Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with Padre Pio: Fourth Monday

“God commands us to love him but not as much and how he deserves, because he knows our capabilities, and so he does not command or require from us what we cannot do.”
—letter to an unknown addressee, June 3, 1917

We are flawed. We know that, Padre Pio knew that, Christ knows that. There is no getting around it. So there is no use throwing our hands up in the air in exasperation over what we feel we cannot do. What we can do is to accept our limitations and try to work within them. Will we always pray as often or devoutly as we wish? Probably not. But Christ hears all prayers, no matter their form.

The important thing is that we continue to love and honor God in the best way possible at that particular moment. Some days will be better than others. But God sees and knows that we are trying.

In Padre Pio’s Own Words

God wanted to win us to himself by having us experience abundant blessings and consolations in our wills and in our hearts during all our devotions. But who cannot see how much danger surrounds that kind of love of God? It would be easy for a poor soul to attach itself to the sweet consolations in devotions and in loving God without attending in the least to genuine devotion and the essential love of God, which is the only thing that makes a soul beloved and accepted by God.

Our very tender Lord comes quickly with loving concern to deal with this very great peril.

When he sees that a soul is well established in his love, is affectionately joined to him, keeps itself far from earthly things and the occasions of sin, has acquired enough virtue to maintain itself in his holy service without the sweet attractions of the senses, he wants to advance that soul to a higher degree of holiness. He then removes those sweet signs of affection that the soul has experienced in meditation, prayer, and other devotions until that point.

What is the most painful for a person in this state is the loss of a capacity for prayer and meditation and being left in darkness and a completely distressing state of dryness….What that person calls abandonment, however, is nothing other than the heavenly Father’s very special and solicitous care.

(To Raffaelina Cerase, January 9, 1915)

lent with padre pio


St. Pio, help us to realize and accept our limitations
and do the best to serve and honor God in spite of them.


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