I have some friends who hail from Livorno, Italy. Christina loves to tell the story of the time her parents went to Confession to St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio). It was the custom of their town that all the school children would take a bus to San Giovanni Rotondo for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
On this particular day, Christina’s parents, who were in the fifth grade, stood next to each other in the Confession line. They were friendly, but not really friends at that time. Giancarlo went to Reconciliation first, followed by Dina. As she was walking out, Padre Pio stopped her. He told her that he had just heard the confession of the person she would marry one day.
In the not-too-distant future, this couple will be happily married for 50 years. I’m sure St. Pio of Pietrelcina continues to intercede for them.
As I was reflecting on this mystical saint of the last century, I was reminded about the fact that, while he was alive, he was often misunderstood. In fact, for many years, he was forbidden to celebrate Mass and was not allowed to communicate with those outside the monastery walls.
Dealing with this hardship led him to an even deeper relationship with God. How many of us, when dealing with difficulties, simply give up, believing things will not get better?
This quote from Padre Pio is a gentle reminder that we should not give up in our prayers. God’s timing is perfect, and worrying about the outcome of our situation won’t do any good.
“Pray, wait, and do not worry. Worrying is useless. God is merciful and will listen to your prayer… Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to the heart of God. You should speak to Jesus, not with your lips but with your heart.”
Today, as we remember this modern saint, let’s lift up our concerns to Jesus, not just with our lips, but with our hearts. Let’s trust that our prayers are being heard.
Image by Jim Capaldi under Creative Commons license.