Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with Padre Pio: First Wednesday

“In order to be good servants of God, we must be charitable toward our neighbor.”
—Letters, Vol. 3, 932

Throughout his life, Padre Pio offered himself as a sacrifice. He was willing to take on physical sufferings in order to save the souls of others. Such actions seem rather counter to the way that many of us think today. Society as a whole seems to be rather me-centric; often we think more of ourselves than others. When we do think of others, we often do so not out of genuine concern or love, but rather through the lens of judgment.

This season of Lent is a wonderful time to remember that our brothers and sisters are children of God the same as we are and deserve our love and respect.

In Padre Pio’s Own Words

This idea of potential unworthiness, which consists in knowing what we could be and do without the help of grace, should not be confused with genuine unworthiness.

In the first instance, a self-awareness of one’s potential for sin makes a person acceptable and pleasing in the sight of the Most High. Genuine unworthiness, in contrast, is due to the presence of actual iniquity in a person’s soul or conscience.

In the darkness in which you find yourselves most of the time, you are not distinguishing between these two kinds of unworthiness.

Since you see what you could become, you are now afraid that you already are what is still only potential in you. Not knowing whether you are worthy of love or of hate from God is painful, but it is not a chastisement. People who are or choose to be unworthy never have fear about being unworthy. The kind of uncertainty you are experiencing is allowed by God to happen to every soul, so that no one presumes and becomes careless in the things that concern eternal salvation.

(To the Ventrella sisters, December 7, 1916)

lent with padre pio


St. Pio, help us open our hearts to others and treat them
with the love and respect that they deserve as children of God.


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