“Flee turmoil and anxiety with all your strength. Otherwise all your spiritual efforts will have little success or bear no fruit.”
—letter to Fr. Basilio of Mirabello Sannitico, February 9, 1916
The world today is full of turmoil, so it’s hard to escape it or the anxiety it causes. Even though we sometimes just want to say, “Stop the world, I want to get off,” we can’t. We are called to live out the Gospel message, even if it’s difficult at times.
During this season of Lent, we can draw strength from the example of Christ and Padre Pio who fought back against both turmoil and anxiety over what they were called to do. It’s easy to live your faith when it’s comfortable. The challenge is to continue to do so when you are surrounded by uncertainties and fear.
In Padre Pio’s Own Words
Peace is simplicity of spirit, serenity of mind, quietness of soul, and the bond of love. Peace is the order, the harmony within us. It is the continuous contentment that comes from the testimony of a clear conscience. It is the holy joy of a heart in which God reigns. Peace is the road to perfection—or rather, perfection is found in peace. The devil, who knows all of this quite well, applies all his efforts to make us lose our peace.
Let us be on high alert against the least sign of turmoil, and as soon as we notice we have fallen into discouragement, let us have recourse to God with filial confidence and complete abandonment of ourselves to him.
Every instance of turmoil in us is very displeasing to Jesus, because it is always connected to some imperfection in us that has its origin in egotism or self-love.
(To Fr. Agostino of San Marco in Lamis, July 10, 1915)
St. Pio, give us the strength to try to calm the turmoil around us and fearlessly live out our faith as an example for others.