“I say to bear our imperfections with patience, and not at all to love and caress them, because humility is nourished in this suffering.”
—Letters, Vol. 3, 684-85
Though he was a holy man, Padre Pio was fully aware of his flaws and weaknesses. Often he would write to his spiritual adviser and others lamenting his lack of patience or acceptance of God’s will. He never thought he was holy enough, obedient enough, or prayerful enough. It was a constant struggle throughout his life. But he always turned to God when he became focused on these imperfections.
We, too, have those moments when we feel as if we’re not doing things well enough to please God. We must always remember, though, that God knows us and what’s in our hearts and loves us—imperfections and all.
In Padre Pio’s Own Words
I want you to see how powerful sacred reading can be to induce a change in people’s direction and to make even worldly people begin their journey to perfection. For that reason you need merely to reflect on the conversion of St. Augustine. Who conquered that great man for God? In the end the last conqueror was neither his mother with her tears nor the great St. Ambrose with his divine eloquence. Rather it was precisely a reading from the Scriptures.
Whoever reads Augustine’s Confessions cannot hold back the tears. What an excruciating war! What a fierce conflict his heart had to endure for the great aversion he felt in having to abandon the lewd pleasures of the senses. He says of himself that he was compelled to groan because his will was bound by a strong chain and that the infernal enemy was restricting his will with the shackles of crude needs. He says he experienced the agony of death in separating himself from his depraved habits.
(To Raffaelina Cerase, July 28, 1914)
St. Pio, sometimes we are painfully aware of our shortcomings and can, at times, obsess over them.
Help us remember that we are made in God’s image and truly loved.