Don’t be afraid of humility. Humility is endless. Purity is power.
What to do this Lent!
Every year Catholics try to answer the age old question: What should I do for Lent? During this Lent I will offer a selection of “Tips” for the spiritual life from others. This week we turn to St Pio of Pietrelcina(Padre Pio). His words are in italics.
First of all–the need for spiritual warfare: Let us always keep before our eyes the fact that here on earth we are on a battlefield and that in paradise we shall receive the crown of victory; that this is a testing-ground and the prize will be awarded up above; that we are now in a land of exile while our true homeland is Heaven to which we must continually aspire. Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and we should keep this always in mind during Lent.
The rosary is the recommended weapon for battle. – Hold on tightly to the Rosary. Be very grateful to the Madonna because it was she who gave us Jesus. Love our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.
Don’t be afraid of humility. Humility is endless. Purity is power. Look to purity and pursue it. These also are weapons in the battle: Humility and purity are the wings which carry us to God and make us almost divine.
Don’t expect instant success. The spiritual life is a long journey. It is the work of a lifetime. Take one day at a time and one step at a time. If you stumble and fall, get up immediately and keep going. Never give up. In the spiritual life, you must take one step forward each day in a vertical line, from the bottom up.
Our unhappiness is not everything. Our happiness is not everything. Don’t allow your feelings to determine whether you think you are making spiritual progress or not. The world’s standards of happiness and “success” are completely different from spiritual progress. Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is your guide to the heavenly country, where He is leading you. What does it matter to you if Jesus wishes to guide you to Heaven by way of the desert or by the meadow, so long as He is always with you and you arrive at the possession of a blessed eternity?
Turn off the screens for Lent. Fast and abstain from Facebook and living for the computer. Read some good books. Feed the soul, don’t consider me too demanding if I ask you once again to set great store by holy books and read them as much as you can. This spiritual reading is as necessary to you as the air you breathe.
Pay attention to Holy Mass. The Lord is present. It is not just a “family meal” or a pep talk where we decide how we’re going to make the world a better place. It is the threshold of heaven and the one full, final sacrifice brought into the present moment with its benefits applied to our needs. Renew your faith by attending Holy Mass. Keep your mind focused on the mystery that is unfolding before your eyes. In your mind’s eye transport yourself to Calvary and meditate on the Victim who offers Himself to Divine Justice, paying the price of your redemption…If we only knew how God regards this Sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass.
Your discipline during Lent is a step towards proper detachment from the distorted love of created things so that you can love properly the things that are eternal. Therefore don’t be discouraged. Make little sacrifices, but make them matter. He who attaches himself to the earth remains attached to it. It is by violence that we must leave it. It is better to detach oneself a little at a time, rather than all at once. Let us always think of Heaven.
Don’t be discouraged: You think you are doing a good work, but God is doing it within you. When you realise this you will strive even harder to cooperate with God’s will and this will take you further on the path with speed. Let us humble ourselves and confess that if God were not our armour and shield, we would be pierced by all kinds of sins. That is why we must live in God by persevering in our practices, and learn to serve Him at our own expense.
Be totally committed to the Lord and he will not fail you. Remember the scriptures: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” Let us try to serve the Lord with all our heart and will. He will always give us more than we deserve.