What is urgent is the evangelization of a world that not only does not know the basic aspects of Christian dogma, but in great part has lost even the memory of the cultural elements of Christianity.

                          Pope St. John Paul II


Boston Catholic Journal

I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.

                          Pope Benedict XVI

 

Suggested Reading:


The Problem
of Evil

The Problem of Evil: Exonerating God

Exonerating God


CCD

CCD: Crisis in Catholic Doctrine

Crisis in
Catholic Doctrine:

the Grave State of Religious Education in America


Boston Catholic Journal

Write us:

editor@boston-catholic-journal.com

Boston Catholic Journal
PO Box 80171
Stoneham, MA 02180 US
 



 

Reflections on the Rosary
 
by a Cloistered Poor Clare Nun

 


with

 Mary

 

 

 

Mary Most Holy, Mother of God  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in the

Rose Garden



 

Editor's note: These beautiful and holy pages come to you as so many blossoming roses under the feet of Mary Most Holy and directly from the hand of a Consecrated and Cloistered Nun as she had written them for the Boston Catholic Journalspontaneously and  ex corde.

 

We are surrounded by wars and rumours of wars, unrest everywhere ... man's heart grows cold ...

We are appalled at the loss of so much young life in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places ... and the menacing presence of war lashes out daily, cutting deep wounds into our lives.

But far greater still, far more dangerous and evil, is the invisible war, the conflicts raging between good and evil. We are amidst the greatest battle of all times ...

We need to take up, with the heroism born of faith, the weapons of the Spirit, of God's Word and the Holy Rosary. Do not be deceived: it is not power, still less our own vaunted cleverness or self-imputed sanctity, by which victory over evil - — that pernicious and personified malice will be achieved ... but by love, by that invincible power that Dante, in concluding his great journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise in the Divine Comedy calls "the power that moves the sun and every star."

And never forget Mary's promise, "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph."

The Rose is not only the most beautiful of flowers because it is symbolic of love, it is also a weapon, a barbed weapon with thorns ... so is our Rosary ...

This month is a call anew to us all to pray the Rosary even if it is one single decade ... pray, pray, pray.

With Love ... a Consecrated Nun
 




This is the month of the Rosary, it is the month when the Church asks us, invites us, to reflect upon the Rosary, The Rosary is also called a gospel of life.

A good and pertinent question to ask oneself is,"Have I prayed the Gospel today?"

The liturgy of the hours main corpus is the Psalter, the 150 psalms which are recited over a period of 4 weeks.

The Rosary is also called The Psalter of Mary because of the 150 Hail Mary's within the mysteries.

It can be a struggle at times to pray the Rosary, prayer is after all a movement of the Spirit, a and at different times in our life we may be moved in different ways.

If we find it difficult we need to discern in prayer, WHY? Maybe God wants us to listen? Perhaps we have to accept our inner poverty? Maybe it is inertia or sloth?

Whatever it is let us pray for the grace to respond with great love this month to MARY, and give her at least a daily Rose of love, from our our heart.

With Love ... a Consecrated Nun
 



The Biblical Psalter (collection of the psalms in the Bible) is made up of praises, laments, songs of struggle, pain and trust in God! But so are the prayers of Mary's Psalter, The Rosary!

In the various mysteries you will find too all the joys, and sorrows that the human heart can carry and thereby one can indentify with the mysteries.

Prayer must above all give honour and glory to God but it must also be realistic and embrace the whole of the human existence: both the Biblical Psalter and Mary's Psalter do this!

In the same way that we can adapt the praying of hours to be prayed within our particular life situation, so we can with the Rosary ...

One mystery a day — if time is such that we cannot apply more — suffices, after all, given the responsibilities willed by God in our state in life we can often only read one page of the Holy Gospel at a time.

May Mary be close to you during this month of the Rosary ...
 




Like the Liturgy of the Hours (Christian  Prayer) The Psalter of Our Lady (The Rosary) has, as the Psalms do in the Office its own doxology at the end of each decade. The Glory be ...

The Rosary is the Psalter of the Poor, it is within everyone's grasp for those who cannot afford to buy books, or for those who for one reason or another cannot read and focus upon written texts.

See how God provides for everyone!

But it is a picture book, and if we gaze within its mysteries God will reveal the same truths ... for His truth is unchanging!

The Rosary can be made out of the poorest and richest of materials ...

We could, for example, allot a Mystery to a different hour (as the Office) and consecrate the day to Mary through this great and beautiful prayer.

There can be many reasons why a person has at a given time an inability to pray: it maybe suffering or tragedy which takes them to silence or near silence. At such times it is enough to hold onto the beads recalling past offerings and simply whisper, "Jesus and Mary, I love you!"



Mary is the mystical Rose (mystical in the way of "hidden"), she is the most beautiful flower of all creation!

Look at these Roses, each one is an individual, has an individual life to bloom, and they blossom for their Creator.

Look at your Rosary; each bead is a precious Rose, each Hail Mary whispers to Mary and Jesus "I love you"...

There is something tender and beautiful in a soul that can perceive and understand what a treasured gift each prayer, each rose, each bead is to Mary when offered with love.

Roses need care and attention, and so do our prayers.

They need light, and so do our prayers need to be in His light and according to His will.

Let us thank God in this month of the Rosary for all the graces we have received through the Hail Mary!
 



As Mary took the words of God, the "Rose" of His heart to hers, His mind and words, pondering upon them ... so may we take each bead, each rose of our Rosary, the Hail Mary, to our hearts and gaze within, ponder, and contemplate deeply the inner petals of its meaning, drinking its nectar and so come closer to Him. Behold-Hold and Enfold.
 



When the Holy Spirit calls us to reflect upon Mary's Psalter, the Rosary, He calls us both into the desert and into the Rose garden!

The desert is a place or aridity and struggle and yet, when the wind blows, and the sands move we will hear God's voice within the silence and seeming emptiness.

Both are needful, both have their rightful place ... the Desert and the Rose garden.

God walks in every garden because He is beauty!

And His Spirit hovers over every desert!

Yes we are called into the Rose Garden, a place of prayer, and each rose, each Hail Mary, is unique: the way we pray today will not be the way we pray tomorrow ... a rose is living, it is growing ... and it is the same with our prayers upon our beads, for each Hail Mary bead is alive ... we need to feed and love the rose with our presence ... If we pass the roses with haste we will not see their beauty, we will not smell their perfume — but if we gaze on them with attention they will yield life ... and so with each rose of our Psalter, Mary's Rosary ...

Through each rose, may she draw your heart ever more Heavenwards ...
 



Through the Rose Garden (Mary's Psalter, The Rosary) flows a river, a river of grace ..."Hail Mary FULL of grace ... "

This beautiful gift of God makes all things bearable, all things possible to us, for as St Paul tells us, "Thy grace is enough for me".

Grace is to our souls what the rain and the sun are to the Rose ... LIFE!

Mary has grace in her hands for the asking ...

Our Rosary is a source of grace when we focus with love upon the mysteries of the Holy Gospel, in the company of Mary and the Holy Spirit.

The prayer at the bottom of this meditation is a grace, a gift that came to us on the prayerline, and it shows a great trust and hope in our Mother's intercession.
 




Sometimes the only prayer we can utter is to press the Rose to our hearts, it is a prayer of great trust to take our rose, our Psalter (Our Rosary) and simply press it to our hearts and to have the confidence to know that God hears every unspoken whisper and knows all we carry within us ... God will understand this gesture, and Mary as a good Mother will accept our little offering.

We can at times know great poverty in prayer, that is the time simply to surrender to the silence ... hold our Rosary to our heart and believe that the Lord will return! Our trustful silence is as valuable to God as a thousand prayers.
 



The Immaculata ... let us submerge ourselves within her Immaculate Heart, for as she has promised that her heart will triumph over all things in the end.

Our Mother is listening, each rose we offer, each prayer we say, she can use them all for her Son's Glory!

She hears everything, all that we say and all that is unsaid ... she hears the petals open ... the smallest movement of our hearts is known to her ...

Mary, our Mystical Rose ... whose beauty is beyond compare ...

How her heart must fill with joy when we pray on our beads, for she knows then that we have listened to her invitation to pray and do penance.
 



As we walk and pray through the Rose Garden of Mary, her Rosary (Psalter), we all have a favourite Rose ... a Rose whose scent always draws us to itself ... somehow we linger in that part of the garden ... waiting for the rose to speak ... It is a specific decade which seems to exude a love and a presence ... but if it were not surrounded by other roses, equally beautiful but different, we would not appreciate our rose ... the one which carries a special message to us from Mary.

Sometimes we can look at the garden as a whole ... but its beauty is overwhelming and we hear and learn more if we gaze on the one rose ...

But God gave us an entire garden not a simply a single Rose, so let us explore and wander through every nook and corner exploring all the roses ... for each tells us something special and unique about God's love for us. It is a bouquet being gathered and growing in beauty.

Mystical Rose ... pray for us ...
 



Sometimes although we traverse the garden, and gaze behind every tree, shrub and plant, we see and hear her not! But Mary is always in her Garden, she is always within the incense of prayer rising to Heaven ... she stands behind us, embracing us, loving us, pointing us to her Son ... trust her and trust to the power of your Rosary, for there is no greater weapon than love ...
 



Everything that is possessed of life has a centre, has a heart ... a source that gives life and flesh to the whole.

And the Rose Garden, the Psalter, the Rosary, has the most beautiful heart of all ...

At the very centre exuding life into all the other Roses is HER IMMACULATE HEART ... gaze long into this Pure White Rose and you will touch Heaven.

In the Immaculate, Pure, totally Holy and whole heart of Mary, we can only glimpse  her true beauty, as in a mirror darkly ...

Without a heart, without a centre, anything living will die ... without love our Rosary, our prayers will fail. Everything depends upon love ...

Cherish this simple and seemingly powerless object, your beads, and realise that it has more power, more effect than any weapon man ever has or ever will create, because it is created and sustained by love!

Cherish the Rose, cherish Mary ...

And trust — for in the end HER Immaculate Heart will triumph!
 




O Mary, My Queen, My Mother, call me into the great Rose garden of Heaven, call me and all who dwell within me into the Paradise of God!

My Rosary is but a mirror dim, of what I will yet know of joy, a foretaste of union, a communion of hearts.

Oh! Mary I so trust to you, to your love, and to your prayers that I KNOW at the last it is YOU who will bring me to my GOD, it is You who will take me by the hand beyond the confines of this world and place me into the Eternal Rose of His Heart ...

Mystical Rose.. may the sweet perfume of grace accompany me through this vale of tears and keep my eyes ever set upon that Rose which has no beginning and no end, and that Rose is Love ... which simply is ... HIS GREAT AND ETERNAL HEART!

Call me Mary, take me to the Rose Garden!
 



Consider the beauty of the Rose, consider the beauty, the unique beauty of every Hail Mary ever uttered!

Contemplate and dwell within the Rose Garden of prayer ... there will be moments ... glimpses of the eternal that will overwhelm and overpower you! That is the perfume of Holiness and grace calling you onwards and upwards!

Oh! consider my heart if this is the beauty I can know here ... what of the Rose Garden of Heaven, the flowering of all that ever has been, is, or ever shall be ... ?

Mary, Mystical Rose to you I trust, I trust at last you will bring me to the Heart of the Rose ... to God, My God, the Lord of all beauty and Praise.
 



Come Holy Spirit, wind and breath of God, Come! and blow through the Rose garden, that the seeds of the Roses may be scattered and give life to souls!

Each Hail Mary is a praise, a blessing, a gift of love, Oh Holy Spirit scatter our prayers over those souls who are shriveled and dying through sin; bring them to life, here and in Your Eternal Rose Garden!

Mystical Rose, Mary, vessel, soil of the Spirit, pray for us as you walk through the Rose Gardens of this world, and bring us at last to the Paradise Jesus promised to us upon the Cross!
 



Sing a love song in the Rose Garden, hold the Rose ... and sing! Let your voice rise high upon the wind ...

Pray your beads, your Psalter, and sing! can there be anything more beautiful that HER NAME sung in love?

MARIA - MARY!

The month of the Rosary is passing, but the Rose Garden will remain forever ...

We are drawing close to the Month of the Holy Souls ... the month when we remember and pray for the dead ...

IF YOU PRAY DEEPLY, with simplicity and love you will find them ALL in the Rose Garden ... each and every soul!
 


[On Memorial Day]


The Mother of All Beauty and Compassion walks the Rose Garden. Many red and white roses are at her feet ... she cares and loves each one ...

Those fallen in battle are hers ... they now know peace in her Garden.

The Rose Garden is also a garden of remembrance ... as you finger your beads and pray.

Remember too the Soldiers who lie in the garden and their families ...

All are hers ... for God..
 



There comes a time for harvesting, a time for giving ... a giving of the fullness of love that has grown within us in the Spirit! Gather roses from the Rose Garden, from your Rosary and intertwine them into a wreath of praise and thanksgiving ...

Offer your bouquet for those who are bereaved, for those whose loved ones have died ...

Especially for those who fell in their youth, in the flower of their adulthood ...

They have been called beyond this world to peace ... offer a rose of remembrance to those who loved them and yet remain ...

Our Lady of Victories pray for us, pray for them ... because in the end if we, they, have sought the good, there is always victory in God.

The month of the Holy Souls is almost here ... how many, many silent roses lay upon the ground ... they say ... "I love you".
 



"My Beloved is a Garden enclosed"...


There is grace and life in the garden — even the dead are not dead at all, but alive to Him! As we ponder, as we Behold, Hold and Enfold all the roses that delight our eyes in the garden, we are conscious of life! The walls of the garden are covered with a multitude of miniature roses, each one known to God ... they are the souls of the unborn, those who never saw the light of our day but who see the light of eternity ... all belong to God, for in God's Rose Garden there is a place for all.

Mary has breathed over every one, for she is Mother of all Life!

Let us pray in the Garden today for all who died in the womb, whether from natural causes or mans' sin ...

Remember that from this Garden, from the womb of the tomb, Christ arose to life!
 



WINTER IN THE ROSE GARDEN

Winter is upon us all ... cold winter, and much of the land covered with snow or hard, hard frost ... and I have been thinking of Mary's Rose Garden ... Beneath the snow, beneath the frosted ground ... is  life! Life just waiting, biding its time to spring up ... To all appearances everything looks dead. Not so, not so!

Oh! how this, too, can be with prayer, with our Rose Garden, our Rosary ... but no ... beneath the surface the Spirit is breathing and alive! At times it can seem that our attempts to pray are like winter  ... and prayer does have its seasons ... but beneath. there is LIFE, because the seed, the kernel of the prayer, the Rose prayer is the DIVINE WORD ... it is the prayer of the Gospel ... and Christ promised that all things will pass but that HIS WORD will endure forever ...
 



Looking to Spring in the Rose Garden

In the rose garden all is still, all is covered in a blanket of snow ...

The snow and cold draw us deeply into the present moment and it is hard to realise that all this will pass ... the hard barren-looking wood of the rose stock sticks out of the ground at angles ...

But we know from experience that, come the spring, the rosewood will put forth bud and shoot; that life is hidden in this present moment, within ... we must wait on God's time and season for the Rose to reveal its life ...

Prayer is like the seasons, there is the barren landscape, the new life of spring, the summer of joy, and the autumn of dying, it is a cycle of life ... just as we observe in nature.

We never doubt that Spring will come! In faith let us also trust and believe that that which we experience at the moment as dead or dying, is that from which God can draw new life.

Hold your Rosary beads and even if they appear to say nothing, they will remind you of seasons of prayer that have passed and will yet come again ... keep close to Mary and all will be well.



Dear Little Hearts,

I am sure that we are all pained and challenged by all the media reports of abuse by priests and prelates within the Church, it is a great wound …for the scandal it is giving to the "little ones" of God —let us offer to Jesus acts of loving reparation.

I think it will be praiseworthy and profitable to focus upon the words and examples of priests that have led courageous, heroic, sacrificial lives for the Gospel.

The first one that I have chosen is Saint Padre Pio, a priest who suffered so much, but fruitfully, for all was borne for the love of his Lord and for souls!

He spent long, long hours in the confessional.. sin, to Saint Padre Pio was never anything less than the ugliness and deformity of sin and because it led to alienation from God, and even separation from God, he was uncompromising in his encounter with it, for nothing less than an immortal soul was at stake!

Pray to him for the young seminarians who are being taught how to hear confessions, and the value and beauty of Indulgences.
 



From the Heart of A Priest: Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Jesus is never without the Cross, but the Cross is never without Jesus"

Jesus, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" ...


Suffering love made Jesus beautiful, suffering borne that others might have life in abundance There is nothing that we can ever experience that Jesus, the God-man did not suffer before us.

This short and succinct line from Brother Pio is so powerful, and we can easily lose sight of this simple fact that the Cross is never without Jesus, when suffering, contradiction and all manner of pain are present in our life ... let us remember, SO IS JESUS!
 



From the Heart of A Priest: Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).
 

"The most beautiful Credo is the one that bursts forth from your lips in the dark, as a sacrifice, as pain, as a supreme effort of an infallible will to do right: it is that which, like a flash of lightening, dispels the gloom of your soul, it is that, which during the fury of the storm, raises you, and leads you to God"
 



The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

What we deem of value, and what God deems of value can be very different, we can be tempted to think that when life shines on us and when things go well, that when we have feelings of closeness to God, He is near and we are pleasing to him. The reality is something else, He is closest to us in darkness and suffering, for then in our utter poverty we only have ourselves to offer Him. Our naked inner self as we truly are.

Yes, how beautiful the Credo whispered in the dark. Brother Pio was well acquainted with trial and darkness, but he lived out totally that filial trust in his Father. To be faithful in darkness is a proof of our love.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

May Saint Padre Pio bless you this day, may his wounded hands bring your wounded hearts the present of Jesus Christ.

With love


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us, not only for our own sanctification, but also for that of other souls. He wishes to be helped in saving souls"
 



The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

How noble, how great is our Christian  calling, that God should invite us to be Co-workers with Christ, and that is what we should be. In sickness, pain, and suffering, in health, prosperity and joy.

Co-workers, we must co-operate with God's will and plan. No matter how limited our lives may be through objective opportunities or disabilities, God wants us to work with Him, for souls.

No one should ever regard themselves as useless, or of no importance; the weakest and most frail among us have such opportunities to unite out own fragility to Christ, and pray for souls, for their sanctification and transformation. One of Padre Pio's charismas was the ability to make the sick and feeble feel they were of value, and that their state could benefit the Kingdom.

He himself knew what it was to be weak and laid low ...

So lets pray and see what God would have us give to Him for souls!
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Bless you!

Brother Pio's book of life was the Crucifix ... he gazed upon Jesus until his whole being was transformed, transfigured into Christ ... let us too, read "the "book of the Cross".

A Blessed grace filled day to you all
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"The life of a Christian  is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain."


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

We all know from experience that this statement of Saint Padre Pio is so true. Our whole Christian  journey is a journey from our will into that of God's. We think that we know what is best for us and we try to seize it, but the God who loves, allows us to see by his grace that the better way ... is HIS.

We are born self orientated, self-centred, and the pilgrimage is to grow, to leave self behind and seek the other, seek God, and the welfare of his children.

We will "die" many times before we die; the process is painful, but nothing can replace the deep peace we come to know when we are living in His sweet will.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

This great Saint of our times can teach us so much, and above all the value and place of suffering in our lives.

May he bless you and bring you peace this day ... make a supreme act of trust and repeat his words often during the day, "Pray, Hope and don't worry"

With love.



From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Prayer is the oxygen of the soul."


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

We need oxygen to breathe, man cannot live without oxygen, without air. Our bodies, brains and all our vital organs need oxygen ... without it our bodies would soon become toxic, diminish and die. That is how important oxygen is to human existence!

Neither can we be fully alive without prayer, there is a whole dimension that is atrophied, withering and dying within when our souls are not fed by prayer.

In prayer we in-breathe the very Spirit of God, this Presence, life force gives us life, strength for all the challenges that life brings.

Man can breathe best when he is at peace, one with his God and one within himself, the more he prays, the more he will feel his heart expand and know himself to be fully alive!
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Brother Pio was said to be able to read hearts and it is indeed well recorded the occasions when he read all that was within another, if Padre Pio could do this, what of God himself?

"Who searches and knows me"

Bless you all ... with love


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer."

"Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God's heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart."

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies"

Yes, worry is useless, it hinders the work of the Holy Spirit, because worry can be an all embracing factor that excludes all other lights. We know from experience that it achieves nothing, and yet when we find ourselves in a problematic situation it is so hard to put into practise and not worry.

It is, after all, a matter of trust because as the good Padre says, "God is merciful and will hear our prayer"... He knows every struggle, every thought, every fear we carry.

Is this not what God really desires when we are suffering and in pain, not that we cry within and get swallowed up in our sorrows, but that we give Him our hearts, we give Him our true, authentic self ... and that is to LOVE.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Whatever trial you may be living under at this time, through Brother Pio's prayers may you receive an angel of consolation who will give you hope to go on ...

With love ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat."

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

God has promised us that we will never be tried, beyond our strength, in trial and suffering His grace is always there. Into all our Gethsemane's, God will send an angel of consolation, an angel of comfort. Its all a path of trust, often what we can grasp with our minds, our hearts are slow to assent to, but if we keep focusing upon God, claiming His victory, ultimately the truth will be alive to us as a conviction in our hearts that nothing and no one can take away from us.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

At times we all find ourselves in situations where we are overwhelmed with problems and difficulties and fears in our lives. At such times we are invited to make acts of pure faith and trust ... We are not alone ... and surely it is the Holy Spirit himself that gave man an understanding of the value and power of novena prayers?

The Novena of Padre Pio, is really The Novena of the Sacred Heart, and is a very efficacious prayer because of its very invitation to trust and because it is for the most part, Scriptural, it is showing us what God has promised us if we will but cling to Him.

In actual fact this novena was long popular in the Franciscan Order long before Padre Pio.

But combined with his intercession we have a wonderful prayer for help ... and our angel of consolation will come too as we pray this Novena.

Please take note that the main parts of the novena are short passages from;

1. Matthew ch 7 verses 7+
2. John 14. verses 13 +
3. Matthew 24. verses 35 +
See below for the Novena in full


From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio- (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Pray, Hope and Don't worry"
 



The Novena

+



In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you."
Behold, I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of ... (Here state your petition.)


Our Father ... ..
Hail Mary ... ...
Glory be to the Father ... ...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. 

O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you."

Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of ... (Here state your petition.)

Our Father ... ..
Hail Mary ... ...
Glory be to the Father ... ...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O my Jesus, you have said:"Truly I say to you, Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away."
Encouraged by your infallible words, I now ask for the grace of ... (Here state your petition.)

Our Father ... ..
Hail Mary ... ...
Glory be to the Father ... ...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O, Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners, and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, our hope.
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your thy womb, Jesus.
O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary!

Pray for us, holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

In this extract from Brother Pio's writings the flames of purgatory are to be seen as the purifying love — Divine love that the soul must pass through before it enters Heaven. Padre Pio offered himself as priest to God for so many; his whole vocation was redemptive through suffering, and we too are called to be co-workers with the master.

With love ... ... May Saint Pio bless you this day ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"I have made a pact with the Lord: when my soul has been purified in the flames of purgatory and deemed worthy to be admitted to the presence of God, I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."... (from a letter to spiritual daughter Antonietta Pompilio)


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

There is such love and selflessness in this text, that despite the fact Padre Pio yearned to be united with Jesus in Heaven, he thought not of himself but of souls. He regarded all those in his care as his children and like a good father would see them attain joy and safety before he himself would enter beyond the door of Heaven ...
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Who can say how far reaching are the Blessings given from Fatherhood — not only the Fatherhood of a priest, but from the hearts of all loving fathers?

How beautiful this is ... that somewhere, even now, out there, there ARE priests who bless us, who labour for the salvation of souls. A blessing is the greatest gift we can bestow upon another, for it draws down Gods grace and love, no matter how unworthy we may be.

In the stillness of the night, remember Brother Pio's blessing.

With love.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I have often raised my hand in the silence of the night and in my solitary cell, blessing you all and presenting you to Jesus and to our father, St. Francis of Assisi.

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Oh! sweet gift, sweet gift that presents us to Jesus ... and to Saint Francis, the most Christ-like of Saints ... Francis who also bore the wounds of the Stigmata.
Kiss the wounded hands of Jesus and give thanks for these saints who watch over us, guide us, bless us ... and try by their example to lead us along the path of holiness.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Blessed Sunday to you all ... Yes, our God is a God of transformation! This short extract from the writings of Padre Pio is very profound and very true.That which we surrender to God, that which we let go of and allow God to be God ... He changes to good. We can never trust Him enough.

May Brother Pio bless you and through his prayers may you receive the grace that you know, deep within you, you need this day.
With Love

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The God of Christians is the God of metamorphosis; you throw your sufferings into his bosom and you draw out peace; you throw in despair and you see hope coming to the surface.

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Consider the Butterfly, or at least consider the many changes and transformations it passes through before it becomes, beautiful, independent and free! It is precisely for this reason that it is a symbol of the Resurrection. We too will pass through many stages, many transformations ... but if you find it challenging, and at times painful, remember the Butterfly ...
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Yes, TIME is a precious gift, one which we often squander, wile away or use badly ... life is passing, time is passing ... and all the more reason to realise that we must use the time left to us well, for His Kingdom, for His glory.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Oh how precious time is! Blessed are those who know how to make good use of it, because, on the day of judgment, all will have to render a strict account of it to the supreme Judge. Oh, if only all could understand how precious time is, undoubtedly everyone would do his best to spend it in a praiseworthy manner!
 


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Time is one of the most precious gifts that we can give to another, to be present to them. It is also the area in which we can most practise our spiritual poverty, that emptying out of self ... for we all want time for ourselves! But so often the need of another will demand us to respond to them and their needs. Initially we may be put out or annoyed, but when we have overcome self, died to self, and served the cause of good in and for our neighbour we know we have made the right choice.

With love ... ... 
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We are often inclined to think of Padre Pio as being somewhat severe, and indeed he was unsparing with sinners who tried to conceal truth from him in the confessional, and he could be a bit brusque with self-adulators. Saints are not just all sweet and nice, they are those souls who struggle valiantly to allow God to live totally within them and to do His will as perfectly as they can here on earth.

Padre Pio smiled plenty of times and he was fond of pranks and jokes! A good Franciscan!

May Saint Pio smile on you today ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Padre, you are so good!" "I am not good, only Jesus is good. I don't know how this habit of St. Francis that I wear does not run away from me! The worst delinquent on earth is golden compared to me."

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Padre Pio did not want the adulation of men, he was not interested in flattery but wanted rather that man saw beyond the instrument to the Creator. St Francis's constant prayer and cry was, "You are Good all good, the only good .." How clearly he saw that ...

One of the hallmarks of Franciscan spirituality is its focus and emphasis on the goodness of God. It is an expression of true humility. Padre Pio knew well that all he had was not of his own merit but by the goodness and love of God.

Like Brother Pio, let us not be afraid to laugh at ourselves ... we are all delinquents in one way or another!
 



Dear Little Hearts,

One thing is certain Padre Pio knew the human heart and its struggles, he could "read hearts", this is both a gift of the Holy Spirit and that which comes from having a loving exposure and mutual exchange with others.

We should smile at ourselves at times. If we feel uncomfortable under the scrutiny of such a saint, what of God Himself, from Whom no secrets are hid? May Brother Pio bless you this day and take your petitions and intentions tot he throne of God.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Do not fear adversities because they place the soul at the foot of the Cross and the Cross places it at the gates of Heaven, where it will find Him who triumphed over death and will introduce it to eternal life.

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

This is so simply put, but well worth remembering, that God's plan is that all the adversity we encounter in this life is actually an invitation to stand at the foot of the Cross where we will see clearly if we gaze upon the Lord, the true meaning and value of our existence, and that death is not the end. At the foot of the Cross we will know that souls are bought at a great price, and when we unite our sufferings to Christ we are co-workers with Him.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Bless you all! Brother Pio is saying here that we will attain Heaven, precisely by walking along the path that we know God has called us to, and through ... What His will is, is our surest and safest path, even if it be through barren deserts, rough terrain, or sun-kissed meadows, God knows that which is best for us, that which will make us most like unto Him. In His will is our peace ...

May you know peace in your own heart and life through the prayers of Saint Pio, no matter what the external circumstances are.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Why should you worry if Jesus wants to make you reach the Heavenly homeland through deserts or fields, when we get to blessed eternity anyway either by one or the other? Cast aside all excessive preoccupations that derive from the trials the good God sends you; and if this is not possible, do not think about it and be resigned in everything to the divine will.

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Excessive preoccupation and worry, occludes the light, our vision becomes ever more self-orientated and self-focused. It achieves nothing apart from making us more and more tense. Surrender your burden over and over and over again into the tender hands of Jesus.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Through the prayers of Saint Padre Pio may you, too, grow and know ever more deeply Mary's tender love and care ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Beautiful Mother, dear Mother, you are so beautiful. If it weren't for faith, men would make you a goddess. Your eyes shine brighter than the sun; you are beautiful, Mother I glory in it, for I love you. Please! help me!"

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

The strength of a priest is in his holy anointing, in his being set apart; his strength is in his consecration to Christ ... a priest needs on-going support, he needs love ... Mary always reaches out to her priests, they are her sons ... and she awaits a reply.

A priest dedicated to Mary always possesses an additional dimension to his priesthood ... for she is the gentle nurturing presence in his life.

Everything that applies to the priest, applies to each one of us ... we need Mary ... we need a Mother.

See how much tender trust Brother Pio had in Mary! We could not do better .

 



Dear Little Hearts,

Bless you! The home, the community that God has placed you in, is your unique path to holiness. It is the ground where you will be pruned and nurtured by God to become holy, if you will but say "YES!"

There is no need to travel to the ends of the earth, or wish to be a martyr on foreign soil, no! ... the place of our sanctification is precisely where God has placed us. In our family with all its suffering and  dysfunction ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The principal self-denial takes place in the home.

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

How true this is. It is by the interaction of persons in the home, the struggles to love, that we die most to our own will, selfishness and pride.

How many times we have to say NO to ourselves that others may grow, may share, may be ... may shine ... it is easier to enter into the sorrows of others than their joys ... but these denials, these deaths are all a preparation for our ultimate death to this world ...
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We now enter into this great week of FIRE, the fire of suffering and love.

Few of us will ever be called upon to be stigmatists, but all of us will receive mystical wounds if we are sincerely struggling, trying, to do the Sweet will of our Saviour. There is no love without suffering, but it is what we do with the suffering that matters ... for bearing our suffering, for not being scandalised by Him, we show forth the beauty or weakness of our love.

Let us press our wounds to His and pray for souls, pray for the Church, pray for our Pope ...

May Saint Padre Pio bless us and pray for us to surrender all to Jesus as he did.

A blessed, prayerful Palm Sunday ...
 



From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The angels are jealous of us for one reason only; they are not able to suffer for God. Only through suffering can a soul say with certainty; "My God, You see I do love You!"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Blessed Holy Week ... the hardest prayer ever to utter is, "THY WILL BE DONE"... it is never easy to surrender our own will, our fears and trepidations, in the face of life's problems.

This was Christ's journey in this Holy Week, to surrender His will to the Father, and it is a path along which we will all be called.

But it is such a blessed, holy thing to say, "THY WILL BE DONE", it encloses great trust ...

In His will is our peace.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The devil has only one door through which to enter into our soul: the will. There are no secret doors. There is no sin, if it has not been committed willfully. When the will does not consent, there is no sin — only human weakness.


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

The exercise of self will, especially when selfishly motivated is a sure invitation to the evil one; when we go against the light God offers to each of us and choose our own will and way ... we can be sure that evil will come sneaking in ...
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A grace filled Tuesday of Holy Week! We would all like to have been called to do "Great Things for God", but for many of us our Christian  life is a calling to faithfulness to the little duties in our specific state of life ... many hidden from the eyes of others, acts of love, sacrifice and goodness, but totally known to God.

Often we can rise up to the great things, and in some ways they already bring a reward by their appraisal by others — but the small hidden things, they are the pearls of love.

May Padre Pio bless you this day and bring you a special grace, a grace that will bring you closer to Jesus

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Make a particular effort to practise sweetness and submission to the will of God, not only in extraordinary matters, but even in the little things that occur daily. Make these acts not only in the morning, but also during the day and in the evening, with a tranquil and joyful spirit. And if you should fail in this, humble yourself, make a new resolution, get up and continue on your way.

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

We all fail, but let us not be discouraged, the way forward is to dust ourselves off, stand up, say sorry, and move onwards!
 



Prayer of the Five Wounds


It is well recorded that Saint Clare had a great devotion to the prayer of the five wounds.

Indeed on her death bed she exhorted a sister to pray it.

Clare kept before her eyes and in her prayer the sufferings of the Lord Jesus always. She knew his suffering and his victory. The mystery of goodness and love is far greater than the mystery of evil.

We know that Clare wept over the Crucified.

We know that she talked to her sisters about the Crucified.

And we know that she carried her own sufferings in union with those of Christ.

The prayer of the Five Wounds is only really possible if we have a burning love for Jesus… otherwise it is but words.

In the prayer of the five wounds, each wound carries its own unique message, if one prays and absorbs the spirit of the message of each wound; it is a means of growing in love.

The Wound in the Left hand — prayer for Strength and Fortitude.

Let us pray for mercy and grace for those who accept their sins and seek reconciliation. (Luke 23 v 40)

The wound in the Right hand — prayer for Forgiveness

Let us pray for forgiveness and conversion for all those who plunder life, let us pray for all criminals. (Luke 23 v 39)

The wound in the left foot-prayer — prayer for Perseverance and faithfulness to the end

Let us pray that our own spiritual motherhood in union with Mary at the Foot of the Cross . (John 19 v 27)

The Wound in the right foot — prayer for Repentance

Pray for all those entrusted to us, that we take that and whom God entrusts to us, to the home in our heart. (John 19 v 27)

The wound in the side of Christ — prayer for Faith, Hope and to Love. With all my Heart, All my soul. All my strength

Gazing upon the pierced side, let us pray for the wounded Church, that She becomes a New Community, giving birth to children of God, and also that new life is given to me and my community (John 19.27)

With each wound we can be united with Our Mother Clare, in silent tears, in our speech, and all with a burning love.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A grace filled Wednesday of Holy Week! Today is called Spy Wednesday, the day when we commemorate the gathering malice and evil that had already condemned Jesus to death long before the trial. Betrayal ... something that we will all experience during in our life in one way or another, it is a sin of which we are all guilty of. Whether it be a betrayal of a person, persons, of an ideal, a promise ... we so need the Lords grace, but the response is not to despair like Judas but to repentant and seek reconciliation with the Lord.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Fear is an evil worse than evil itself.


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Fear can be a paralysing Passion, it can occlude all good, all reason, and render us totally impotent to act to choose the good ... Fear is a bad counsellor and he who listens to it will be led astray.

It is not easy to overcome our fears but God has told us not to be afraid, and so the ideal is to strive to overcome our fears with and in Him.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday! This is the great feast of love! It is the day when Christ instituted the Eucharist ... how our hearts should be full of thanksgiving that He chose to remain with us in such an approachable manner, dwelling in the HOST!

This is a day when we remember all the members of God's priesthood, all those many faithful servants of God who day after day minister to and feed Gods people, and also a day to pray for the suffering and pain in so many peoples hearts created by the betrayal and sins of priests. Pray for them all. Recall to mind the words of Saint Padre Pio.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"How many abominations took place in your sanctuary! My Jesus pardon! ... Punish me and not the others ...


The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Saint Pio willing accepted the terrible burden of being a victim soul, one who carried the burdens of others sin and interceded for them. He offered himself for all, all those who came to him to confessions, by the thousands, but most particularly in atonement for sinful and unworthy priests.

This was truly in the spirit of Our Holy Father St Francis who condemned the sin but loved the sinner.

Let us ask Padre Pio to intercede for all priests in crisis.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Let the silence speak! let his Cross speak, let his wounds speak!

We are so loved, so precious in his sight ...

Let us today BEHOLD THE HEART THAT HAS SO LOVED MAN

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

My Hope is all in you Lord Jesus

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun replies:

Yes, our hope is all in the Lord Jesus, without him we are empty vessels, poor and needy ...
Let us say:

"My hope is all in your Lord Jesus
My love is all in you Lord Jesus
My faith is all in you Lord Jesus"

May Padre Pio pray and intercede for you this day and draw you with your whole and total being to stand beneath His Cross and adore Him.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Blessed Easter Monday, may you know joy! Saint Padre Pio loved his Lord Jesus with every fibre of his being, he always struggled to keep close to Jesus in his Passion, and he fulfilled perfectly his vocation as victim and sacrifice ... but he also knew JOY, he also knew how to be an Apostle of happiness and a witness to the Resurrection. He loved to make jokes, and play pranks ... this is a sign of holiness.

There is nothing holy in putting on an apparent humility and gazing at the floor all the time, the truly holy person enters into life totally and finds God in the present moment whatever the present moment may hold.

So lets all smile ... For we are so loved by God

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Don’t allow any sadness to dwell in your soul, for sadness prevents the Holy Spirit from acting freely."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Bless you! Saint Padre Pio experienced in his life innumerable sufferings, not simply those of the stigmata, but the sufferings of condemnation, judgement, criticism, betrayal, loneliness, mental, spiritual and physical sufferings ... added to this all the burdens he took upon himself in the confessional, and the counselling of countless souls ... How did he carry this burden, how did he manage to keep going amidst constant adversity?

He bound his will to that of Christ's, he was obedient in an exemplary manner, but above all he kept his eyes on Jesus, kept his eyes on the goal ...
Saint Padre Pio pray for us, that by Gods grace we may see the face of Jesus as our one true light.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Be my light O, my God,
so that I can know myself fully
and realise the great love you have for me, and let me for all eternity, enjoy the utter beauty of Your Divine Face.
O, infinite beauty,
O, spring of endless blessedness and joy.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Who among us has not cried out at some time or another, "My God where are you?"... we all have known moments, maybe hours, months even years of desolation and darkness ... and yet something, someone urges us on to the good despite the seeming emptiness, the someone is the Holy Spirit ...

Look at the beautiful line in this extract of Saint Padre Pio, "You are the spark in my dying soul"... We can all recognise that as true ...

Take courage, trust God, see and follow in the footprints of those who have gone ahead of us ... speak as a child to Saint Pio he will be as a father to you, if you let him ...
Obedience too is our one support, obedience to His word, will, and invitation to follow through the Cross to the Resurrection.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

My supreme Good,
where are you?
I no longer seem to know you,
I cannot find you.
But I am compelled to seek you.
You are the spark in my dying soul.
O God, My God-
There is nothing else I can say
- Why have you forsaken me?
I know nothing else,
not even my own life
which I have become unaware of living.
Obedience is my one support
in this relentless storm,
my only fat
amidst the shipwreck.
My God, My Life, my all.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Saint Padre Pio, on his own admission fought against his natural lack of gentleness, he saw it as a good and tried to grow in gentleness and tenderness towards others, those are the choices of a saint! to know ones weakness and imperfection and to attempt to change!

But, he had the most tender and sweet love of Mary, and a most filial love towards God, therein is the answer, we can become ever more like Christ, if we seek to grow more and more in His image.

A blessed Easter day to you all

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Do not be at all surprised at your weakness, but acknowledge what you are, and blush at your infidelity towards God, then confide in Him and abandon yourself tranquilly in the arms of the Heavenly Father, like a child in the arms of its mother.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The heart of a Sister, a Consecrated Nun listens to the heart of a Saint .. .and says ...

Have confidence in God! as Saint Pio says here, the Lord always keeps His promises, He is so faithful to us ... look through Scripture, be aware of all He promises us, both in this life and the world to come; trust Him, we will never be tried beyond our strength, and His grace really is enough for us.

God honours His promises, look back in your life and you will see countless occasions when this has been so ...
 
Think only of one ..."The one who comes to me I will never turn away"...

What does your heart respond to that?

A blessed day to you all and May Saint Pio bless you with the gift of confidence in the promises of your God.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I do not know what will happen to me, but I am certain of one thing the Lord always keeps His promises. All the time Jesus keeps telling me, "Do not be afraid, though I let you suffer, I give you grace for it, It is My will that your soul be cleansed and put to test in the daily hidden trial of witness"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

There is no trial that we can pass through that cannot potentially yield growth and blessing for our souls ... For life to flourish, the changing seasons all make their contribution to the growth of the seed.

Do not be discouraged by the long winter within your soul, the spring will come ... there is no cross which does not lead to a Resurrection, trust Him, hope in Him. The saints have all walked this path before us ...

May Padre Pio be for you a good guide, and may he bless you


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The trials to which the Lord subjects you and will subject you are all signs of divine love and are jewels for the soul. Winter will pass and the never-ending spring will come, all the more rich in beauty as violent were the storms.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How tempting it is to become pre-occupied with all kinds of concerns, worries, both within our family, our community, and certainly all across of the board in what we see and read every day in the media.

So often we are paralysed by fears of events that may, could, would, can happen ... where there is LIFE ... there is always a degree of unpredictability ... and we can worry about something that never becomes a reality. It can occlude God because we are so taken up with the issue we cannot see, or hear anything else ... at the end we may well be worn out and to what purpose?

No pray for grace to trust more, to live totally in this present moment, present to God and present to others ... choose the better part and try and choose the path of surrender as Saint Pio advises us, and to do it by lifting up our spirit to God.

A Blessed day to you all.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Don't tire yourself with things that cause anxieties, perturbation and worries.
Only one thing is necessary, to lift up your spirit and love God"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

All of us are influenced by the witness and example of others, there are certain Saints who will enter our lives and speak to us through their writing, or some specific act of love or being.

We are not called to be "another" Saint so and so, we are called to be uniquely ourselves, totally authentic and real before and unto God.

However there is no doubt that there are persons whose influence on us will be life long and somehow what they give us serves Gods purpose as the Holy Spirit has given the inspiration in the first place.

Saint Padre Pio was of course affected from childhood by St Francis of Assisi, and indeed when he was baptised he was given the name, Francesco.

But he was also influenced by a contemporary, later to be Saint: Saint Gemma Galgani.

There were only 9 years difference in their ages, and they both hailed from Italy, and both became stigmatists.

We are what God makes us, and what others make us ... this should be a cause for great humility, realising how much we need others. And that we in turn must try to be a mirror of Christ and Mary for others.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

At times Padre Pio would send pilgrims coming from Tuscany and surrounding areas to Lucca. He would say, "Why are you coming to me for graces? Go to Lucca which is nearer to you, because you have there St. Gemma who is a great saint."

“I greatly rejoice that time flies so quickly, because that means so much less time to spend in this world, where there is nothing to attract me. My heart goes incessantly in search of a Treasure, an immense Treasure that I do not find in creatures; a Treasure that will satisfy me and console me, and give me rest." (Saint Gemma Galgani )
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How many times do we contemplate beginning a particular task full of misgivings and uncertainty, will it work? Is it the best thing, what if? ... and all the while time is passing! This is because we are attempting things in our own strength, the much better choice, is to invoke the Holy Spirit and seek Divine aid. He is the Creator, the One who can draw all the pieces together.

If we pray first the end result will be what God wants and not what we want.

Also we know when we hand something over to God, one way or another it will work out.

Every Blessing upon you this new day!
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"You do well never to begin any task
without first having implored divine help.
This will obtain for you
the grace of Holy Perseverance"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Turmoil, unrest, anxiety, agitation, all occlude and hinder the work of the Holy Spirit, they are fruitless emotions and lead only to further distress and worry. It is a great temptation to worry about tomorrow, it also means that we are not fully present to others ... NOW ...

At times we all feel burdened and we want to cry out for mercy and relief, at such times pour our your heart and soul to Jesus, for He alone has the answer. It is a sobering fact that the man who has worried about "tomorrow" ... never lived to see "tomorrow".

In His will is our peace, we will attain peace by no other way ... to say, THY will be done is not easy, but the more we practise the better we will become at surrendering ourselves to God.

Look at this picture below, just look at Padre Pio's eyes! they are full of suffering, if we can find such expressions irresistible, what of Our God when he gazes into our faces?

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Be calm in regards to your spirit, and always confide completely in Jesus. Make an effort to always conform to the Divine will in everything, in pleasure, and in adversity. Don’t worry about tomorrow!”
 



Dear Little Hearts,

This is a true poverty, to have responded totally to others needs and demands in love. This is a witness of priesthood that we need to reflect upon in these hard and challenging times within the Church. That there are souls, like Padre Pio who fight against the forces of evil. It also touches again upon the theme of time, and how we all have responsibility to use the time entrusted us by God well.

But this belongs not only to priests, but to us all, to pray for souls.

We should look at ourselves some times with a degree of humour. We complain that we have no time, and yet when we have it, can we honestly say we put it to good use?

It is the making of a constant choice to choose the better part, love and service, manifested in our God given duties and in prayer.

A Blessed day to you all.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"I haven't a free moment. All my time is spent in setting my brothers free from the snares of Satan ... This is precisely what I am doing by night by day ...
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Love and blessings to you all! How hard it is to put the truths that we know into practise sometimes ... and that is good it is humbling and shows ones need of God and grace.

We are, I think, back on line ... and I have prayed, hoped and WORRIED! So be encouraged we all fail the ideal, but we are all trying! If you visit our web site at Ty Mam Duw you will find it has been given a renewal in presentation. Hope you enjoy it!

With love

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Pray, Hope, and Don't worry""
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How encouraging it is when the saints allow us to see through their writings and example their weaknesses, how we can identify with that and be encouraged to struggle on. Under the weight of the Cross we can all be as a little child, so vulnerable and little ...

See here in this extract, Saint Pio in all humility admits of his weakness ... we should not be afraid to be seen as "fragile"; it is our beautiful humanity, it flows out from our true authentic self, and it is this self, this heart that God wants ... the real US!

May St Pio bless you this day and give you hope.

With love ...
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Heavenly Father has not ceased to allow me to share in the sufferings of his only begotten Son, even physically.
These pains are so acute as to be absolutely indescribable and unconceivable. I don't know whether it is a lack for fortitude and a fault, that I unwittingly cry like a child when placed in this state"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

At times in our lives we all know loneliness, a sense of isolation and pain, at such times reflect upon the fact that actually we are never alone, not only are we surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, the saints and martyrs, but we are surrounded by the whole angelic world, and to think God gives to each of us an angel guardian. He is Gods car for us ... he is a light of God for us ...

And imitate Saint Pio, if you are troubled about a loved one, your concerns that they may be in moral or actual danger, send your guardian angel to them ... taking your love and prayer for their good.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Never forget the Guardian Angel who is always with you, never leaving you for whatever wrong you might do. Oh, the ineffable goodness of this our good Guardian Angel! How many times, alas!, I have made him cry for not having wanted to comply with his wishes, which were also God's. May this our most faithful friend free us from further disloyalty. (Letters vol. II, no. 41)
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We are living in such troubled and uncertain times, the HEART of our God is our one real refuge. Invite Jesus to sit down upon the throne of your heart and manifest His Lordship. No matter how sinful we may experience and know ourselves to be, Jesus will never turn away the one that comes to him. The door of His heart is always open to us ... knock and tell him you are present and need his love.

Saint Pio often advised the troubled to, "Knock at the heart of Jesus", he was only underscoring Christ's own words, "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you ...

May Saint Pio bless you this day ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit always be at the centre of your heart. Place your heart in the open side of the Saviour and unite it with the King of our hearts who is within them as on a royal throne, in order that He might receive homage and obedience from all other hearts. He keeps his door open so that everybody can approach Him and gain an audience at all times.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Pain is something that we are all familiar with in one way or another, it may be physical, mental, moral or spiritual. Not least is the pain of disappointment, disappointment is not something one reads a great deal about in spiritual books, and yet it can be a very real pain.. to have lived in an expectation of a perceived good, that somehow at a given moment does not become a reality ... what an invitation to trust ...

A loved one fails us, children make choices we are not attuned to, a job we hoped to obtain is not offered us, a meeting with a loved one that doesn't happen, disappointments are real experiences.

They are Gethsemane experiences and can be very painful. But surely in Gods sight a whispered Credo when life swims against us is something precious and beautiful, it is a test of our love, a test of our belief.

It is not easy to turn disappointments around but we can with Gods grace come to see some message at the core of the experience from Gods heart to ours. Disappointments should never lead us to cease praying! NO, NO, NO! Persevere! ... let God see the extent of your love and trust in HIM.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The most beautiful credo is the one that bursts forth from your lips in darkness, in sacrifice, in pain, in the supreme effort of an unbending will for good; this is what dispels, like a flash of lightning, the gloom of your soul, it is what leads you to God in the fury of the storm.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Prayer of abandonment to God and his will is probably the most meaningful prayer we ever utter ... for each of us comes an hour of Gethsemane, a situation to which we have no answer, a situation we cannot see beyond ... and yet ... this is not the end, we live after all not just the sufferings of Jesus but the whole Paschal mystery. And to quote Saint Pio, "the beautiful sun will return".

God gives to each of us a Simon of Cyrene, someone who through love bears our burdens too ... this was the role of Padre Pio within his priesthood to carry the sufferings of others ...

Let us to be a Simon of Cyrene for someone we know who carries burdens and sufferings that weigh them down.

We all need each other ...
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Keep strongly and constantly united to God, consecrating all your affections, torments, and your entire self to Him, patiently awaiting the return of that beautiful sun, whenever the Spouse is pleased to visit you through trials of aridity, desolation and darkness of spirit.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

This is a very simple statement but profoundly true! in order to bring any relief, respite to another person who is suffering we need to do all in love and for love.

A service rendered to another in a distracted, reluctant or preoccupied manner lacks the one thing necessary, love. It is not enough just to minister to another needs, just as a fulfillment of a duty. It is human warmth and tenderness, COM-PASSION (suffering with) that gives the other the beginnings of relief. There are some situations where no words will avail, the pain too deep, but hold the persons hand, bless them with a smile ... and they will feel loved.

The little gestures matter!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).


"Love is the first ingredient in the relief of suffering"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Darkness is something that we all experience in our spiritual journey to God, a state when we are totally unable to see our way ahead, understand the signs of the present moment, it is as it were as if all light physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is occluded ... an eclipse of the good.

It is a hard state to find ourselves in, and we may be tempted to think that we can only find God upon Mount Tabour (the mountains of the revelation of Jesus Christ), the reality is that within the darkness God speaks! Thus transforming the darkness ... remember God was within the pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, His presence is within both.

Both potentially are meeting places for us with our God.
Hope in God and praise him still!
From the beginning of time, now and ever will be, the Holy Spirit will hover over the deep, hover over the darkness  ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The darkness that sometimes surrounds the Heaven of your soul is light. Because of this you think you are in the dark, and you have the impression of being in the centre of a burning bush. In fact when the bush burns, the air around it is filled with smoke clouds and the bewildered soul is afraid of not seeing, of no longer understanding anything. But it is then that God speaks and is present to the soul: who hears, understands, loves and trembles. Therefore, do not wait for Tabor to see God when you already contemplate Him on Sinai!
 



Dear Little Hearts,

I would like to write this is defense of Saint Padre Pio. There has been criticisms in the media regarding the Shrine into which the bones of the Saint have now been placed. Millions of pounds are spent every year on drugs, cosmetics, alcohol, needless plastic surgery, Botox, and a hundred and one other superfluities, its almost as if, despite recession, man doesn't know actually what to spend his money on ...

But let the money be spent of God, or the things of God ... Oh No! that must become an area of criticism and hypocrisy.

Man needs beauty, man needs to see religious expressed in art, good religious art has its own message.

What a long way we have come, or rather gone, the mediaeval man understood that the work, the craftsmanship he laid at God's service was to be the very best he could create; it was considered an honour to work upon a Church for God. This is so well expressed in the beauty of our great cathedrals.

A holy place, a place that is "other", is needed by man, it can be found in all religions, the temple is created of the best for the best- God. Do not let the spirit of his world spoil for you what is actually a beautiful tribute to God.

May it be a blessed place of grace for all the faithful.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Trials and suffering come to us all. Saint Pio fed his soul upon the Mass, his Office and the Rosary, these were the pillars of his spiritual life. He became, as it were, "the Psalmist's song": he lived and experienced all the emotions of the Psalmist, he entrusted all things to Mary through his Rosary ... A simple way, yes ... but a path of grace.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The trials to which the Lord subjects you and will subject you are all signs of Divine love and are jewels for the soul. Winter will pass and the never-ending spring will come, all the more rich in beauty as violent were the storms.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

In his letters Padre Pio was very fond of writing about the imagery of the ship and the eternal shore.

The Gospel of the Lord commanding the waves to cease their turmoil inspired him with trust and confidence that Jesus is stronger than all the elements, that he is indeed LORD! for the most powerful force in existence is LOVE.

Mary is the light, the star that leads us over these troubled oceans to the safe port of Heaven.

What a beautiful filial gesture, the bowing of the head to receive the gentle laying on of hands of the Mother, and that Mother is Mary. To be blessed by the very Mother of God is awesome ... !

Saint Pio knew from experience how powerful was the intercession and blessing of Mary, against all the wiles of the evil one ... he sought her refuge constantly.

Let us in simplicity also ask Mary to lay her gentle hands upon our weary heads and give us her blessing.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

May Mary adorn your soul with flowers and the fragrance of ever new virtues and place her maternal hand on your head. Always stay close to this Heavenly Mother, because she is the sea through which we reach the shores of eternal splendour in the Kingdom of dawn.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The divine touch comes when it wills, we cannot dictate to God how we should pray. We may decide at a given moment that we are going to read, per example, a specific chapter, book, article, we sit down intending to give it our total attention and time, and instead of achieving our end, our heart is warmed, we are caught up on one word, one phrase, we are drawn into silence and prayer, and are very reluctant to pass on.

That is a Divine touch, and we should be obedient to that and remain where the Holy Spirit will have us remain ... resisting the temptation to fulfil our original intention. This response is a sensitivity to the divine touch ... we will not get any closer to God by pursuing our own will in this.

Conversely it can happen at other times that we decide ... NOW I AM GOING TO PRAY! ... . what happens? A desire touches us to go to a specific scripture passage, spiritual reading ... GO! this is all the Holy Spirit leading us. Let God be God.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I am very fond of good reading but I read very little because my illness prevents me and also because, when I open a book and read a little, I become deeply recollected and instead of reading am immersed in prayer.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

At this painful time in the history of the Church, let us not allow the focus upon the troubles within the priesthood to occlude from our minds the countless thousands of faithful priests labouring in the Lords vineyard.

And above all let it not occlude, dim in any way the glory of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Christ's Eucharistic presence.

In so many ways evil is striking at the pillars of society, the pillars of faith, and we should not be surprised that the Church knows this onslaught. Let us adore Jesus in his Eucharistic presence ... pray for our Pope, the Church that this purification will bring us to a greater truth. and so closer to Christ.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

In these sad times when faith is dead and wickedness is triumphant; when we are surrounded by those who have perpetual hatred in their hearts and blasphemy on their lips, the surest way of remaining immune from the pestiferous disease which surrounds us is to strengthen ourselves with Eucharistic food.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We can all understand this extract today, both the words of Saint Pio and the quote from scripture. We have made the experience in our own spiritual journey and also in participating in the wounds of the Church, still bleeding now ...
 
The answer against all these things lies in adoration and praise.

Much we cannot change as for some reason God has allowed it to be so, but our call is to focus upon the All Good God, to adore Him, trust Him, and surrender all things to HIM.

St Francis of Assisi was beset and surrounded by many evils within and out of the Church, yet he loved the Church, the Priesthood and all poor sinners, that is the path of Christ ... and we are called to become more and more "icons" of the Lord. So do not be afraid, and rejoice that although the lion may roar, to intimidate, to create fear, to attempt to paralyse his victims ... he cannot possess your soul, only if you sell it to him.

Adore God ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Be calm but vigilant because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat."
(1 Peter 5)

Let this unhappy creature create an uproar, let him even threaten to swallow you up; it doesn't matter, for he can achieve nothing against your soul, which Jesus has now clasped to himself and sustains in a mysterious manner by his ever present grace.
Don't fear the gloomy wrath of the evil one ... It is a good sign when he ... roars around your will. This shows that he is not within you.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

It is a wise thing to remember that all our falls from grace, or the marring of our soul through the failure to love, can ultimately serve Gods purpose if they make us turn to HIM in our weakness and desperation. The way of failure can be a path of tremendous grace is we let it be, if it turns us in sorrow constantly to God, and gives us a heart of compassion for others.

Spiritual sickness needs the healing touch of God, it needs his forgiveness ... in order to receive healing, we have but to be totally open to the Holy Spirit and ask for healing ...

Sounds simple, but, many people that are spiritually sick fail to turn to God because they know that in all probability they will fall again, that tomorrow they may still feel the same ... NO! NO! NO!

He waits for us, he waits to implant upon us the healing kiss of his Spirit, abandon yourself to Him and know true joy!


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

“Be careful never to become discouraged when you are spiritually ill. If God permits you to be weak and fall, it is not for the purpose of abandoning you, but rather, to make you humble, and more careful in the future.”

“Be calm in regards to your spirit, and always confide completely in Jesus. Make an effort to always conform to the Divine will in everything, in pleasure, and in adversity. Don’t worry about tomorrow!”
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We must not loose sight of that fact that Saint Pio was actually a true son of Saint Francis of Assisi, he was a Capuchin priest and lived by the Holy Rule and Admonitions as laid down by Francis.

It is a rule that embodies the Gospel values, humility, poverty, charity and service.

Reading the letters and writings of St Pio we can see how totally he absorbed and practised the teachings of Francis; per example, today's extract was originally a saying of Francis:

"My Dear Brothers, up until now we have done nothing, let us do good while we still have time".

This is a call to an ever NEW beginning which we can all make, we know only too well the failures and sins of the past, but this present moment is a new day, a new grace, and we can begin anew ... NOW.

We can never presume on time, we can never presume on how long we may yet walk this earth, now is the time to respond to God, He yearns for us and is waiting for us ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Let us do good while we still have time, and we will render glory to our Heavenly Father, sanctify ourselves, and give good example to others.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The spirit of the world is so fickle, so replete with superfluities' and puffed up with its own pride. The spirit of the world is anything but simple, as it seeks to confuse and Lord it over those it considers of lesser attainments and achievements.

The world has much to say against us precisely because we are, or should be a a challenge to its values and goals.

This world does not want to hear truth; how quickly it retaliates when a word is spoken that is not in its favour!

If everyone agrees us with, loves us, there is something wrong, it means that basically we have said and been to others exactly what they want us to say or be.

No, as lovers, imitators of Christ, we will be hated by this world, Jesus said so, why should we worry or be surprised, what we need to well upon is the fact, so the world hates us, BUT CHRIST loves us!
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Love an practise simplicity and humility and don't worry about the opinion of the world, because if this world had nothing to say against us, we would not be real servants of God.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Saint Padre Pio as a Franciscan was well acquainted with our Holy Mother St Clare and her virtues, indeed this extract is reminiscent of Clares own writings ... where she exhorts us not to be ensnared by the world and its false lovers! Jesus Christ is the TRUTH, if we seek truth amongst the folly of this world we will be bitterly disappointed. Jesus is the answer to all our longings an desires, all I yearning for happiness. He alone is worthy of our total trust.

In joy or in sorrow to abandon oneself to God in trust is what will bring us the greatest peace of mind and being.

Let us too choose the better part and place our God first in all things.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Let us also ask our good Jesus for the humility, trust and faith of our dear saint Clare; let us pray fervently to Jesus like her. Let us abandon ourselves to Him; detach ourselves from this lying world where everything is folly and vanity; everything passes, only God remains to the soul, if it knows how to love Him well.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

One of the most beautiful lines in the Gospel is uttered by Jesus at the Last Supper, "I have come among you as one who serves".

He the Lord and Master of all chose to serve, thereby giving us a witness and example.

The greatest joys in life are found in the service of God and of others.

We may be called to render very humble and seemingly insignificant serves to others, but it is precisely by these acts that the love and compassion of Christ is shown forth.

When we lovingly serve our families, our communities, we are 'living in the will of God' and nothing is more pleasing to Him.

The heart of man so often marred by pride and arrogance often prefers to be served, than to serve others, but such a soul will be poorer for his choice, and miss 'the many splendored thing'

Look at the service Saint Pio rendered to God and to souls? 19 hours a day often in the confessional! and carrying the burden of all the sins that were brought to him as a priest ... but how this brought him into union with his Lord ...

When we are placed in a situation where a request, an invitation is hard to respond to, of if through selfishness we really want to do "our own thing", let us then remember the words of Jesus, "I have come among you as one who serves".

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

God is served only when He is served as He wishes to be.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know that feeling of wanting to do something great for God, of wanting to do the 'holy and best thing' and yet how often in our daily life do we make that experience and know, if we are honest with ourselves, for one reason or another we can only take small steps towards the goal. All winged creatures, and we ARE winged creatures because the Holy Spirit spurs us on, all creatures have times of rest and inactivity ... we need the grace to accept that at a given moment that is us, we are just crawling along, taking baby steps, just shaking our wings and getting no further.

God sees it all.. we are never the less at those times, in his service and trying to love him ...
 
Little steps are better than apathy, and not even attempting to move forward.

How beautifully patient our God is with us ... A true Father who understands both the littleness and the greatness of his child.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

When you are unable to take big steps on the path that leads to God, be content with little steps, patiently waiting until you have the legs to run; or better still, wings to fly. Be content with being, for now, a little bee in a hive, which will soon become a big bee, capable of producing honey.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The loss of an entering into, appreciating, the value of silence is something that in this digital age we have for the greater part, lost.

Normally our lives are crammed with perpetual noise of one kind or another, and ultimately we find ourselves in a meaningless void.

The human soul needs silence to commune with its God, its needs that space, the space that demands nothing and just lets us be.

"Being", is so important, because by being still and open to the pregnant silence and simply 'knowing God', is the way to replenish our hearts and expended energies.

Sadly we tend to evaluate ourselves by what we can do and achieve, as life goes on we will see that many of the options will go, its then, and God has allowed old age for a purpose, that we should realise that the quality of our being is so important both for ourselves and others whom we relate to. God speaks, yes! But are we, are we truly listening?

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Lovingly humble yourself before God and man, because God speaks to the humble. Love silence, because much talk is never without sin. Withdraw into yourself as much as you can, because, in this way, the Lord speaks freely to the soul, and the soul is more able to listen to His voice.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

There are times when for the good of another we need to 'speak the truth in love'. We have to first discern what God would have us say and do, and then offer it to the other, but always with reverence and goodness.

A self righteous, dominating attitude never bears fruit, it will close the space between you and another ... but to'speak the truth in love, you are doing and saying before God what you think may need to be said for another's good. The important thing is not so much the success but your ability under God, to say that which will sew a seed that the other may reflect upon and then hopefully make the right choice or amendment.

Correction is all part of love ...

As St Clare states in her rule, Anger hinders the work of the Holy Spirit, and how true this is ... how we present what we say has a great deal to do with how it is received or not received.

And at the end of the day we too must be prepared to be totally open to whatever the response it.

Love is truly an art ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Even when reprimanding one must be courteous and gentle.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The Christian  message should always be a message of hope, it should always be seen to hold out to man that promise of Resurrection even, and, yes, while a person is in suffering and darkness. The Road to Calvary goes ever onward, it does not stop at the Cross but passes on to the tomb and beyond ... let us choose to be witnesses to that hope as Saint Pio was!

Jesus Christ is the King of all time and all ages, to him alone let us render our loyalty and service..

Yes, The Kingdom of God is very near to us!
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Your Kingdom is not far away, allow us to participate in Your triumph on earth to then participate in Your Kingdom in Heaven. Grant that, being unable to contain the communication of Your charity, we preach Your divine Regality by our example and good works. Take possession of our hearts in time to possess them in eternity. Keep us under Your sceptre so that neither life nor death can separate us from You. Let our lives be drawn from You in large draughts of love which will then extend over humanity and let us die at every moment to live only for You and keep You in our hearts.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We are so loved! by Our God, by the Saints, we are so loved ... !
Here is a most beautiful image of Fatherhood, Fatherhood born of the Spirit.
This is true love, the laying down of ones life, of all one is, for others.
It is the Royal Road to Calvary and beyond.
Say to yourself many times this day, "I am so loved, I am so loved""...

A Blessed day to you all.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I belong entirely to everyone. Everyone can say: "Padre Pio is mine. "I deeply love my brothers in exile. I love my spiritual children as much as my own soul and even more. I have regenerated them to Jesus through suffering and love. I can forget myself but not my spiritual children, indeed I can assure you that when the Lord calls me I will say to Him: "Lord, I will remain at the gates of Paradise; I will go in when I have seen the last of my children enter. I suffer so much because I cannot win all my brothers for God. At times I am on the point of dying of heartache on seeing so many suffering souls without being able to relieve them and so many brothers allied to Satan."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

God gives us many invitations, many offers of grace, but we need to respond, Love calls forth, and needs, a response ... without it a true union and communion will never take place.

We are meant to be co-workers with Christ, not only labouring for the salvation of souls, but also to labour that the vineyard, within, of our own soul is tendered, cleaned, and bringing forth fruit.

This extract from Saint Pio shows us the need to co-operate with Gods plan, allowing him to be God in our life.

Echoing the words of Christ, and Saint Pio let us always remember that without HIM we can do nothing ... we so need Jesus his love and his grace in order to become what he truly intends us to be ... HIS . and totally alive ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Jesus and your soul must cultivate the vine in agreement. Your task is to remove the stones, pull away the thorns. Jesus is to sow, plant, cultivate and water. But even in your work there is the work of Jesus. Without Him, you can do nothing.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How great is the love and mercy of our God, that he does not allow us, as it were, to see the whole of our sinfulness and brokenness at once, but little by little, and, that by grace we grow in understanding of who we are! ... It is an often painful and surprising revelation even unto ourselves, but it is GODS LOVE, that we learn to see and truly know how much we need God and what we would be without HIM ... we are a mystery to ourselves.

But it is actually a beautiful path of truth upon which ultimately we give God our true and authentic self, not the person we thought we were or would like to imagine we are, but who we truly ARE, the real me! AND THAT IS LOVE, to give in total trust all we are as we are unto another.

It is so humbly and as St Pio writes here, how on earth can the veil be removed and yet we still carry pride in our hearts.

Humility is such a beautiful virtue, it is that childlikeness which makes the soul irresistible unto God ... Holiness is transparency and light!

Let YOUR light shine!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Lord allows us to discover who we are a little at a time. In fact, it is inconceivable to me how anyone with intelligence and a conscience can become proud.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Obedience is not a bondage, it is not something that limits our freedom and humanity, rather it perfects it, when that obedience is rendered unto our God. I mean obedience in the fullest sense of the word, that of listening and discerning Gods voice in our life and in our conscience. Obedience is often so often misunderstood, misinterpreted and seen as something undesirable. No! it is a beautiful virtue, it is that which lends its ear to Gods love and will in our lives. We cannot be led astray if we truly listen to Gods words and put it into practice.

So many errors have been and are given birth to within the Church through disobedience, the making of the choice to do it 'my way' and not God's. It is a beautiful thing and also so potentially dangerous our God given free will, we can learn to use it rightly by listening to God. So let us decide to walk the stairway that leads to Heaven and not the path of sin and destruction.

"Oh! that today you would listen to the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts"...

God loves us so much, he yearns for the return of our love, so much, let us be true lovers ... lovers listen, hearken to the voice of the Beloved ... union comes by an entering in, in all things.

Oh! how sweet is the voice of God!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Where there is no obedience, there is no virtue, where there is no virtue, there is no goodness, no love, and where there is no love, God is not there and without God we do not go to Paradise. These form a stairway and if one step is missing from the stairway we fall down.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

At times we are tempted to think that only the great and obvious things are really serving God, that which pertains to mission, achievement in the apostolic field and so on. But in reality that is only one way, a very real way of service.

The other pertains far more to the hidden, or almost hidden practises of virtue, those loving touches and concerns for others that make up so much of the fabric of our lives.

Actually what we do not do regarding the little things we will not do with the great, faithfulness to that which we know love asks of us is of paramount importance.
In one way we all have, or should have a "life hidden with Christ in God"... that ongoing life giving choice that flows out from love.

We should never fear failure, failure touches us all, failure allows us to see the weakness and sinfulness of our humanity and our need of God. In all things serve and love God, in things great and small give him the glory, give him your heart!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Make a particular effort to practise sweetness and submission to the will of God, not only in extraordinary matters, but even in the little things that occur daily. Make these acts not only in the morning, but also during the day and in the evening, with a tranquil and joyful spirit. And if you should fail in this, humble yourself, make a new resolution, get up and continue on your way.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

As we look towards the forthcoming feast of Pentecost let us remember that the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is known as the 'laughter of God'; He is the joy, the life and inspiration of all our acts of love.

We are all called to be as little children, and children are possessed of great joy. An individual considered to be a 'saint' is not so if laughter and joy cannot be experienced through them by others. Somehow for all their devotion an element is lacking ... true laughter and humour are healing and a blessing for others.

Saint Padre Pio was known for his humour, his smile and laughter as well as his more serious and sombre side ... that is a balanced humanity! His humour is evident in the extract from his writings today. One can almost feel the irritation and exasperation of a Holy man being adulated by others, he knows all he is and has is Gods free gift, and that God alone is truly 'good'.

Saint Pio's assessment of himself will make us smile: a 'DELINQUENT!' Without doubt he knew his own waywardness and propensity to sin ...

As a true son of St Francis, Saint Pio is really emulating his master who said, "You are Good, all Good, the Only Good".

In all things let us give God the glory.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Padre, you are so good!" I am not good, only Jesus is good. I don't know how this habit of St. Francis that I wear does not run away from me! The worst delinquent on earth is golden compared to me."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Can there be any greater gift that we can give another than a blessing whispered in and with love? It draws out of our own hearts the best of what we would desire for another to be and know. It has the power to protect, call back, and heal.

This blessing of Saint Pio calls us to focus upon what truly matters, the fact that Christ should be the centre of our life, our thought and actions. We can do all things by grace, all things through and in him who can strengthen us.

May Saint Pio sing his blessing of love over you all.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).


Blessing

"May Jesus
always be in your mind,
in your heart,
and before your eyes.
May he ever be
at your beginning
in your continuing,
and your ending.
And may he draw your entire life into himself.

May the Mother of Jesus
and our Mother
obtain from her Son for us,
the grace to lead a life
totally in harmony with the will of God, and hidden in him.
Amen."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

There are no words to adequately describe the beauties of Mary. Countless Saints, Martyrs, painters, poets, and holy persons have tried, but none have captured her beauty is totality.

Can we even ever begin to imagine really, the depths of beauty, holiness and goodness is the deep pools of Mary's eyes? Artists may capture something of her gestures, apparel, but her eyes? That is impossibly for her eyes are the very mirror of her soul, total purity and love.

In this moth of May let us seek to honour Mary in many little ways, Saint Pio loved her with a singular love ... let us ask him that we too will have recourse to Mary as Mother of Grace.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Beautiful Mother, you are so beautiful. If it were not for faith, men would think you were a goddess. Your eyes are more resplendent than the sun, you are beautiful Mother, I glory in it, I love you. Please help me.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Humility and Faith are needed to pray the Rosary ... Humility that we accept our humble, struggling efforts, with all its distractions, aridities and failures, knowing with the heart of a child that our gifts no matter how poor are so pleasing to God and make our Heavenly Mother smile with love.
Faith, that we believe the Gospel and its message in the specific mystery we are praying, and that we believe that our prayer'makes a difference'... ...  ... .

The praying of the Rosary can, literally keep us alive in many ways, and at times it can lead us into the deepest contemplation.
Saint Padre Pio relied on his Rosary as a weapon in the battle againts evil, and as an instrument and channel of love to commune with God and Mary.
Today beneath Padre Pio's quote and picture, I include for you some beautiful short mediations on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary from the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen ... a man who so loved Mary.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Hold on tightly to the Rosary. Be very grateful to the Madonna because it was she who gave us Jesus.

Love our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.
 




THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES

First Joyful Mystery: the Annunciation

In human love man desires, woman gives. In Divine Love, God seeks, the soul responds. God asks Mary to give Him a human nature with which He may start a new humanity.

Mary agrees. A woman's role is to be the medium by which God comes to man. A woman is frustrated who does not bring forth a new man, either physically, by birth, or spiritually [222] by conversion. And every man is frustrated who knows not both his earthly and his Heavenly mother, Mary.

Second Joyful Mystery: the Visitation

Love that refuses to share kills its own power to love. Mary not only wants others to share her love, but also her Beloved.

She brings Christ to souls before Christ is born. The Gospel tells us that on seeing Mary, Elizabeth was "filled with the Holy Spirit." When we have Christ within, we cannot be happy until we have imparted our joy. The soul that does not magnify itself alone can truly magnify the Lord. Out of the humility of Mary sprang the song of the Magnificat, in which she made nothing of herself and everything of Him. By reducing ourselves to zero, we most quickly find the Infinite.

Third Joyful Mystery: the Nativity

As the Virgin conceived Our Lord without the lusts of the flesh, so now she brings Him forth in joy without the labors of the flesh. As bees draw honey from the flower without of- fending it, as Eve was taken out of the side of Adam without any grief to him, so now in remaking the human race, the new Adam is taken from the new Eve without any grief to her. It is only her other children of the spirit, which she will bring forth at Calvary, who will cause her pain. And the sign by which men would know He is God was that He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes. The sun would be in eclipse.

Eternity in time. Omnipotence in bonds, God in the shrouds of human flesh. Only by becoming little likewise, do we ever become great.


Fourth Joyful Mystery: the Presentation

[223] Mary submits to the general law of Purification, from which she was really free, lest she should scandalize by the premature discovery of the secret entrusted to her keeping. Simeon tells her that her Son is to be contradicted - — the sign of contradiction is the Cross — and a Sword her own heart shall pierce. And yet all this is considered a Joyful Mystery: for, as the Father sent His Son to be a victim for the sins of the world, so would Mary joyfully guard Him until the hour of sacrifice. The highest use any of us can make of the gifts of God is to give them back to God again.

Fifth Joyful Mystery: Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

It is so easy to lose Christ; He can even be lost by a little heedlessness; a little want of watchfulness and the Divine Presence slips away. But sometimes a reconciliation is sweeter than an unbroken friendship. There are two ways of knowing how good God is: one is never to lose Him, the other is to lose Him and find Him again. Sin is the loss of Jesus, and since Mary felt the sting of His absence she could understand the gnawing heart of every sinner and be to it, in the truest sense of the word: "Refuge of Sinners."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

It is precisely because we feel that Our Heavenly Mother understands our suffering, struggles and pain that we have the confidence to approach her. WE KNOW she has been there before us! Praying to and with Mary can teach us so much.

Padre Pio saw her not only as a Mother of Joy, but also as the Mother of Sorrows. How many times he meditated on the Passion of Jesus, made the Way of the Cross, prayed the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, and all for souls!

I am enclosing today after the picture, the Sorrow Mysteries of the Rosary from that great lover of Mary, Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

God bless you all
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Mother of Sorrows is my confidante, my teacher, my counsellor, and my powerful advocate.



THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES

The Agony in the Garden

Our fellow creatures can help us only when our needs are human. But in an hour of our greatest need, some of them betray and others sleep. In the really deep agony, we must cry to God. Being in agony, He prayed. What up to that point seemed a tragedy, now becomes an abandonment to the Father's Will.

The Scourging at the Pillar

Over seven hundred years before, Isaiah prophesied the laceration of Our Lord's Sacred Body, "Here is one despised, left out of all human reckoning, bowed with misery, and no stranger to weakness; how should we recognize that face?"

Great souls are like great mountains; they always attract the storms. Upon their bodies break the thunders and lightnings of evil men to whom purity and goodness is a reproach. In reparation for all the sins of the flesh, and in anticipated encouragement to the martyrs who would be beaten by Communists and their progenitors, He delivers His Sacred Body to the lash until "His bones could be numbered," and His flesh hung from Him like purple rags.

The Crowning with Thorns

The Saviour of the world is made a puppet for those who play the fool: the King of Kings is mocked by those who will have "no King but Caesar." Thorns were part of the original curse upon the earth. Even nature, through sinful men, rebels against God. If Christ wears a crown of thorns, shall we covet a crown of laurel?

"I saw the Son of God go hy
Crowned with a crown of thorn.
"Was it not finished, Lord"said I,
"And all the anguish home?'

He turned on me His awful eyes:
"Hast thou not understood?
Lo, every soul is Calvary
And every sin a rood."*

The Carrying of the Cross

Many a cross we bear is of our own manufacture; we made it by our sins. But the Cross which the Saviour carried was not His, but ours. One beam in contradiction to another beam was the symbol of our will in contradiction to His own. To the pious women who met Him on the roadway. He said;"Weep not for Me."To shed tears for the dying Saviour is to lament the remedy; it were wiser to lament the sin that caused it.
If Innocence itself took a Cross, then how shall we, who are guilty, complain against it?

The Crucifixion

Once nailed to the Cross and "lifted up to draw all men to Himself", He is taunted: "Others He saved, Himself He cannot save." Of course not! This is not weakness, but obedience to the law of sacrifice. A mother cannot save herself, if she would raise her child; the rain cannot save itself, if it would bud the greenery; a soldier cannot save himself, if he would save his country; and neither will Christ save Himself, since He came to save us. What heart can conceive the misery of mankind, if the Son of God had saved Himself from suffering, and left a fallen world to the wrath of God?
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Let us take Padre Pio's counsel to heart and in these troubled times keep our hearts, our eyes fixed upon Heaven, let us never fear to approach our Heavenly Father, and Mary Our Mother, they love us so want us to be with them for eternity.
We all fail, we all sin, we know the remedy, to repent and plead for grace, and show great Trust but getting up and continuing along our God given path.
Below after the picture are the meditation by Archbishop Fulton Sheen of the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

You must remember that you have in Heaven, not only a Father but also a Mother ... If our wretchedness saddens us, if our ingratitude for God terrorizes us, if the memory of our faults hinders us from presenting ourselves to God, our Father, let us then have recourse to Mary, our Mother. She is all sweetness, mercy, goodness and love for us because she is our Mother.
 


THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES

The Resurrection

Easter Sunday was not within three days of the Transfiguration, but within three days of Good Friday. Love is not to be measured by the joys and pleasures which it gives, but by the ability to draw joy out of sorrow, a resurrection out of a crucifixion, and life out of death. Unless there is a Cross in our life, there will never be an empty tomb; unless there is the crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light: "O, Death, where is thy victory? O, grave where is thy sting?"

The Ascension

In Heaven there is now a human nature like our own, the promise of what ours will one day be if we follow His Way.
Thanks to this human nature. He will always have a deep sympathy for us, even "making intercession for us." We can ascend to Him, now, only in our minds and hearts; our bodies will follow after the Last Judgment. Until then we approach His Throne with confidence, knowing that "pierced Hands distribute the richest blessings."

The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles

As the Son of God in the Incarnation took upon Himself a human body from the womb of the Blessed Mother overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so now on Pentecost He takes from the womb of humanity a Mystical Body, as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the twelve Apostles with "Mary in the midst of them abiding in prayer." The Mystical Body is the Church; He is the Invisible Head; Peter and his successors, the Visible Head; we, the members, and the Holy Spirit its soul. As He once taught, governed, and sanctified through His human nature, so now He teaches, governs, and sanctifies through other human natures compacted into His Mystical Body, the Church. We can never thank God enough for making us members of His One Fold and one Shepherd.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven

Mary was not a rose in which Divinity reposed for a time; she was the canal through which God came to us. Mary could no longer live without the Dream she brought forth, nor could the Dream live without her, body and soul. Her love of God bore her upward; His love of His Mother lifted her upward. Our Lord could not forget the cradle in which He lay.

In the Annunciation, the angel said: "The Lord is with Thee."

In the Assumption: "Mary is with the Lord." Her Assumption is the guarantee that one's prayers to her will be answered.

The Son is on the right Hand of the Father; she is on the right Hand of the Son.

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin

As Queen of Heaven, Our Lord comes back to us again through Mary, passing His Life and His blessing through her hands as the Mediatrix of all graces. He came through her in Bethlehem; through her, we go back to Him and through her He comes back again to us.

Our Lady went into a strange country
And they crowned her for a queen
For she needed never to he stayed or questioned
But only seen;
And they were broken down under unbearable beauty
As we have been.
Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country
The crown He gave,
But she has not forgotten to call her old companions
To call and crave;
And to hear her calling a man might arise and thunder
On the doors of the grave*

* G. K. CHESTERTON, "Regina Angelorum/'from Collected Poems, 1935.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How great is the longing of the human heart for union and communion, we are created for love, to love, to give love and to receive love, all else will be at some point or another, simply like sand running through ones fingers. All else will pass away.

LOVE IS THE ONLY INDESTRUCTIBLE FORCE! Love is that which overcomes all.

The Martyrdom of love that Saint Pio speaks about here is every bit as real as a physical martyrdom, for love can wound us even more deeply, as the pain sears our very souls.

Desire, the longing for God is such a beautiful, beautiful thing, so much awaits us, let us keep our eyes upon the end, upon the goal of all our efforts, labours and service.
Is there anything more beautiful that the thought of Mary's longing heart for Jesus?

This life truly is an exile.

We are now preparing to celebrate Pentecost, Sunday, week ... let this be a time too of a longing for the Holy Spirit, even as Mary longed for this outpouring of love.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

After Jesus Christ's ascension to Heaven, Mary longed continually with burning desire to be reunited with Him. To be without her divine Son was a very harsh exile. Those years of separation from Him were for her a most slow and painful martyrdom of love that consumed her slowly.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Like the streets of Pietrelcina, the road to life is narrow ... and how much human suffering we encounter along the path of life.

Are we an open door to those in need? A thousand streets in a thousand towns each one could be and is a Via Dolorosa ... for someone it is a path to Calvary ... as you walk along to your daily work, pass houses, factories, schools, in your heart bless those people whom you may never meet personally and yet they too were create din love by HIM for Heaven.

The gift of a blessing is such a beautiful gift to another.

Let us be for other as Padre Pio was to so many souls, a Simon of Cyrene From the Heart of A Priest.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

One day when we are able to see the full midday light, we will know what value and what treasures our earthly sufferings have been that have made us gain our everlasting Homeland.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

In our youth we think, quite mistakenly, that the road of life will stretch ever onwards before us, that the reality of the end will never actually come ... but as life journeys on, there comes a time when we realise the ever nearing fact of approaching old age and death.

It is Gods great love and mercy that allows us to see this, to come to some understanding of this, for by it we see that God is inviting to use whatever time is left to us for His glory and service. He gives us a time to prepare ourselves to be with Him. Some people, as they get older, become quite discouraged and despondent, believing (and maybe in the scheme of things what they believe is, to a degree, true) that they have not done 'much for God'. But it is not achievement that God looks for, asks for, what He wants is our heart, He wants our real authentic being ... and we can never do more or be more for and to God than when we live in His sweet will.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

As the years go by and eternity draws near, we must be twice as courageous and lift our spirit to God, serving Him with even greater diligence in everything that our Christian  vocation and profession requires from us. Only this can make us agreeable to God, make us free to leave this great world that is not of God, free from all other enemies; only this can make us reach the port of eternal salvation.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

These words of Padre Pio sound so simple, and of course we would all agree, but in reality we know if we are honest with ourselves that to love is the greatest challenge, adventure, joy and suffering that the human person can encounter in this life. There is no such thing as love without suffering, it doesn't exist, true, for a time, circumstances may sit well and be free from trials and problems, but always where there is interaction between human nature there is suffering.

To love we have to be truly courageous, we have to assent to change, change to Christ's exhortations, commands, we have to listen to the Gospel and put it into practise and it is not easy.

Much is written, much is talked about love that is so trite, so far from the mark. Love is not a feeling its an act of the will.
To attune our wills to the rightful demands of others within our specific state, married or consecrated, to attune our will to Gods will — that is love ...
 
So many people starting out for life look for challenge and adventure, the greatest challenge is to love and go on loving —and the mix in the works, to love our enemies.

Some people are so easy to love and others it takes all we have to love them, that is good, for it means we are living and loving with Christ's love, with the love the Gospel talks about, and it will teach us so much.

We can do all things by his grace, in and with HIM who will strengthen us.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

We must love, love, love and nothing else.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know when we are 'spiritually sick', we all know when we need to be touched by Gods grace and mercy. The evil one loves us to delay, he loves to place barriers of fear and indifference between us and our God. We should go joyfully to the arms of Our Father, say sorry, pour all out into His heart, confessing our guilt and responsibility for our part in the failures of love, and then trusting His mercy, stand up and walk forward with confidence, not looking back, not doubting.

Often we can accept that God has forgiven us, but the problem is we cannot forgive ourselves ... who are we to limit Gods mercy and power? It is a temptation and we should continually fight against it for what God has forgiven is forgiven. As Padre Pio says, be beautifully here, place a tombstone over it, sing a requiem as it were and enjoy the Resurrection in the here and now.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

When disturbed by passions and misfortunes, may the sweet hope of His inexhaustible mercy sustain us. Let us hasten confidently to the tribunal of penance where He awaits us at every instant with the anxiety of a father; and even though we are aware of our inability to repay Him, let us have no doubts about the solemn pardon pronounced over our errors. Let us place a tombstone over them, just as the Lord has done.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

As Christian s we may well experience ridicule, abuse, indifference and contempt from those whom our lives and daily work encounter.

There is in reality a constant battle between the Spirit of the Gospel and the Spirit of the world, we should not be surprised. When all said and done we are simply walking in the footsteps of Our Master Jesus, who endured such treatment and carried it all before us.

What matters is that we show the Face of God to others, that we show them that there is an alternative path, a good path they can walk.

How impressive was the recent on line video clip of a man holding up a cashier in a shop and the woman speaking to the man about Jesus, the poor lost sinner, was humbled it was obvious and left without taking a cent ... love can turn things around.

This was an ordinary woman who showed by her example that there is another way, an alternative to the spirit of this world.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Do not let the persecution of worldlings and of all those who live without the Spirit of Jesus Christ deter you from following the road trodden by the saints.

 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know that worry is useless, we all know it is fruitless, and yet coming to the acceptance and belief of that reality is a long, hard journey.

Presented with certain circumstances we are fearful, uncertain, and our inordinate imagination will present us with all kinds of mental pictures, of things that might, or could happen, which take our peace away.

Worry can be debilitating and exhausting leading nowhere, it is good to look back on our life and see how many times we have worried ourselves sick over something that in the final analysis, never became a reality!

Little by little we do learn.

Much better simply to throw ourselves into the arms of our Heavenly Father, the God who loves us, and will to trust and trust and trust. It is not easy but practise is a good thing and we will grow with every little surrender. Do not be robbed of your joy by being preoccupied with worry and worldly concerns, your Father knows your needs, he is with you and loves you, let it go ... and know peace.

We have many friends, much loved in America; please pray for the Bay State of Massachusetts, for the 670 men and women pending deployment. Pray please for their families and loved ones. Ask Padre Pio to intercede for them all ... In his lifetime many American soldiers visited Padre Pio, he was a priest for all.

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio- (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Don't worry about tomorrow because the very same Heavenly Father who takes care of you today will have the same thought tomorrow and always. . . What does a child in the arms of such a Father have to fear? Be as children, who hardly ever think about their future as they have someone to think for them. They are sufficiently strong just by being with their father.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How beautifully and fully human our Saint Padre Pio was! we all know situations if we are honest where our courage fails us, where we feel ourselves faltering, especially when it pertains to the welfare of those whom we love.

Sometimes we may think, or even verbalize!, "I cant do it! I will never get through this one." BUT the fact is and we learn this from experience, that the Lord will always give is grace AT THE TIME to enable us to go forward to achieve the good.

We never get grace in advance of a situation, never, its because God wants us to trust him and in our hour of need he WILL give us aid and support ...
We should have the same confidence as St Pio, as a child, believing that God will attend to all our needs and assist us through all life's difficulties and challenges,  for in this way He is glorified!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Unfortunately, I am in need of courage, but Jesus will not refuse anything. I can testify to this from long experience, so we should not stop asking Him for what we need.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Inspirations to surrender oneself to God, to abandon the known and cast ourselves trustingly into the Lords arms can only be a praying, a moving of the Holy Spirit within us. Any journeying from self to God, any response from our own self centeredness to God centeredness is a touch, an embrace of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is love and love desires union, and this inner desire that Saint Pio talks about in this extract is a genuine, authentic Divine Touch.

We should always listen to such whisperings, they will bring us to a greater fullness of life.

We will be sadly disappointed, it may be sooner or later, if we place our trust in the things of this world, they can disappear in an instant, and they belong only to the hear and now ... far greater will be our happiness if we place our trust in God. The whole Christian  journey is a pilgrimage of trust.

Many of us are wounded from having our trust broken, and it takes courage to begin again and to go on trusting. People may fail us God never will.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I feel a great desire to abandon myself with greater trust to the Divine Mercy and to place my hope in God alone.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

To these words of Saint Pio, there may well up in your the question, WHY? Of course we should rejoice with Mary, for the Lord has done great things for her! and through her for us!

But in this Valley of tears we need a heart that understands our struggles, sufferings and trials ... we need a mothers heart, a woman who will be the face of compassion for us ...

Our Lady of Sorrows is such, she has experienced all that we experience, and because of that we can take all our burdens and pain to her in prayer.
Mary will offer them all to Jesus upon the altar of her heart.

We can entrust the deepest intimacies of our hearts to Mary, we can let her teach us the path of surrender to Gods will, and we can have a childlike confidence in her protection and prayers.

Oh! The DEEP DEEP wisdom of Our God to give us such a mother!


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Mother of Sorrows is my confidante, my teacher, my counsellor, and my powerful advocate.
 



Dear Little Hearts,
Is this not beautiful advice from a spiritual Father? "Take care of your spirit"... in other words see the needs of your spirit as of prime importance.

We allot much time to the care of the body, but far far more important is the care we should take of our immortal soul, our body will fail and die, our soul once created is immortal.

We all know the things that mar our souls, idleness can lead to all kinds of abuses and feed our inordinate curiosity, idleness makes us self centred and all too easy thrown back upon the carnal.

Immoral conversation taints our souls and those of others, we have a grave responsibility as to how we speak to others, our words should bless, build up, not lead another into sin.

At all times realise and accept WE ALL carry our treasure in earthenware vessels, be vigilant regarding your own soul and those of others.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Take care of your spirit, flee idleness and all immoral conversation. . .always remembering the words of the Apostle, that our virtue is preserved in very fragile vessels.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The great beauty of maturing, growing older is that increasing awareness that life is well spent, that we are journeying towards the goal, through death to eternal life.
Our bodies diminish, become limited it is true, all passes into God somehow before we ever even leave this earth, but our spirits in faith should soar to the Heavens to the realization that this life is passing and that we will be united with all those who have walked this way before us, we will find them all in God.

Old age should be a fruitful autumn in our life, a time when we can give to others the fruit of our life, our prayer, our wisdom from having tried to live a life in Christ.
Sometimes this leaping upwards of the heart will take us unawares ... because it is the Holy Spirit within us calling us ever upwards ...

Imagine ... we cannot ... but imagine we shall see God face to face ... His Holy Mother and all the Saints ... so much happiness awaits us.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

As the days pass, I see ever more clearly the greatness of God, and in this light, which grows brighter and brighter, my soul burns with the desire to be united to Him by indissoluble bonds.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The great beauty of our God is that what he has promised, he ALWAYS FULFILS, for God alone is Unchanging, Faithful, Living and True!

God has said, it has fallen from His own lips "I am with you always even unto the end of the world."

His presence is abiding, sometimes we cannot see, feel, perceive anything of God at all, all seems darkness and emptiness, but HE IS WITH US! That is our faith.
On Calvary Jesus was not alone, God only allowed Him to experience that abandonment ... but the Father and the Spirit were present as They are present, too, on our Calvarys. We are so loved!

Look at this picture of Jesus, look how the Spirit embraces Him, He cannot see Him, perceive Him, but He is there! remember that when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

In darkness, at times of tribulation and distress of the spirit, Jesus is with you. In such a state you see nothing but darkness, but I can assure you on God's behalf that the light of the Lord is all around you and pervades your spirit. . .You see yourself forsaken and I assure you that Jesus is holding you tighter than ever to His divine Heart.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Love and sacrifice are inseparable, love will call us in many ways during our life to sacrifice ourselves, it may call us to lay our dreams and desires upon the altar.
Often it will be in little ways, our time, our strength, our availability, but it will also ask of us some greater sacrifice. We prepare for the greater sacrifice by having practised the surrender, abandonment in the lesser things, by saying, yes to the little sacrifices.

There is always a pain in letting go, either a situation or a person ... but the pain we experience through love is a diamond that we can offer to God for graces for souls.
Our Christian  vocation will often call us to sacrifice, as Christian s there are many things that we should not involve ourselves in, fill our minds with ... our love for Christ will demand that we choose the better part, even if we are surrounded by people who knowingly or unknowingly consume "forbidden fruit".

It can be too because we live in such a violent society that our life could be asked of us, so many times it has now happened on our streets that persons have met sudden and violent deaths or attempted murder and some innocent bystander who went to aid the victim had died ... it is tragic yes ... but always remember Christ's words, "Greater love hath no man that he who lays down his life for his friends."

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Love Jesus, love Him very much, but to do this, be ready to love sacrifice more.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Let these words speak ... ... and if through infirmity, sickness or other reasons it is not possible for you to actually attend Mass, nevertheless focus upon the Great Sacrifice of love. The next best thing is simply to read, ponder upon the prayers of the Mass and unite our hearts to the Sacrifice being offered up all over the world, we can be present be desire. And then make a spiritual communion, acknowledging to Jesus that although you cannot at this moment receive Him Sacramentally, invite Him to invade and possess your mind, your heart, your soul, your total being ... say to Him with all you are, "This is my Body Given up for you!" Love will unite you.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Renew your faith by attending Holy Mass. Keep your mind focused on the mystery that is unfolding before your eyes. In your mind's eye transport yourself to Calvary and meditate on the Victim who offers Himself to Divine Justice, paying the price of your redemption.



Dear Little Hearts,

One of the greatest temptations, to be resisted, is to think we can do it on our own ... that somehow by pitching our wills against wrong we can achieve victory, of course, to will against evil is good in itself, but of prime importance is the fact that we accept and realize that GOD ... CHRIST is our champion, our Hero, our Warrior ... it is He who fights our battles ... ours is to cling to Him, to place ourselves under the shadow of His wings and let His SPIRIT OF LOVE WORK! The greatest force on earth, despite all appearances, is DIVINE LOVE. It is not by might that we overcome, but by love!

Mary too prays, and works under this banner, she who crushes the serpents head! ... Oh! who can imagine, ever really grasp the beauty and power of her presence!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Valiantly fight temptations like strong souls, and fight along with the Supreme Chief. When you fall, do not stay there prostrated in body and spirit. Humble yourself greatly but without being discouraged. Lower yourself without degrading yourself. Wash your imperfections and falls with sincere tears of contrition, without lacking trust in divine goodness, which will always be greater than your ingratitude. Propose to correct your faults, without relying on yourself, but your strength must be in God alone. Finally, confess sincerely that if God were not your breast-plate and shield, you would be imprudently pierced with every kind of sin.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A grace filled, blessed Feast of Corpus Christi to you all!

How the Divine heart loves us and longs for our love, our response ... Learn of me for I am meek and humble and heart and you shall find rest for your souls!
The HEART of Today's feast is total and utter love.

Let us not loose sight of the fact that despite all secular proclamations, this month, the month of June has long, traditionally been dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Let us return love for love.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Heart of our divine Master has no law more lovable than that of gentleness, humility and charity.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

On Friday we shall be celebrating the great love feast of the Sacred Heart, so let this week be one in which, in the company of Mary, and Saint Pio we focus on the HEART of Christ that so loves us. He is the Divine Lover, our Father, Friend, Brother ... our ALL Sacred Heart of Jesus, Great heart of God I place all my trust in thee!
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

What else can I say to you? May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit always be at the centre of your heart. Place your heart in the open side of the Saviour and unite it with the King of our hearts who is within them as on a royal throne, in order that He might receive homage and obedience from all other hearts. He keeps his door open so that everybody can approach Him and gain an audience at all times. And when your heart speaks to Him, don't forget, my dearest child, to speak in favour of mine, so that his divine and cordial Majesty may render it good, obedient, faithful and less wretched than it is.
 



Dear Little Hearts,
These are the words that all lovers long to hear, and that all lovers should long to give to the beloved ...

How can we ever tell enough the one we love that,"I love you"... within those words I invest my total being, my past, present and future, everything. I am saying above all I choose YOU!

But always within us is that awareness that we want to love and give more ... because ultimately when we have poured out every drop of love upon the Beloved, then perfected in love we will be called home to Heaven.

Love is his meaning is all things, only love ...
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Jesus, I love You very much; it is useless to repeat it to You, I love You. My Love, my Love. Only You! Praise be to You alone.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness was the proclamation of St Francis ... and Saint Pio being a true son of St Francis sought to bring peace in many ways to souls.
Padre Pio in his lifetime gave counsel to many servicemen, many sought his blessing and wise counsel.

Many of you have sons in the military entrust them to the prayers of Saint Padre Pio, he will understand the pain and struggles in your heart.
His whole life was an offering for souls, ask him to intercede for your son, father or brother.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).


Oh, if I had an infinite number of hearts, all the hearts in Heaven and earth, your Mother's heart, Jesus, I would offer them all, every one of them to You!
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We are called to be co-workers we Christ, he needs our hands, our feet, our heart and our tongues! We are all called to parenthood, to be mothers and fathers of souls! When life is challenging and hard let us try and see the value in accepting the Will of God, so that we in turn may win grace for souls!
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us not only for our own sanctification, but also for that of other souls. He wants to be helped in the salvation of souls.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Blessed, grace filled Feast of the Sacred Heart! His heart is an open door bidding you enter and know HIS LOVE! He makes a place for you to abide even as he abides within you ... Love him totally, even as he loves you totally.

Nothing can be compared to the love of Christ, nothing and no one can bring us the joys of love like Jesus ... for his love is Divine ...

This is YOUR feast day little hearts for you are all called to be in some way a reflection, a cell of his heart, beating for the kingdom.

Happy Feast! How much St Pio loved the Great Heart of Jesus!

Let us follow him.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

May the Heart of Jesus be the centre of all your inspirations.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A grace filled feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary What is "Home"? Home is a Mothers Heart and a Fathers arms.

Saint Pio was born in this humble, simple dwelling place.

Poverty was his daily bread but with joy!

Love built the home, the walls were made of faith ... This was Gods will that forever Pio would understand the hearts and struggles of the poor, both those without means and the spiritually destitute ...

He understood clearly from his childhood upwards the need, his need for a Mother ... how he clung to her through all his long life, trusting as a child.

How faithful he was to his mothers words, "Do whatever he tell you"...

It is madness to think that we are so grown up, so mature, as not to need a mother, a father, there remains in us until the day we die and beyond ... a small child, our true authentic "self'" and it is this that God and his Holy Mother long to possess ...

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Some people are foolish enough to believe that they can get through their whole life without any help from the Blessed Virgin Mary."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

All of us on our Christian  journey are influenced by those holy men and women, saints and martyrs that went before us.
This is also true of Saint Pio who had a simple and great devotion to the Mother of God and the Saints.
Today if it were not a Sunday would be the feast day of another great Franciscan St, St Anthony of Padua.
Saint Pio is known to have prayed to St Anthony and sought his support and prayers.
This proves yet again how within the mystical body of Christ we are all interconnected.
We have every reason to be humble, for all that we have and are is Gods gift and what others have contributed to our lives both in the temporal and spiritual realm.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

(To his spiritual director)
"I would like permission to fast twice a month once in honour of Our Lady and once in honour of St Anthony. This is a promise I made, having asked for a certain grace that was granted through the intercession of them both"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

There is such joy to be found ultimately in abandonment to God ... it is a supreme act of love, just to surrender with a total trust and expectation of the good.

We love God'in relationship, child to Father, Beloved to Beloved ... HIS STRONG UNSEEN ARMS HOLD US, how he loves us.

God is not surprised at our weakness so why are we? acknowledgement of what we truly are is humility ...

No matter how poorly we may evaluate ourselves to be, to God we are infinitely precious and dear ...

Prayer is really very simple, just abandon yourself to his Sweet Will and cling to him as a child ...
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Do not be at all surprised at your weakness, but acknowledge what you are, and blush at your infidelity towards God, then confide in Him and abandon yourself tranquilly in the arms of the Heavenly Father, like a child in the arms of its mother.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

It is a wonder of our God, that is, if, we will but turn to him, he can supply, make up, all that is wanting in us to love others totally.

We all know where we fail, but what we lack, shows us our need of HIM ...

In and with his grace all things are possible.

In Holy Communion Jesus comes to us so small and vulnerable under the sign of small piece of bread, the HOST ...

Imagine him coming to you as the Infant Christ, the Babe at Bethlehem ... and ask yourself as Padre Pio did, "With what must I feed you"? ... only one response is needful ...

I WILL FEED YOU WITH LOVE ...
I will feed the littleness of others humanity ... with love!


From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Jesus, You always come into my soul. With what food must I feed You? With love! But my love is so wanting, Jesus I love You very much, make up for my love.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Bless you! In today's extract from the writings of Saint Papa Pio is a profoundly true and wise statement, it should be taken to the heart and reflected upon for it has the potential to bear great fruit in our lives, it is: (talking of our sins)

"the sin itself becomes a stepping-stone which brings us closer, which raises us up, which leads us to Him more securely."

We should never allow our sins, our weaknesses, to become a focus for depression, for inertia, avoidance of God and a reason to "hide" from God or "escape" His call'.

NO! Our sinfulness, our falls are much rather, or should be, through trust, repentance, getting up and going on, our path to God.

They are a means by which we can experience his great love and mercy.

We show our love and trust of him to the degree that we say sorry and have the courage to continue ...

He knows all that is within us, and loves us ... so who are we to think that we can fall beyond Gods love and care?


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Let us love Jesus for his divine greatness, for his power in Heaven and on earth, for his infinite merits, but also and above all out of gratitude. Had He not been so good towards us but more severe, how much less we would have sinned! But when sin is followed with profound sorrow, with an honest resolution of never sinning again, an intense understanding of the great pain we have given to the mercy of God; when having rent the hardest fibres of our hearts we manage to shed scalding tears of repentance and love then, my son, the sin itself becomes a stepping-stone which brings us closer, which raises us up, which leads us to Him more securely.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How much we need to hear the voices of the Saints calling us upward to God ... It is so easy to become ensnared by the trappings and allurements of this world, but we are called to far greater things than those which we can see before us with our bodily eyes, we are called to see even now his face with the eyes of our soul as it were.
All things pale compared to HIM.
We are called not only to the experiences of Calvary in this life but also Tabor, where God will in some way through a situation, a person, reveal his glory.
Let us not miss the many splendored thing, HIS GREAT LOVE

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I never cease to implore blessings for you from Jesus, and to beg the Lord to transform you totally in Him. Oh my children! How beautiful is his face, how sweet his eyes and what a good thing it is to stay close to Him on the Mount of his glory! We must place all our desires and affections there ... Contrary to our every merit, we are on the steps of Tabor, by having a firm determination to love and serve his divine goodness well.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

At times we all need solitude, we all feel the need to draw apart and be with God ... just to be!

But it must never be at the expense of our God given duties relating to our specific state of life.

It is a fact that this can even be a temptation to want to be on ones own, and then when one has the time ... to wish one was back in company! ... In actual fact we don't know what we want at times, but this restlessness is because basically we want God! Surrender to the time and space HE allows, which may not necessarily be the time you want to choose.

The God given solitude, the God given time, is so very very precious ... and full of grace.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

By all means seek solitude, but do not lack charity with your neighbour.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

No matter how hard and challenging life is at times, it is always an opportunity to grow in love, to grow in trust towards God and to grow in our quality and love of one another ... God calls us forward to holiness ...

Behind the invitation to charity, our Heavenly Father is providing the food for our life and soul that will purify us and perfect us ...

The greatest ideal a human being can aspire to is to become totally'love'for others ...

Let us abide in HIM ...


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Charity, wherever it comes from, is always the daughter of the same mother, that is, Providence.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Today is Fathers Day! Let us praise God for the gift of Fatherhood, Fatherhood that reveals to us the tenderness, the care, the protection, and providence of our Heavenly Father ... We need the human instruments, icons, witnesses of Fatherhood in the here and now, it is such a responsibility for a father because really his vocation is to draw others to the arms of the Heavenly Father.

A priest should be a true Father, a life giver, through blessing, counsel, correction, instruction ... such was- — is Our Father, Padre Pio ... he called all his children!

Let us give thanks, express thanks to all fathers this day for all that they are and mean to us.

A Blessed day to you all.

The Heart of A Priest, is the Heart of a Father



Dear Little Hearts,

Sometimes dramatic language is needed to convey a point, and here Padre Pio does precisely that!

It needs to be said that he was unequivocal in addressing sin, and would speak Gods truth even if it meant causing a "temporary pain" within another, but here Padre is speaking of not wanting to be the cause of making another suffer through a failure in love of negligence on his part.

Sensitivity to what we proffer others is very necessary ...

This extract shows clearly the Saints ability to lead others to God, but always offering others the 'Divine Mind' first, and not simply delivering human wisdom


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I would prefer to be stabbed with a steel blade, rather than make someone suffer.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

It is good at times to be reminded of the task we have to do as co-workers with Christ! To remove all the stones from our own hearts before we try moving those within others!

As we work we are hopefully, creating order in one way or another, and in that way sharing in the work of our Heavenly Father ...

We all work in the vineyard of the Church, may we all bear the fruit that comes from abiding in his SWEET WILL

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Jesus and your soul must cultivate the vine in agreement. Your task is to remove the stones, pull away the thorns. Jesus is to sow, plant, cultivate and water. But even in your work there is the work of Jesus. Without Him, you can do nothing.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

"Love is not a feeling its an act of the will"... therein lies true love, that our response to God, our response to others lies not just in our emotional reactions and responses, but that we will to do the good.

That is all a preparation for prayer, for in aridity if we simply relied on our feelings we would get nowhere.

But to express our love, when in darkness and aridity that is holiness, for it shows that we regard the other greater than ourselves.

Oh let us be the heart of God for others! through love.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

A single act of love of God, made during a period of aridity is worth more than a hundred made with affection and consolation.
________________________________

Dear Little Hearts,

What a beautiful thing the Divine Patience is ... how it speaks to us of the Great Love of Our God ... we fall time and time again and yet his loving Fatherhood, stoops down and lifts us up ...

How much love we too can communicate to another when their behaviour, speech is found wanting, and yet we find it in our hearts to pray, to wait patiently for the good to come forth from them.

Always hope for the good no matter how unpromising appearances may seem, God can do all things ...

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

God loves us, and this is shown by the fact that He tolerates us when we offend Him.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Each day we pray to God the OUR FATHER ... amongst the -petitions we say, "Give us this day our daily bread"...

Why are then we surprised when God responds totally and gives us the "daily bread", the ordinary bread of each day?'

The whole thing is it is BREAD ... if it is dry, the day may be, humanly speaking, wanting ... but if so, that is the best for us for that day, God knows what He is about ...

There is something very very beautiful doing ordinary things, humbly and with love in our daily round of life.

God has given us our DAILY BREAD he has given us life ... in the here and now ... Let us abandon ourselves to whatever he offers and calls us too.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

If God does not offer you sweetness, then you must still be content, patiently eating your bread, even if it is dry, doing your duty without any compensation, for the present. By doing this our love for God is selfless, and one loves and serves God in this way at one's own expense, a behaviour that pertains to perfect souls.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

To "attain to, love without fear" that Scripture talks of, is for most of us a long hard journey. Fear is ever a bad counselor and yet how often we fall into its trap.

Growth in HIS love, and espoused to grace alone will cast our fear within us ... the more he increases within us the less fear our souls will know ...

But the fear Saint Pio speaks of here, is that holy fear, that awe, attentiveness to be mindful of Gods will and heart ... to be truly influenced by HIM and his will ... to be sensitive to his NO ... and accept it with love, that is Holy Fear


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

We must continually implore two things from our most tender Lord: that He increase within us love and fear, for love will make us fly in the ways of the Lord, fear will make us careful where we set foot; love will make us see the things of the world for what they are, fear will lead us to beware of negligence. Then when love and fear have kissed, it is no longer in our power to give our affection to the things of this world.

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Dear Little Hearts,

Love is the only indestructible force ... When we are loved, when we accept love and give love, we are becoming the person God created us to be ... his love in this world.

In actual fact we can never demand that another love us, we may endear ourselves to another, but there is nothing within our own strength that we can do, to make them love us.

Love is a gift, to be entrusted with the strengths and vulnerabilities of another is an awesome thing ... we stand on HOLY GROUND.
True love respects the other, true love is humble, and accepts that if a specific door does not open to "our love" then God has another purpose for us, or another person.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Only love can make us indomitable and the language of love is being convinced of confidence. How beautiful love is when received as a gift and how ugly if sought after or demanded.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

In one sense we are all responsible for souls, we may not be a priest or a religious, but the responsibility as Christian s is nevertheless ours, to labour for souls, not only by prayer but by example and service.

We should try with all love, all patience, all goodness to support and help others to choose the good ... the example of our own life should speak! ...

Sometimes God allows us to see a soul in great error and sin, having tried all other means what Padre Pio is saying here is, then apply HARD LOVE ... giving the other the Christian  ideal and perspective ... speak the words God give you ... because then you have offered before God that which is right ... it is for the other then to make the right choice, he has the freedom of the children of God, then leave it in the mercy and hands of God!
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

You who are responsible for souls, try with love, with much love, with all your love; and if that is useless ... punish because Jesus who is our model, taught us this, creating Paradise but also Hell.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

One of the surest ways to pray is to live in gratitude for all our Saviour has done for us ... a grateful heart is a praying heart, and we see in the lives of all the saints this trait, this virtue, gratitude ...

Sadly in this life all too much, and all too many people are taken for granted and that which often enhance, endow the life of another is left unsaid ...

Gratitude should be as natural as breathing, and so should prayer ...

Give thanks to the giver of Grace from whom all things proceed.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Let us look with profound gratitude at that sublime mystery which attracts the Heart of Jesus to his creatures with such force; let us look at the great condescension with which He put on our own flesh to live the miserable life of this earth in our midst; let us muster up all the forces of our intellect to consider worthily the tenacious fervour and hardship of his apostolate, to recall the horrors of his passion and martyrdom and to adore his Blood ... royally offered to the last drop for the redemption of mankind; then with humble faith and the same ardent love with which He surrounds and pursues our souls, let us bow our impure foreheads at his feet.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We have all known at some time or another that feeling of bitterness because of some painful or negative experience we have had either in our relationships with others or when the Cross has laid at our feet some great challenge and suffering.

Bitterness often comes through disappointment, betrayal, untruthfulness, when a situation or a person has not met with our expectation ...

To feel bitterness is a human emotion, it is potentially dangerous as it can sour our whole attitude to others, others who more than likely are innocent, our trust has been broken ... and the tendency to look on everything with a negative is very tempting.

BUT ... ..NO!

God sees all, he knows the whole picture, and if we will but struggle and turn to him, we will receive the graces of sweetness which will counteract out bitterness, with him we can learn to let it go ...

We may feel loaded down with silent tears because of an inner bitterness, turn to God let his Holy Spirit work in the depths of your being ... let his love flood your soul, invite him, and keep on inviting him ... his love alone can remove this bitterness and give you the grace to let the past go.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The more bitterness you have, the more love you will receive.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

See the heart of a spiritual Father ... see the heart of a true priest, one who has concern for those entrusted to him by God ... who well understands their weakness and frailty, likening them to little birds ... knowing that only with love and grace will they actually learn to fly ...
But for those of us not in Holy Orders there is also laid upon us that responsibility of love for those entrusted to us by God.
We are all called to parenthood, to nurture life ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Arise once more, oh Lord, and confirm in your grace, those whom you confided to me, and don't permit any of them to be lost, deserting the nest.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

This is the daily horarium that Saint Pio followed, the life he led, year in and year out- he, like many capuchin brothers lived this sacrificial and blessed life for love of Jesus and his kingdom, and for souls ... well aware that he could do nothing without allowing himself to be transformed by Christ into a'new creation'... he needed to become an ever purer vessel to hold his Lord. This is the life that formed him and made him holy.

It is such a wonderful example of priesthood and no wonder that God often works such graces through his intercession.

He loved his God, Mary, the angels and Saints.
His vocation and priesthood.
His community.
His spiritual children.
When at times we count the cost, just look to the example of this generosity and love.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"All I want is to be is poor and a simple friar that prays".
 



Padre Pio’s Daily Life as a Capuchin


3:00 a.m. : His day began. He liked to spend several hours in prayer and meditation before Mass.

He would not celebrate Mass prior to 5:00 a.m.

Celebration of Mass – could last up to 2 hours

Padre Pio would bless, meet, and talk to people in the sacristy while vesting

After Mass and removing his vestments, Padre Pio would proceed to the choir on the balcony above the small Church and make prayers of thanksgiving.

Then he heard confessions. – all morning (would take a morning break) and several hours in the afternoon

12:00 Noon – would have lunch in the friary refectory

After lunch would go into the garden for 30 minutes of recreation

Would then take a short siesta

Pray a rosary

Early afternoon joined the community for afternoon Office

Would have private prayer time in the choir, sometimes for 2 hours

Would then work on correspondence

Mid Afternoon – resumed hearing confessions

4:30 p.m. Vespers and Benediction

Go into the garden for ten or fifteen minutes

At supper would join his community for juice and a cracker (By 1950, he was eating only an ounce of food a day.)

At sundown he would bless the people underneath the window of the choir

In the evening he would confer with other priests, deliver a lecture in town, or work on more correspondence

Late in the evening Padre Pio joined the community in Compline, the Night Office

The rest of the community would go to sleep, Padre Pio would study Scripture and pray

Nightly he would visit Padre Agostino’s room and get his blessing

Go to his room and read the Bible until 12:45 a.m., until it was time for Matins.

Then he would join 20 friars in the choir

At 1:30 a.m. would lay down
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We are according to St Francis and Clare whom Saint Pio followed, "Strangers and pilgrims in this land". We have here no lasting home, no abiding city ...
Much that we carry, suffer, would be seen in a greater perspective if we looked constantly to the goal and end of all our struggles, strivings and efforts.
This life is but a pale reflection of that which is to come ... where the totality of love will be ours and we shall see our God.

Life passes, it passes quicker than we often realise, and to keep our eyes upon Jesus will allow eternity to be reflected in our eyes ...

Saint Pio knew and lived this well ...

For all the times of happiness we do experience the truth is that this life remains a Vale of tears ... pray with Mary, to Mary,"And after this our exile show unto us the Blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"This present life is given to us in order to acquire the eternal, but due to lack of reflection we base our affections on that which pertains to this world.
Believe me, in order to live happily we must keep before our eyes the hope of reaching our homeland where we will be for all eternity"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

At times we can all be tempted to think that we will attain a greater unity, closeness with our God through reading various spiritual writers, or some specific book. The way of prayer is much simpler and accessible than many people would believe.
Prayer is above all things and primarily a gift of the Holy Spirit, it is the SPIRIT, it is LOVE that prays within us, without love we cannot pray ... we can talk but that is not necessarily praying.
To pray we surrender ourselves to the unseen presence ...
It is true that the soul needs nurturing and feeding, first upon the Eucharist and then upon his WORD ... the words that fall from his lips ... it is loves exchange!
Saint Pio puts it so well, prayer is a pouring out of the heart into the heart of God! that we give and give out of our true authentic selves all we are unto HIM.
He wants our heart, our love ... he wants us to come to him as we are! how consoling, how blessed! No matter what the pain the struggle, the doubts, the fears, he wants us to tell him ... OH! listen to the beating of the Fathers heart ... and return love for love.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Praying is the pouring of our heart into the heart of God"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Much media focus has been put up the various volcanic eruptions around the world in recent times, and in particular because of all the disruption it has created, the Volcano in Iceland.

It is often thought of, or regarded in a very negative way, purely from the way it has invaded what man thinks is his space, but is actually God's space!
A volcano is actually a not just a place of apparent destruction, but a place of rebirth, it is where new land mass is formed, it is all part of the constant renewal of the planet.

It has a life cycle, a period of dormancy, activity and death, it exudes, ash, lava, fire and cloud ...

All these elements are potentially within the human soul, and they are all part of the spiritual life cycle within us ... at times we know the bursting forth of the love for God which we feel our hearts cannot contain, at others our inner life seems as it were in ashes! and sometimes we live as it were in a cloud where light seems hidden ... but the whole point is that where life is, nothing is static and underneath, maybe imperceptible, is life ...

Creation is a sacramental, a book to read for our souls ...

How great a mystery, how beautiful is our God!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I confess in the first place, that for me it is a great misfortune to be unable to express and pour out this ever-active volcano which burns me up, and which Jesus has placed in this very small heart. It can all be summed up as follows: I am consumed by love for God and love for my neighbour.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

It is a great delusion if we think the spiritual life will provide us with total peace accompanied by feelings of self satisfaction, and that, because we count ourselves amongst those who have faith our life will know nothing but blessings and apparent tangible good.

No! the spiritual life, the Christian  journey is one of a constant battle, a battle between light and darkness, good and evil, we are all in some way called to be Soldiers for Christ, Warrior Maidens for Christ and his kingdom.

God needs us, he needs us to reveal him to others, he needs us to give the witness of the choice for good, the choice for life.

Gods needful heart needs us to speak his words, he needs us to be warriors for himself and for Mary, that others may gaze in the mirror and glimpse the Divine ... what a responsibility.

Precisely because we are praying and struggling for souls to come to faith and light, precisely because we see communion and union of persons as a good, the evil one will try and divide and create chaos, he cannot abide any kind of harmony in music, deeds, or word.

So be prepared, vigilant, we all have a task to do, we all have a unique place in his plan of things, but it will involve challenge, battle and pain.
Oh! Little hearts HE IS WORTH IT ALL, everything we suffer and endure, he is worth it all, this great God of ours, in whose arms, please God by his mercy we shall all soon be.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The field of battle between God and Satan is the human soul. This is where it takes place every moment of our lives. The soul must give free access to our Lord and be completely fortified by Him with every kind of weapon; His light must illuminate it to fight the darkness of error; it must put on Jesus Christ, His truth and justice, the shield of faith, the word of God to overcome such powerful enemies. To put on Jesus Christ we must die to ourselves.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know that sin, fault, weakness that most hinders us from union with our God. But often although we are aware of the sin, (which may be habitual) we tend to allow ourselves to feel helpless and discouraged knowing that ... very soon we are going to fall into the same trap again. The fight against sin is relentless, but our sins can be if we allow them our authentic path to God ... they are that which allows us to see that of ourselves we cannot raise ourselves out of them, that we need his grace, his forgiveness. We truly can do all things in him who strengthens us!

Our sins should be or result in true humility.

Avoiding occasions of sin takes application of our will and the choice to do the good and flee from evil.

Above all we need to acknowledge before and to our God our guilt and admit to him our true motivations for what we have done.

When we sin the worst thing we can do is hide, for that becomes an opportunity for the evil one to manipulate us and invade us.

NO! In prayer we lift that sin unto God, he knows us, we express our sorrow and plead for grace. He loves us and wants us back ... so run, run into the arms of our Father and know peace!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

"Focus on and remove the defect that most prevents you from joining God"
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Blessed, Blessed grace filled Feast of Pentecost! Pentecost was not created at the coming of the Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary in the Acts of the Apostles! It was the feast of harvest, the feast of gathering in, in the Jewish year and liturgy!

A time when life is gathered in, in abundance with thanksgiving and joy!

Throw your heart wide open to God and his grace this day, that you too will know joy and his Divine Touch! you are so loved.

This is in a way for us if we are receptive a "harvest of grace".

Saint Pio as a young man lived in rural Italy, a very poor and somewhat part of the Galgano area in Italy, he knew the value of harvest, and looked to the land often to find examples he could offer to others of the divine teaching.

Look at this extract today! let us be the grain stalks that are bent to the ground, laden with fruit for the kingdom, humble and close to Our God!

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Have you ever seen a field of fully ripened grain? You will see that some ears are tall and vigorous; while others are bent to the ground. Try to take the tall one, the most vain, you will see that it is empty; if instead you take the low ones, the most humble, these are laden with grain. From this you can deduce that vanity is empty.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

In this is our happiness and peace, to be faithful to what we have promised our God, our marriage vows, our vows of consecration, or that which we pledged to God for the good, to avoid the evil ...

Faithfulness to HIM, faithfulness to grace will bring great blessings and rewards, not without a struggle, but we are after all only surrendering back to God what he first gave us.

In this or that state of life he will perfect us and make us holy.

The most beautiful icon of faithfulness is Mary beneath the Cross ... loving him to the end and beyond, being present no matter what life demanded ...

The world? a feather on the wind, sand between our fingers, all will pass away ... and is even now passing away ...

Let us keep our eyes fixed upon Heaven and the joy that lies ahead ...

Jesus is worth it all!

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Always be faithful to God in observing the promises you made Him, and pay no attention to the mocking of the foolish. Know that the saints never payed attention to the world and the worldly, and they placed the world and its maxims under their feet.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Do not become anxious if for all your seeming good efforts and strivings you feel as if you are getting nowhere! Do not be tempted to think "I have not changed" ... "I fall into the same sin time and time again"... If we keep our wills, minds and hearts focused on the good, at Gods hour and by his grace, we will flower, no matter how unpromising things may appear, all things are possible to our God ... and he wills us to become WHOLE and holy, so trust him ...

Every gardener likes to see his garden grow, he likes to see growth and development, and takes joy in the seasons of the earth, likewise God takes delight in our growth, he sees the minutest step forward ...

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

You should not be discouraged, because if there is in the soul a continual effort to improve, the Lord will finally reward you by suddenly making all the virtues blossom in you as in a garden full of flowers.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The simplicity of this extract is beautiful ... in fact we have set these few lines to music and often sing this to Jesus in the Holy Sacrament. "Jesus take this heart of mine, fill it with your love, then do with me what you will, what you will"...

This is the gift that Christ really waits for, the gift of our heart, our innermost being and self, the child deep deep down within.

When the heart is filled with love all things are possible ... it is this exchange of hearts that makes us Holy and in which Gods word is fulfilled, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you".

Saint Padre Pio had a childlike love of Jesus and Mary, he gave his heart, even to the point of being wounded ...


From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

This heart of mine is Yours ... my Jesus, so take this heart of mine, fill it with Your love and then order me to do whatever You wish.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know the difference between the works of the Spirit and the work of the evil one ... but all too often we attribute to all too human causes the reasons for our confusion, perplexities, crippling fears, and pain ... none of these things are from God, for where His SPIRIT IS, there is peace, acceptance of what his will asks of us.
In his WILL is our peace ... In his will is always a kiss of mercy.

On the other hand, the oppressive whirlwind which attempts to throw dust in our eyes obscure our vision and path is not of God ...

When these trials come upon you call on the saving name of Jesus ... and cry out no matter what the circumstances are,"Oh! God I will, to do your will"...
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Spirit of God is a spirit of peace and even in the most serious faults He makes us feel a sorrow that is tranquil, humble, and confident and this is precisely because of his mercy.

The spirit of the devil, instead, excites, exasperates and makes us feel, in that very sorrow, anger against ourselves, whereas we should on the contrary be charitable with ourselves first and foremost.

Therefore if any thought agitates you, this agitation never comes from God, who gives you peace, being the Spirit of Peace, but from the devil.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know the difference between the works of the Spirit and the work of the evil one ... but all too often we attribute to all too human causes the reasons for our confusion, perplexities, crippling fears, and pain ... none of these things are from God, for where His SPIRIT IS, there is peace, acceptance of what his will asks of us.
In his WILL is our peace ... In his will is always a kiss of mercy.

On the other hand, the oppressive whirlwind which attempts to throw dust in our eyes obscure our vision and path is not of God ...

When these trials come upon you call on the saving name of Jesus ... and cry out no matter what the circumstances are,"Oh! God I will, to do your will"...
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Spirit of God is a spirit of peace and even in the most serious faults He makes us feel a sorrow that is tranquil, humble, and confident and this is precisely because of his mercy. The spirit of the devil, instead, excites, exasperates and makes us feel, in that very sorrow, anger against ourselves, whereas we should on the contrary be charitable with ourselves first and foremost. Therefore if any thought agitates you, this agitation never comes from God, who gives you peace, being the Spirit of Peace, but from the devil.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We can learn so much from reading the "Book of Nature", it can tell us so much about ourselves and our spiritual journey:
Each season of the soul has its own value and beauty, and its pain ...
The Barrenness of Winter
The Hope of Spring
The Joy of Summer
The Pain of loss in Autumn ... but together they make a beautiful whole, they make up life, for nothing is ever static where there is LIFE, this should give us hope in all things, that wherever we find ourselves at this present moment, we will move on, and things will change ...
So hope in God and praise Him still.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I see that all the seasons of the year can be found in your souls. Sometimes you feel the winter of much sterility, distractions, listlessness and boredom; sometimes the dews of the month of May with the perfume of holy little flowers (small sacrifices); sometimes the heat of the desire to please our divine Spouse. Nothing remains but the autumn in which you don't see much fruit, but it often happens that when the grain is threshed and the grapes crushed, there is a bigger harvest than the harvesting promised.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Blessed Feast of the Most Holy Trinity! The Heart of Jesus which is the Heart of the Father and the Love of the Holy Spirit calls us today within its depths to give us love and to draw us into HIM.

O the holiness and beauty of Our God, let us give honour to the most Holy Trinity, our great Saint Bede died with the words upon his lips, Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit ...

We are called to be co-workers with our God for souls ... pray for those today who do not know him.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)..

Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us not only for our own sanctification, but also for that of other souls. He wants to be helped in the salvation of souls.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

A Grace filled feast of the Visitation!

The symbol of the dove is scripture always indicates life! What a beautiful vignette this is to imagine in our hearts eye to see the soul of Mary FLYING UPWARDS to her Son and God ...

This speaks to us of the yearning of love, and even in this life while yet living our souls tend upwards with such longing to be one with him.

Yes May this sweet Mother smile upon you and bring you at last to her Son in bliss.

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).


Mary's holy soul, like a dove set free, left her saintly body and flew to the bosom of her Beloved.

May the Mother of Jesus, and our Mother, always smile on your spirit, obtaining for it, from her Most Holy Son, every Heavenly blessing.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We live in societies that despite encroaching, apparent effects of recession, often, do not know how to be a good stewards, how to spend the money they possess well and to the good. So much money is still spent on trivia, things totally superfluous to life ...

We have a Christian  responsibility to spend our money for the good of our families, children, communities, well. That they are in some way to the building up, sustaining, and support to LIFE.

Our savings are not only money, they are also TIME, which we can hoard, use selfishly or utilize for the good of others ...
Thank you Holy Spirit when the words of your saints disturb me, its you trying to all me to a better choice.
 

From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

Make Christian  use of your money and savings and then so much misery will disappear and so many suffering bodies and afflicted beings will find relief and comfort.


 



Dear Little Hearts,

How well we know this! how slowly we die in the face of contradictions, suffering, and our own will.

But as Jesus said, "Unless the grain of wheat fall to the ground and die ... it remains just that a grain of wheat", but in its falling and dying its "life" becomes fecund.
To the one who has learnt to accept Gods sweet will and not their own, death will come not with terror but a sweet release because all these'little deaths'are all a preparation for the great moment when we pass totally into our God.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Life is nothing but a continual struggle against oneself, and it does not open to beauty without the price of suffering. Always keep Jesus company in Gethsemane and He will know how to comfort you in the hours of anguish that will come.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We would probably not express this is the same words, more than likely we would wrap it up in words that are more "acceptable"... but we all know this temptation to act in anger, to pay another back, to get even, we all know that desire to let the other know "we understand the game"...

But Jesus Christ asks so much more from us, not paying back with evil but with a blessing.

Forgiveness of our enemies can be a hard challenge and we may fall many times, but the way forward is to keep always before our eyes the words of Jesus and the ideal.

Gradually we learn that we are the ones who suffer from words or deeds that are revengeful, it hardens our hearts ...

Slander is a terrible cross to bear, but with Jesus we can do it, we can know peace by knowing inwardly that we have conducted ourselves according to Gods law and will.

We have a great responsibility, and that is the taming of our tongue ... for it can create great devastation and harm ...

Pray for our enemies and do good to those who hate us with this comes the greatest of blessings from Christ- True peace of soul.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Never has the thought of revenge crossed my mind. I have prayed for the slanderers and I pray. If anything, sometimes I have said to the Lord:"Lord if to convert them a lash is necessary, then give it to me so that they may be saved."
 


Dear Little Hearts,

There are no words to adequately describe the beauties of Mary, countless saints, martyrs, painters, poets, and holy persons have tried, but none have captured her beauty is totality.
Can we even ever begin to imagine really, the depths of beauty, holiness and goodness is the deep pools of Mary's eyes?

Artists may capture something of her gestures, apparel, but her eyes? that is impossibly for her eyes are the very mirror of her soul, total purity and love.
In this moth of May let us seek to honour Mary in many little ways, Saint Pio loved her with a singular love ... let us ask him that we too will have recourse to Mary as Mother of Grace.

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Beautiful Mother, you are so beautiful. If it were not for faith, men would think you were a goddess. Your eyes are more resplendent than the sun, you are beautiful Mother, I glory in it, I love you. Please help me.
 




Dear Little Hearts,

Humility and Faith are needed to pray the Rosary ... Humility that we accept our humble, struggling efforts, with all its distractions, aridities and failures, knowing with the heart of a child that our gifts no matter how poor are so pleasing to God and make our Heavenly Mother smile with love.

Faith, that we believe the Gospel and its message in the specific mystery we are praying, and that we believe that our prayers "makes a difference"...

The praying of the Rosary can, literally keep us alive in many ways, and at times it can lead us into the deepest contemplation.

Saint Padre Pio relied on his Rosary as a weapon in the battle against evil, and as an instrument and channel of love to commune with God and Mary.

Today beneath Padre Pio's quote and picture, I include for you some beautiful short mediations on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary from the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen ... a man who so loved Mary.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Hold on tightly to the Rosary. Be very grateful to the Madonna because it was she who gave us Jesus.

Love our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.
 




THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES

First Joyful Mystery: the Annunciation

In human love man desires, woman gives. In Divine Love, God seeks, the soul responds. God asks Mary to give Him a human nature with which He may start a new humanity.
Mary agrees. A woman's role is to be the medium by which



God comes to man. A woman is frustrated who does not bring fortli a new man, either physically, by birth, or spiritually, [222] by conversion. And every man is frustrated who knows not both his earthly and his Heavenly mother, Mary.

Second Joyful Mystery: the Visitation

Love that refuses to share kills its own power to love. Mary not only wants others to share her love, but also her Beloved.

She brings Christ to souls before Christ is bom. The Gospel tells us that on seeing Mary, Elizabeth was"filled with the Holy Spirit."When we have Christ within, we cannot be happy until we have imparted our joy. The soul that does not magnify itself alone can truly magnify the Lord. Out of the humility of Mary sprang the song of the Magnificat, in which she made nothing of herself and everything of Him. By re- ducing ourselves to zero, we most quickly find the Infinite.

Third Joyful Mystery: the Nativity

As the Virgin conceived Our Lord without the lusts of the flesh, so now she brings Him forth in joy without the labors of the flesh. As bees draw honey from the flower without of- fending it, as Eve was taken out of the side of Adam without any grief to him, so now in remaking the human race, the new Adam is taken from the new Eve without any grief to her. It is only her other children of the spirit, which she will bring forth at Calvary, who will cause her pain. And the sign by which men would know He is God was that He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes. The sun would be in eclipse.

Eternity in time. Omnipotence in bonds, God in the shrouds of human flesh. Only by becoming little likewise, do we ever become great.

Fourth Joyful Mystery: the Presentation

[223] Mary submits to the general law of Purification, from which she was really free, lest she should scandalize by the prema- ture discovery of the secret entrusted to her keeping. Simeon tells her that her Son is to be contradicted — the sign of con- tradiction is the Cross — and a Sword her own heart shall pierce. And yet all this is considered a Joyful Mystery: for, as the Father sent His Son to be a victim for the sins of the world, so would Mary joyfully guard Him until the hour of sacrifice. The highest use any of us can make of the gifts of God is to give them back to God again.

Fifth Joyful Mystery: Finding of the Child J esus in the Tem- ple

It is so easy to lose Christ; He can even be lost by a little heedlessness; a little want of watchfulness and the Divine Presence slips away. But sometimes a reconciliation is sweeter than an unbroken friendship. There are two ways of knowing how good God is: one is never to lose Him, the other is to lose Him and find Him again. Sin is the loss of Jesus, and since Mary felt the sting of His absence she could understand the gnawing heart of every sinner and be to it, in the truest sense of the word:"Refuge of Sinners."
 



Dear Little Hearts,

It is precisely because we feel that Our Heavenly Mother understands our suffering, struggles and pain that we have the confidence to approach her. WE KNOW she has been there before us! Praying to and with Mary can teach us so much.

Padre Pio saw her not only as a Mother of Joy, but also as the Mother of Sorrows.

How many times he meditated on the Passion of Jesus, made the Way of the Cross, prayed the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, and all for souls!

I am enclosing today after the picture, the Sorrow Mysteries of the Rosary from that great lover of Mary, Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

God bless you all


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Mother of Sorrows is my confidante, my teacher, my counselor, and my powerful advocate.
 




THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES

The Agony in the Garden

Our fellow creatures can help us only when our needs are human. But in an hour of our greatest need, some of them betray and others sleep. In the really deep agony, we must cry to God. "Being in agony, He prayed." What up to that point seemed a tragedy, now becomes an abandonment to the Father's Will.

The Scourging at the Pillar

Over seven hundred years before, Isaiah prophesied the laceration of Our Lord's Sacred Body, "Here is one despised, left out of all human reckoning, bowed with misery, and no stranger to weakness; how should we recognize that face?"

Great souls are like great mountains; they always attract the storms. Upon their bodies break the thunders and lightnings of evil men to whom purity and goodness is a reproach. In reparation for all the sins of the flesh, and in anticipated encouragement to the martyrs who would be beaten by Communists and their progenitors, He delivers His Sacred Body to the lash until "His bones could be numbered," and His flesh hung from Him like purple rags.

The Crowning with Thorns

The Saviour of the world is made a puppet for those who play the fool: the King of Kings is mocked by those who will have"no King but Caesar."Thorns were part of the original curse upon the earth. Even nature, through sinful men, re- bels against God. If Christ wears a crown of thorns, shall we covet a crown of laurel?

I saw the Son of God go hy
Crowned with a crown of thorn.
"Was it not finished, Lord"said I,
"And all the anguish home?'

He turned on me His awful eyes:
"Hast thou not understood?
Lo, every soul is Calvary
And every sin a rood."*

The Carrying of the Cross

Many a cross we bear is of our own manufacture; we made it by our sins. But the Cross which the Saviour carried was not His, but ours. One beam in contradiction to another beam was the symbol of our will in contradiction to His own. To the pious women who met Him on the roadway. He said; "Weep not for Me." To shed tears for the dying Saviour is to lament the remedy; it were wiser to lament the sin that caused it.

If Innocence itself took a Cross, then how shall we, who are guilty, complain against it?

The Crucifixion

Once nailed to the Cross and "lifted up to draw all men to Himself", He is taunted: "Others He saved, Himself He cannot save." Of course not! This is not weakness, but obedience to the law of sacrifice. A mother cannot save herself, if she would raise her child; the rain cannot save itself, if it would bud the greenery; a soldier cannot save himself, if he would save his country; and neither will Christ save Himself, since He came to save us. What heart can conceive the misery of humankind, if the Son of God had saved Himself from suffering, and left a fallen world to the wrath of God?

 



Dear Little Hearts,

Let us take Padre Pio's counsel to heart and in these troubled times keep our hearts, our eyes fixed upon Heaven, let us never fear to approach our Heavenly Father, and Mary Our Mother, they love us so want us to be with them for eternity.

We all fail, we all sin, we know the remedy, to repent and plead for grace, and show great Trust but getting up and continuing along our God given path.
Below after the picture are the meditation by Archbishop Fulton Sheen of the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

You must remember that you have in Heaven, not only a Father but also a Mother ... If our wretchedness saddens us, if our ingratitude for God terrorizes us, if the memory of our faults hinders us from presenting ourselves to God, our Father, let us then have recourse to Mary, our Mother. She is all sweetness, mercy, goodness and love for us because she is our Mother.

 



THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
The Resurrection

Easter Sunday was not within three days of the Transfiguration, but within three days of Good Friday. Love is not to be measured by the joys and pleasures which it gives, but by the ability to draw joy out of sorrow, a resurrection out of a crucifixion, and life out of death. Unless there is a Cross in our life, there will never be an empty tomb; unless there is the crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light: "O, Death, where is thy victory? O, grave where is thy sting?"

The Ascension

In Heaven there is now a human nature like our own, the promise of what ours will one day be if we follow His Way.
 
Thanks to this human nature. He will always have a deep sympathy for us, even "making intercession for us." We can ascend to Him, now, only in our minds and hearts; our bodies will follow after the Last Judgment. Until then we approach His Throne with confidence, knowing that "pierced Hands distribute the richest blessings."

The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles

As the Son of God in the Incarnation took upon Himself a human body from the womb of the Blessed Mother overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so now on Pentecost He takes from the womb of humanity a Mystical Body, as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the twelve Apostles with "Mary in the midst of them abiding in prayer. "The Mystical Body is the Church; He is the Invisible Head; Peter and his successors, the Visible Head; we, the members, and the Holy Spirit its soul. As He once taught, governed, and sanctified through His human nature, so now He teaches, governs, and sanctifies through other human natures compacted into His Mystical Body, the Church. We can never thank God enough for making us members of His One Fold and one Shepherd.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven

Mary was not a rose in which Divinity reposed for a time; she was the canal through which God came to us. Mary could no longer live without the Dream she brought forth, nor could the Dream live without her, body and soul. Her love of God bore her upward; His love of His Mother lifted her upward. Our Lord could not forget the cradle in which He lay.

In the Annunciation, the angel said: "The Lord is with Thee."

In the Assumption: "Mary is with the Lord." Her Assumption is the guarantee that one's prayers to her will be answered.
 
The Son is on the right Hand of the Father; she is on the right Hand of the Son.

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin

As Queen of Heaven, Our Lord comes back to us again through Mary, passing His Life and His blessing through her hands as the Mediatrix of all graces. He came through her in Bethlehem; through her, we go back to Him and through her He comes back again to us.

Our Lady went into a strange country

And they crowned her for a queen

For she needed never to he stayed or questioned

But only seen;

And they were broken down under unbearable beauty

As we have been.

Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country

The crown He gave,

But she has not forgotten to call her old companions

To call and crave;

And to hear her calling a man might arise and thunder

On the doors of the grave*

* G. K. CHESTERTON,"Regina Angelomm/'from Collected Poems, 1935.

 



Dear Little Hearts,

How great is the longing of the human heart for union and communion, we are created for love, to love, to give love and to receive love, all else will be at some point or another, simply like sand running through ones fingers. All else will pass away.

LOVE IS THE ONLY INDESTRUCTIBLE FORCE! Love is that which overcomes all.

The Martyrdom of love that Saint Pio speaks about here is every bit as real as a physical martyrdom, for love can wound us even more deeply, as the pain sears our very souls.

Desire, the longing for God is such a beautiful, beautiful thing, so much awaits us, let us keep our eyes upon the end, upon the goal of all our efforts, labours and service.
Is there anything more beautiful that the thought of Mary's longing heart for Jesus?

This life truly is an exile.

We are now preparing to celebrate Pentecost, Sunday, week ... let this be a time too of a longing for the Holy Spirit, even as Mary longed for this outpouring of love.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

After Jesus Christ's ascension to Heaven, Mary longed continually with burning desire to be reunited with Him. To be without her divine Son was a very harsh exile. Those years of separation from Him were for her a most slow and painful martyrdom of love that consumed her slowly.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Like the Streets of Pietrelcina, the road to life is narrow ... and how much human suffering we encounter along the path of life.

Are we an open door to those in need? a thousand streets in a thousand towns each one could be and is a Via Dolorosa ... for someone it is a path to Calvary ... as you walk along to your daily work, pass houses, factories, schools, in your heart bless those people whom you may never meet personally and yet they too were create din love by HIM for Heaven.

The gift of a blessing is such a beautiful gift to another.

Let us be for other as Padre Pio was to so many souls, a Simon of Cyrene
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

One day when we are able to see the full midday light, we will know what value and what treasures our earthly sufferings have been that have made us gain our everlasting Homeland.

 



Dear Little Hearts,

In our youth we think, quite mistakenly, that the road of life will stretch ever onwards before us, that the reality of the end will never actually come ... but as life journeys on, there comes a time when we realise the ever nearing fact of approaching old age and death.

It is Gods great love and mercy that allows us to see this, to come to some understanding of this, for by it we see that God is inviting to use whatever time is left to us for his glory and service.

He gives us a time to prepare ourselves to be with him Some people as they get older become quite discouraged and despondent, believing and maybe in the scheme of things what they believe is to a degree, true, that they have not done "much for God".

But it is not achievement that God looks for, asks for, what he wants is our heart, he wants our real authentic being ... and we can never do more or be more for and to God than when we live in his sweet will.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

As the years go by and eternity draws near, we must be twice as courageous and lift our spirit to God, serving Him with even greater diligence in everything that our Christian  vocation and profession requires from us. Only this can make us agreeable to God, make us free to leave this great world that is not of God, free from all other enemies; only this can make us reach the port of eternal salvation.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

These words of Padre Pio sound so simple, and of course we would all agree, but in reality we know if we are honest with ourselves that to love is the greatest challenge, adventure, joy and suffering that the human person can encounter in this life.

There is no such thing as love without suffering, it doesn't exist, true, for a time, circumstances may sit well and be free from trials and problems, but always where there is interaction between human nature there is suffering.

To love we have to be truly courageous, we have to assent to change, change to Christ's exhortations, commands, we have to listen to the Gospel and put it into practise and it is not easy.

Much is written, much is talked about love that is so trite, so far from the mark, love is not a feeling its an act of the will.

To attune our wills to the rightful demands of others within our specific state., married or consecrated, to attune our will to Gods will, that is love ...
 
So many people starting out for life look for challenge and adventure, the greatest challenge is to love and go on loving.

And the mix in the works, to love our enemies.

Some people are so easy to love and others it takes all we have to love them, that is good, for it means we are living and loving with Christ's love, with the love the Gospel talks about, and it will teach us so much.

We can do all things by his grace, in and with HIM who will strengthen us.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

We must love, love, love and nothing else.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know when we are "spiritually sick", we all know when we need to be touched by Gods grace and mercy. The evil one loves us to delay, he loves to place barriers of fear and indifference between us and our God. We should go joyfully to the arms of Our Father, say sorry, pour all out into his heart, confessing our guilt and responsibility for our part in the failures of love, and then trusting his mercy, stand up and walk forward with confidence, not looking back, not doubting.
Often we can accept that God has forgiven us, but the problem is we cannot forgive ourselves ... who are we to limit Gods mercy and power?

It is a temptation and we should continually fight against it for what God has forgiven is forgiven. As Padre Pio says be beautifully here, place a tombstone over it, sing a requiem as it were and enjoy the Resurrection in the here and now.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

When disturbed by passions and misfortunes, may the sweet hope of His inexhaustible mercy sustain us. Let us hasten confidently to the tribunal of penance where He awaits us at every instant with the anxiety of a father; and even though we are aware of our inability to repay Him, let us have no doubts about the solemn pardon pronounced over our errors. Let us place a tombstone over them, just as the Lord has done.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

As Christian s we may well experience ridicule, abuse, indifference and contempt from those whom our lives and daily work encounter.

There is in reality a constant battle between the Spirit of the Gospel and the Spirit of the world, we should not be surprised. When all said and done we are simply walking in the footsteps of Our Master Jesus, who endured such treatment and carried it all before us.

What matters is that we show the Face of God to others, that we show them that there is an alternative path, a good path they can walk.

How impressive was the recent on line video clip of a man holding up a cashier in a shop and the woman speaking to the man about Jesus, the poor lost sinner, was humbled it was obvious and left without taking a cent ... love can turn things around.

This was an ordinary woman who showed by her example that there is another way, an alternative to the spirit of this world.
 

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Do not let the persecution of worldlings and of all those who live without the Spirit of Jesus Christ deter you from following the road trodden by the saints.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

We all know that worry is useless, we all know it is fruitless, and yet coming to the acceptance and belief of that reality is a long, hard journey.
Presented with certain circumstances we are fearful, uncertain, and our inordinate imagination will present us with all kinds of mental pictures, of things that might, or could happen, which take our peace away.

Worry can be debilitating and exhausting leading nowhere, it is good to look back on our life and see how many times we have worried ourselves sick over something that in the final analysis, never became a reality!

Little by little we do learn.

Much better simply to throw ourselves into the arms of our Heavenly Father, the God who loves us, and will to trust and trust and trust.
It is not easy but practise is a good thing and we will grow with every little surrender.

Do not be robbed of your joy by being preoccupied with worry and worldly concerns, your Father knows your needs, he is with you and loves you, let it go ... and know peace.

We have many friends, much loved in America, please pray for the Bay State of, for the 670 men and women pending deployment, pray please for their families and loved ones. Ask Padre Pio to intercede for them all ... In his lifetime many American soldiers visited Padre Pio, he was a priest for all.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Don't worry about tomorrow because the very same Heavenly Father who takes care of you today will have the same thought tomorrow and always. . . What does a child in the arms of such a Father have to fear? Be as children, who hardly ever think about their future as they have someone to think for them. They are sufficiently strong just by being with their father.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

How beautifully and fully human our Saint Padre Pio was! we all know situations if we are honest where our courage fails us, where we feel ourselves faltering, especially when it pertains to the welfare of those whom we love.

Sometimes we may think, or even verbalize! "I cant do it! I will never get through this one, BUT the fact is and we learn this from experience, that the Lord will always give is grace AT THE TIME to enable us to go forward to achieve the good.

We never get grace in advance of a situation, never, its because God wants us to trust him and in our hour of need he WEILL give us aid and support ...

We should have the same confidence as St Pio, as a child, believing that God will attend to all our needs and assist us through all life's difficulties and challenges, in this way he is glorified!


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Unfortunately, I am in need of courage, but Jesus will not refuse anything. I can testify to this from long experience, so we should not stop asking Him for what we need.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Inspirations to surrender oneself to God, to abandon the known and cast ourselves trustingly into the Lords arms can only be a praying, a moving of the Holy Spirit within us.

Any journeying from self to God, any response from our own self centeredness to God centeredness is a touch, an embrace of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is love and love desires union, and this inner desire that Saint Pio talks about in this extract is a genuine, authentic Divine Touch.

We should always listen to such whisperings, they will bring us to a greater fullness of life.

We will be sadly disappointed, it may be sooner or later, if we place our trust in the things of this world, they can disappear in an instant, and they belong only to the hear and now ... far greater will be our happiness if we place our trust in God.

The whole Christian  journey is a pilgrimage of trust.

Many of us are wounded from having our trust broken, and it takes courage to begin again and to go on trusting, people may fail us God never will.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

I feel a great desire to abandon myself with greater trust to the Divine Mercy and to place my hope in God alone.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

To these words of Saint Pio, there may well up in your the question, WHY? Of course we should rejoice with Mary, for the Lord has done great things for her! and through her for us!

But in this Valley of tears we need a heart that understands our struggles, sufferings and trials ... we need a mothers heart, a woman who will be the face of compassion for us ...

Our Lady of Sorrows is such, she has experienced all that we experience, and because of that we can take all our burdens and pain to her in prayer.

Mary will offer them all to Jesus upon the altar of her heart.

We can entrust the deepest intimacies of our hearts to Mary, we can let her teach us the path of surrender to Gods will, and we can have a childlike confidence in her protection and prayers.

Oh! The DEEP DEEP wisdom of Our God to give us such a mother!


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

The Mother of Sorrows is my confidante, my teacher, my counselor, and my powerful advocate.

________________________________

Dear Little Hearts,

Is this not beautiful advice from a spiritual Father? "Take care of your spirit"... in other words see the needs of your spirit as of prime importance.

We allot much time to the care of the body, but far far more important is the care we should take of our immortal soul, our body will fail and die, our soul once created is immortal.

We all know the things that marr our souls, idleness can lead to all kinds of abuses and feed our inordinate curiosity, idleness makes us self centred and all too easy thrown back upon the carnal.

Immoral conversation taints our souls and those of others, we have a grave responsibility as to how we speak to others, our words should bless, build up, not lead another into sin.

At all times realise and accept WE ALL carry our treasure in earthenware vessels, be vigilant regarding your own soul and those of others.


From the Heart of A Priest.
Thoughts of Brother Pio- (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Take care of your spirit, flee idleness and all immoral conversation ... always remembering the words of the Apostle, that our virtue is preserved in very fragile vessels.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The great beauty of maturing, growing older is that increasing awareness that life is well spent, that we are journeying towards the goal, through death to eternal life.

Our bodies diminish, become limited it is true, all passes into God somehow before we ever even leave this earth, but our spirits in faith should soar to the Heavens to the realization that this life is passing and that we will be united with all those who have walked this way before us, we will find them all in God.

Old age should be a fruitful autumn in our life, a time when we can give to others the fruit of our life, our prayer, our wisdom from having tried to live a life in Christ.
Sometimes this leaping upwards of the heart will take us unawares ... because it is the Holy Spirit within us calling us ever upwards ...

Imagine ... we cannot ... but imagine we shall see God face to face ... His Holy Mother and all the Saints ... so much happiness awaits us.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

As the days pass, I see ever more clearly the greatness of God, and in this light, which grows brighter and brighter, my soul burns with the desire to be united to Him by indissoluble bonds.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

The great beauty of our God is that what he has promised, he ALWAYS FULFILS, for God alone is Unchanging, Faithful, Living and True!

God has said, it has fallen from his own lips, "I am with you always even unto the end of the world"...

His presence is abiding, sometimes we cannot see, feel, perceive anything of God at all, all seems darkness and emptiness, but HE IS WITH US! that is our faith.

On Calvary Jesus was not alone, God only allowed him to experience that abandonment ... but the Father and the Spirit were present as they are present too on our Calvary's We are so loved!

Look at this picture of Jesus, look how the Spirit embraces him, he cannot see him, perceive him, but he is there! remember that when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death!


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

In darkness, at times of tribulation and distress of the spirit, Jesus is with you. In such a state you see nothing but darkness, but I can assure you on God's behalf that the light of the Lord is all around you and pervades your spirit. . .You see yourself forsaken and I assure you that Jesus is holding you tighter than ever to His divine Heart.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Love and sacrifice are inseparable, love will call us in many ways during our life to sacrifice ourselves, it may call us to lay our dreams and desires upon the altar.
Often it will be in little ways, our time, our strength, our availability, but it will also ask of us some greater sacrifice.

We prepare for the greater sacrifice by having practised the surrender, abandonment in the lesser things, by saying, yes to the little sacrifices.

There is always a pain in letting go, either a situation or a person ... but the pain we experience through love is a diamond that we can offer to God for graces for souls.
Our Christian  vocation will often call us to sacrifice, as Christian s there are many things that we should not involve ourselves in, fill our minds with ... our love for Christ will demand that we choose the better part, even if we are surrounded by people who knowingly or unknowingly consume "forbidden fruit".

It can be too because we live in such a violent society that our life could be asked of us, so many times it has now happened on our streets that persons have met sudden and violent deaths or attempted murder and some innocent bystander who went to aid the victim had died ... it is tragic yes ... but always remember Christ's words, "Greater love hath no man that he who lays down his life for his friends.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Love Jesus, love Him very much, but to do this, be ready to love sacrifice more.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Let these words speak ... ... and if through infirmity, sickness or other reasons it is not possible for you to actually attend Mass, never the less focus upon the Great Sacrifice of love.

The next best thing is simply to read, ponder upon the prayers of the Mass and unite our hearts to the Sacrifice being offered up all over the world, we can be present be desire.

And then make a spiritual communion, acknowledging to Jesus that although you cannot at this moment receive him sacramentally, invite him to invade and possess your mind, your heart, your soul, your total being ... say to him with all you are "This is my Body Given up for you"...

Love will unite you.


From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

Renew your faith by attending Holy Mass. Keep your mind focused on the mystery that is unfolding before your eyes. In your mind's eye transport yourself to Calvary and meditate on the Victim who offers Himself to Divine Justice, paying the price of your redemption.
 



Dear Little Hearts,

Every image that we encounter of Mary can tell us something about her ...

The Holy Spirit who was the source of the initial inspiration knows what he wanted to say through a specific artist, this picture is called, "Our Lady Of Innocence"...
Mary walks "barefoot in the garden", a pilgrim in this land ... In Jewish understanding to wear sandals was tantamount to ownership of the land, by being barefoot Mary is saying she belongs in all places and to none this side of the veil.

She the all pure one, holds the spotless lamb, the sacrifice who will take away the sins of the world. Mary holds them to her heart, the child sleeping contently ...
We all too, are the little lamb, and when we "bleat" she will always hear us ...

Mary is a shepherdess, she too seeks out the lost.

This picture is worthy of reflection, time and attention ...

O Mary, Queen conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee!

A Blessed May to you all
 



Dear Little Hearts,

In this month of May, traditionally Mary's month, so aptly called as it is abundant in blossoms, flowering bushes and trees, the air is replete with sweet perfume from so many different plants and flowers ... take time apart, to commune with her heart, her Immaculate and pure heart ... there is no place where we cannot pray, but there is in the withdrawing into the beauty of nature some special and unique blessing ...

Draw into this glade with HER ... ask her to lay the lamb of God in your heart ...

Ask her to hold you, even as she holds her child in this beautiful picture.

"As a child has rest in its Mothers arms, even so my soul".

Our Lady of Innocence, pray for us ...
Through love and grace we can all regain innocence of heart by becoming a little child, her little child.
 



"Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock
and where you rest your sheep at midday" (Song of Songs)

O Sweet Lady, Mother Of Innocence, shepherdess of my soul..
Upon your breast, within your Immaculate Heart, you call your sheep, you call me, your little lamb to rest in the heat of the day ...
O Mary carry me to Glade, carry me beneath the trees and sing me to sleep ...

 



Little Lamb- William Blake

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb;

He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!
 


Dear Little Hearts,

May this day be a  day of blessing and grace for,  we celebrate today the Feast of Our Holy Mother St Clare.

This extract that Padre Pio places in his letters to his spiritual daughters is taken from the life of Clare and refers to the miracle of the multiplication of the bread in the monastery.

And the truth is in any situation, GOD CAN GIVE THE INCREASE ...

HE is the source of all fruitfulness and blessing... How wonderfully he manifests his Fatherhood, taking care of us in so many ways

From the Heart of A Priest:
Thoughts of Brother Pio (Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina).

 ... the beloved first born of the seraphic Father Francis comes to mind; there is the deep and solemn silence of the austere refectory, Saint Clare with her humble and mortified daughters, who, to the rhythm of poverty, sing the short notes of renunciation and sacrifice.Each of the daughters  takes her place, raises her mind to the Lord and waits in peace.

 


 


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Copyright © 2004 - 20124Boston Catholic Journal. All rights reserved. This series (Reflections on the Rosary by a Cloistered Poor Clare Nun. With Mary in the Rose Garden) may not be copied, reproduced, printed or distributed in any way by any means without the written consent of the Boston Catholic Journal.
 

 

 

 


 


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