The first, then, is a review of the book, "Words of Light, Inspiration from the letters of Padre Pio." Being that he has just been exhumed and is now on display for veneration of his relics, perhaps it is in fact appropriate that I post on this book at this time.
The book takes excerpts of St. Pio's letters, giving us a glimpse into his heart and soul for our own spiritual enlightenment. Each chapter is divided into different topics, such as, "I pray continually", "I do not wish to ever offend God again", and "Our beautiful Virgin Mary."
I have not had the time to read through this book cover to cover, however I have found that it is one I can pick up, page through, and find some nugget of wisdom pertinent to my own spiritual formation at that given time. As a result, this book has actually served to help foster my own already-existing devotion to this great Saint and has helped me to come to know him even more dearly as my Spiritual Father. We should be grateful to Father Raniero Cantalamessa for compiling this book and for his introductions to each chapter.
Today, several priests were ordained not only here in our diocese, but in others, and so I will provide a shortened excerpt of this book that serve to exhort us all to pray for all priests:
283: "'My Heart', says Jesus, 'has been forgotten. No one is concerned with my love anymore. I am continually saddened. My house has become for many a place of entertainment. This is so even for my ministers, whom I have always regarded with favour, whom I have loved like the apple of my eye: these should confort my heart filled with bitterness and help me to redeem souls. But who ould believe it? That from them I should receive ingratitude and a refusal to acknowledge me. I see, my son, many of them who...(here he grew quiet, the sobs caught in his throat, and he wept in secret)...under hypocritical appearances underfoot the light and strength that I continually give them...'.
284: On Friday morning, I was still in bed when Jesus appeared to me. He was all melancholy and disfigured. He showed e a great multitude of regular and secular priests, among whom there were different eclesiastical dignitaries. Somewere celebrating [Mass], some were vesting, and others were talking their sacred vestments off.
The face of Jesus in distress pained me greatly, and so I asked him why he was suffering so much. But I got no reply. However, his gaze went back to those priests. Shortly after, almost horrified and as if he was tired of looking, he turned his gaze away and lifted it towards me. To my great horror, I noticed that two tears were running down his cheek. He moved away from the mob of priests and looking greatly sickened he cried out: 'Butchers!'
He turned to me and said: 'My son, do not believe that my agony lasted only three hours, no. I will be in agony until the end of the world because of the very souls that have benefited most from me. During the time of my agony, my son, you must not sleep. My soul searches around for a drop or two of human compassion; but, alas! they leave me alone under the burden of indifference. Ingratitude and the greatest of my ministers render my agony terrible indeed. Alas, how badly they respond to my live! What distresses me even more is when some add scorn or unbelief to indifference.
For those who have a devotion to Padre Pio, this book is on a list of ones that must grace your shelf, or more importantly, your nightstand. Such wealth to be found in its pages! It can be purchased from Paraclete Press
SPEAKING OF PRIESTS...
Earlier this week, I received an email from Neven Pesa, a young man who has discerned his call to the priesthood but can't enter the religious community until he pays off a great amount of debt resulting from his studies. His vocation story has appeared in many places, including Catholic Exchange.
Please do what you can to help him become a priest, and for clues as to how to do this, click on his name to be taken to his web page and his music which is available for purchase. He's not just begging...he's got a contribution to the world of Catholicism and wants to work to pay off his debt! He tells me he is also working with the Laboure Society, but if nothing else, he is always in need of more prayers!
So, in the spirit of this auspicious day in which we welcome many new priests, let us keep up the prayers for those in waiting, who have given their fiat, but can't take the next step until the obligations of the world release their binds.
(And as an aside...I keep hearing from people and seeing people I "know" being published on Catholic Exchange. How do I get published there?) :-)