by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
©Catholic Online 2005
The lives of the Saints are filled with examples of how holy men and women, boys and girls gave up every attachment and sought ardently to follow only the Almighty's sagacious will. Their maxims continue to serve as a beacon today for those who sincerely strive to become more alive in Jesus.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (d. 1968), otherwise known as "Padre Pio," was the Stigmata-bearing Italian Franciscan Capuchin friar saluted for his heroic surrender to the divine plan. He has inspired untold millions the world over to take stock of their relationships with the Lord. This will allow them--with God's grace--to purge what does not belong and ask for His strength to build upon the riches that He has already given.
A young, devout Catholic wife and mother of six gave me a copy of "Padre Pio's 10 Guidelines to a Perfect Spiritual Life." These apt principles appeared in Leaves magazine. Such advice offered by one of the twentieth century's most revered priests is a useful "examen" for all, regardless of age, education, wealth or race.
1. Put your trust in Christ as your personal Savior. It is not enough to "go through the motions" (for example, attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, etc.). One must be truly converted to the Lord and live deeply the reality expressed by Saint Francis of Assisi: "Deus meus et omnia" ("My God and my All").
2. Know that you have no righteousness of your own. As Catholic theologians teach, the grace of God is "gratuitous." We do nothing to earn the love of Christ, although we are constantly to avail ourselves of it through prayer, sacrifice, the Sacraments, acts of charity, devotion to Our Blessed Mother, etc.
3. Remember that really good works are inspired only by Christ. When Pope John Paul II was told by a journalist that Mikhail Gorbachev credited the stunning collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe to him, the Holy Father meekly quoted Sacred Scripture: "We are useless servants; we do as the Master directs us." Lack of humility often ruins even the best of good works.
4. Recognize that Satan is a real individual, bent on destroying you, but do not fear him. Pope Pius XII once stated that we err whenever we give either too little or too much attention to the influence of the Prince of Darkness. The wiles of the evil one are unquestionably present, but those who remain close to Jesus need not be afraid.
5. Always pray to God and say in every circumstance, "Thy will be done." Life is filled with joys and struggles. A key to spiritual growth, spiritual writers attest, is the vital recognition that God never allows more than one can shoulder--provided that one implores the necessary grace.
6. Love the cross. There is no getting around the inevitable: anyone really desiring to be like Christ must accept suffering. As the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, whose Cause for Canonization has been introduced, once said, Christ without the cross is a terrible caricature.
7. Offer every action up to God. Saint Teresa of Avila, the valiant reformer of the Carmelites, taught that even picking up a scrap of paper for love of God is pleasing to him. The smallest good works, prayers and mortifications must never be underestimated.
8. Never worry. It has been said that at the end of many persons' lives, a real regret exists for all the times that confidence was lacking. Do we really believe that God is our loving Father?
9. Aspire to the heavenly prize. Why are some believers spiritually "edifying" for others? Because their intense desire for God and for Everlasting Life is so obvious. Those who want to go to Heaven above anything else exhibit a contagious joy and trust in the Lord's faithfulness.
10. Rejoice in the Lord. Authentic happiness comes from the Almighty. With so many undeserved blessings from His gentle hands, how can we be anything but content?
Padre Pio's counsels ring true, no matter the era or place. Sanctity is possible for everyone! With the help of the Redeemer, we can and will be holy. Unending life with the Godhead is our promised reward when we seek to love and imitate the Crucified and Risen Jesus.
(This slightly-edited article originally appeared in the May 1, 1994 issue of Catholic Twin Circle on page eighteen.)
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Polycarp: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 24th, 2017 HD Video
- Wave of anti-Semitic threats end in vandalization horror - But ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- 'This is him telling me he is scared' - Heartbreaking image of ...
- Scientists predict Biblical flood for California HD Video
- Heroic woman saves officer's life during roadside attack
- New pilgrimage route recreates Jesus' footsteps HD
- Sts. Perpetua and Felicity HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 HD
- California's floods predicted by scientists, but how? HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.