Yeshua had risen! I had to tell everyone.

Have a most Blessed Easter!