As we approach the Feast Day of St. Padre Pio on September 23, we share an excerpt from a letter from Padre Pio to Maria Gargani* on December 10, 1917.
"My most beloved daughter, try to keep peace in your heart through a balance of moods…. Guard against finding a reason to upset yourself; in order to be able to submit your various moods when you are being tried. Do you know what religion is? It is the academy of perfection in which each soul must learn to allow itself to be handled, planed, and smoothed by the divine Spirit, when He also acts as a doctor of our souls so that, having been well planed and smoothed, they can be united and joined to the Will of God.
"The evident sign of perfection is that of being submissive to the Divine Will in the trials of the spirit. Religion is a hospital for the spiritually ill who wish to be cured, and in order to achieve this, they must submit themselves to bleeding, the lancet, the razor, some probing, surgical instruments, fire, and all the pains of medicine.
"O my daughter, do not give too much importance to what the enemy and your imagination suggest to you regarding your interior suffering and spiritual aridity, being sure that this is best for you. Lovingly, sweetly, and tenderly, make this resolution: either to die or be cured. And as you don’t want to die spiritually, try to be healed perfectly. And in order to be healed, desire to bear the treatment and correction of the Divine Doctor, and beseech Him not to spare you in anything in order to save you."
* Maria Gargani was an elementary school teacher, and an active member of Catholic Action and Third Order of St. Francis. With Padre Pio's approval, she founded the Sisters Apostles of the Sacred Heart. Padre Pio provided spiritual direction through the 67 letters he wrote to her between August 26, 1916 and May 16, 1923. Her process of canonization is currently underway.
A typewriter. A manual typewriter on top of it. Circa 1970's. Now there's a 50 year vintage antique!
If you've used one before, do you remember the various parts: paper rest, platen, carriage return, roller knob, ribbon, strikers?
Then there's the necessary accessories, such as correction tape or correction fluid (for example: Wite-Out or Liquid Paper), for correcting those inevitable typos.
Life was simpler back then, or was it?
From its origins in 1877 as a manufacturer of firearms, Smith Corona used similar mechanical processes and manufacturing techniques in the emerging production of typewriters, leading to innovations in typewriters, word processors and thermal labels. Being forward thinking and adapting to changing times, this company has remained in business and profitable for over 140 years.
How about you? How adaptable are you? Can you "go with the flow", and innovate and change according to the challenges in your life? Do you seek God's help and guidance for your growth?
Do you tap, tap, tap, return? Or walk, sprint, run, jump forward?
TAGS: Inspiration, Story
Sending messages the old-fashioned way hearkens back to days gone by. Some people may not even be aware of a life without electronic or digital media, whereas others may happily remember times spent creating sidewalk art as a child.
Saying "hi", drawing pictures, sending love can all be conveyed by a creative mind, a piece of chalk, and a suitable palette.
Messages to last or messages to inspire; all with something to say.
Have you sent someone a worthwhile message today?
A year ago, our neighbor mentioned that his grandson in Columbus was dating a girl from a Cleveland suburb. She had been working in Florida, but moved to Columbus to be closer to family. They met in Columbus. The relationship was looking serious.
This year, we caught up with an acquaintance from a Cleveland suburb. He mentioned that their daughter was getting married in a few weeks. She worked in Florida after graduating from college, but moved to Columbus to be closer to family. She met her fiancé in Columbus.
What are the odds that these two conversations, spanning two years, were connected?
Three cities, two years, two families, one love. A match that could only be the work of an amazing matchmaker.
"But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." - Matthew 6:33
There's one group of people who are fearful of entering into retirement because of fear that they will not have enough money. This often leads to working into their later years, taking part time jobs, or doing with less.
Then there's another group of people who believe that God will provide. Regardless of the need or want, God will provide. And amazingly, He always does.
The first group feel stressed, worried and anxious. The latter group feel confident with an exuberant faith.
Which group are you in?
"The LORD is my strength and my shield ..." - Psalm 28:7
The cross on the side of the road in Tennessee was massive. You certainly couldn't miss it as you drove along the highway. What did it mean? Why was it there?
Perhaps it was to offer protection and guidance. Perhaps it was to make you think. Perhaps it was to make a statement. Perhaps it was to honor Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Perhaps it was to waken weary travelers.
A Google search revealed that this cross "towers over the freeway and shields Christian travelers from its next-door neighbor, a XXX porn store."
So, it was indeed to offer protection and guidance, to make you think, to make a statement, to honor Jesus Christ, and to waken weary travelers as it "sprouted" from the bushes along the road.
In all likelihood, its placement was not a coincidence.
My Loving Savior and Protector, You alone know how to shield and protect me from the evil one, and to waken the weariness within me so as not to go astray. Thank you. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Story
Various ancient sources, including passages in the Bible and other early Jewish writings, speak of multiple heavens. In the Divine Comedy, Dante is guided through nine heavens before arriving at the ultimate dwelling place of God. St. Paul at one point talks of being taken up to "the third heaven" (2 Corinthians 12:2). Other ancient sources hint of even more heavens--up to ten of them.
It is from this tendency to talk about multiple heavens that we have the expression "in seventh heaven," meaning a supremely happy state.
We are celebrating the seventh anniversary of Our Blog where we have been "looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye." It is hoped that over these seven years, you have found a post or two that thrilled you, delighted you, or put you into a supremely happy state. As we reach another milestone, we hope to continue to transport you over the moon into seventh heaven and beyond!
The most viewed posts this year were:
The title above is a slogan often used in the recycling industry. Seems like it could be used in our everyday spiritual life as well.
For those times when you don't know which road to take, way to think, words to say, or thing to do, remember: "when in doubt, throw it out."
You have two choices. Would my thought, word, or deed fit more into the world's "bin," or in God's "bin"? God's "bin" is always the better choice when confronted with a perplexing situation. It is better to be safe than to cause adverse effects by following what others deem to be right.
Just like that plastic bag or plastic cup, without absolute knowledge of right versus wrong, simply make the inconclusive, but seemingly better, decision to follow the path of God and place the situation in His "bin".
God of unfathomable knowledge, lead me to always choose You. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
"The human heart plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps." - Proverbs 16:9
The lid on the new washer was taller than the one on the old washer, so it hit the cabinet doors above the washer when open. There seemed to be two options: (1) raise the cabinet, or (2) put some kind of a "stopper" on the cabinet. While option #1 was probably the cleaner solution, it seemed way too difficult, so option #2 became the better choice.
Now the question was: what kind of a "stopper" to put on the cabinet? Brainstorming resulted in a few creative options like felt pads, some kind of a rubber product, or something hung on the doorknob such as a cotton ornament or a velvet pouch.
Online searches turned up some possibilities but a clear solution did not present itself. Who would have guessed that a routine trip to a crowded grocery store would provide the answer?
God works in mysterious ways if you are open to them! After picking up groceries and working our way to the check-out, one aisle seemed crowded so we took another aisle to slither our way down. It just so happened that this aisle had cat toys in it. There it was: "Lamb Chop." It's perfect! Placing it between the two doors provides the perfect padding for the washer lid to rest on. It's easily removable when you need to open the cabinets, and it's attractive (and cute) when left in place.
If God hadn't steered us down this aisle, we never would have found Lamb Chop. Leading us to the right place at the right time was all in His perfect design!
Lamb of God, thank you for directing our steps to Your way. Help us to see Your hand in everything and make the most of every opportunity. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Story
Come Creator Spirit,
Renew me with your strength.
Purify me with your love.
Strengthen me with your hope.
Empower me with your justice.
Cover me with your protection.
Surround me with your compassion.
Illumine me with your mercy.
Console me with your fire.
Motivate me with your power.
Humble me with your passion.
Satisfy me with your presence.
Complete me with your grace.
Hear and answer me in my need.
© Rev. Michael Pavlakovich
Click HERE to pray the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts. Starts on Friday, May 19.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."