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.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."