Theology of the Heart- Counsels from the heart
Counsels from ST. Padre Pio
Love of God
You must speak to Jesus also with the heart, besides the lips; indeed,
in certain cases you must speak to him only with the heart.
Do not worry over things that generate preoccupation, derangement and
anxiety. One thing only is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love
The heart of our Divine Master has no more amiable law than that of
sweetness, humility, charity. Often place your confidence in Divine
Providence and be assured that sooner heaven and earth shall pass away
than that the Lord neglect to protect you.
Thank and sweetly kiss the hand of God that strikes you, because it is
always the hand of a Father who strikes you because he loves you.
My past, O Lord, to your Mercy; my present, to your Love; my future, to
God loves man with an infinite love and when he punishes he does so with
reverence, almost fearing to hurt.
God can reject everything in a creature conceived in sin and which bears
the indelible impression inherited from Adam. But he absolutely cannot
reject the sincere desire to love him.
Have you not for some time loved the Lord? Do you not love him now? Do
you not long to love him forever? Therefore, do not fear! Even conceded
that you had committed all the sins of this world, Jesus repeats to you,
"Many sins are forgiven thee because thou hast loved much!"
You are trying to find the highest good but, in all truth, it is within
you and holds you stretched out on the naked cross, instilling strength
to sustain the insupportable martyrdom, and also to love Love bitterly.
Say to our sweetest Lord, and say it always: "I want to live by dying,
because from death comes life which does not die and assists life to
raise the dead."
Charity which has not truth and justice for its foundation is faulty. He
who offends against charity, offends the pupil of the eye of God.
To fail in charity is like wounding God in the pupil of his eye. What is
more delicate than the pupil of the eye? To fail in charity is like
failing against nature.
Charity is the queen of virtues. As the pearls are held together by a
thread, thus the virtues by charity; and as the pearls fall when the
thread breaks, so too the virtues are lost if charity diminishes.
Humility and charity are the master chords that all other virtues depend
upon. The one is the lowest, the other the highest. The preservation of
the entire edifice depends on the foundation and the roof. If the heart
keeps itself directed in the exercise of these, no difficulty will be
encountered in the others. These are the mothers of virtue, the others
follow them as the chicks do their mother.
Resignation to God's will
Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your
spirit. You must hate your defects but with a quiet hate, not
troublesome and restless.
Lean on the Cross of Jesus as the Virgin did and you will not be
deprived of comfort. Mary was as if paralyzed before her crucified Son,
but one cannot say that she was abandoned by him. Rather how much more
did she not love him when she suffered and could not even weep?
You should rather humble yourself before God than be distressed if he
reserves for you the sufferings of his Son, and makes you experience
your weakness. You should offer up to him the prayer of resignation and
hope, even when you fall through frailty, and thank him for all the
benefits with which he continually enriches you.
Crosses are the necklaces of the Spouse and I am jealous of them. My
sufferings are pleasant. I only suffer when I don't suffer.
When you are exposed to any trial, be it physical or moral, bodily or
spiritual, the best remedy is the thought of him who is our life, and
not think of the one without joining to it the thought of the other.
Prayer and Meditation
The final purpose of meditation is the love of God and one's neighbor.
Love the first with all your soul and without reservation, love the
second as another self, and you will have arrived at the final purpose
Ahead! Courage! In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes
backward. It happens as with a boat which always must go ahead. If it
stands still the wind will blow it back.
When you do not succeed in meditating well do not for this reason cease
to do your duty. If there are many distractions do not lose heart. Make
a meditation on patience; you will profit all the same. Fix the time,
the length of your meditation, and do not rise from your place until you
have finished it even at the cost of being crucified.
Prayer is the best weapon we possess, the key that opens the heart of
Have patience and persevere in the holy exercise of meditation; be
content to begin with small steps till you have legs to run, better
still wings to fly. Be content to be obedient, which is never a small
thing for a soul which has chosen God for its portion. And be resigned
to be, for the present, a little bee in the hive which will soon become
a large bee capable of making honey.
The most beautiful Credo is that which comes from your lips in darkness,
in sacrifice, in pain, in the supreme effort of an unbending will for
good. It is this which, like a stroke of lightning, penetrates the
darkness of the soul; it is this which in the flash of the tempest lifts
you and leads you to God.
The prayers of the Saints in heaven and of the just on earth are a
perfume which will never be lost.
Pray, hope and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful
Lord will listen to your prayer.
Let us bind ourselves tightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our heavenly
Mother and reflect on its boundless grief of how precious is our soul.
When there is no time for both, meditation and vocal prayer, meditation
is to be preferred because it is more fruitful.
Do not fear. Jesus is more powerful than all hell. At the invocation of
his name every knee in heaven, on earth and in hell must bend before
Jesus; this is a consolation for the good and terror for evil.
Remember that it is not feeling of guilt that constitutes sin but the
consent to sin. Only the free will is capable of good or evil. But when
the will sighs under the trial of the tempter and does not will what is
presented to it, there is not only no fault but there is virtue.
Let the world turn topsy turvy, everything be in darkness and Mount
Sinai all aflame, covered with lightning, thunder — God is with you. But
if God lives in the darkness and Mount Sinai is all aflame, covered with
lightning, thunder, and noise, will we not be safe near him?
The best means of guarding yourself against temptation are the
following: watch your senses to save them from dangerous temptation,
avoid vanity, do not let your heart become exalted, convince yourself of
the evil of complacency, flee away from hate, pray whenever possible.If
the soul would know the merit which one acquires in temptations suffered
in patience and conquered, it would be tempted to say: "Lord, send me
Temptations, discouragement and unrest are the wares offered by the
enemy. Remember this: if the devil makes noise it is a sign that he is
still outside and not yet within. That which must terrify us is his
peace and concord with the human soul.
The field of battle between God and Satan is the human soul. It is in
the soul that the battle rages every moment of life. The soul must give
free access to the Lord so that it be fortified by him in every respect
and with all kinds of weapons; that his light may enlighten it to combat
the darkness of error; that it be clothed with Jesus Christ, with his
justice, truth, the shield of faith, the word of God, in order to
conquer such powerful enemies. To be clothed with Jesus Christ it is
necessary to die to oneself.
That which comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm,
indifference and apathy.
Walk the way of the Lord in simplicity; do not torment your spirit.
Speak the truth, always the truth.
Do not be so given to the activity of Martha as to forget the silence of
Mary. May the Virgin who so well reconciled the one with the other be
your sweet model and inspiration.
Some persons when they are with the good, are good; when they are with
the bad they follow evil. This is to have half a conscience; it is to
act like children who, in the presence of strangers, abuse the occasion
to do things that please their taste, certain that the parents will not
If we wish to reap it is necessary not so much to sow abundantly as to
spread the seed in fertile soil, and when this seed becomes a plant, our
chief anxiety should be to watch that the weeds do not suffocate the
It is necessary to guard all your senses particularly your eyes: they
are the means by which all the fascination and charm of beauty and
voluptuousness enter the heart. When fashion, as in our time, is towards
provocation and exposes what formerly was even wrong to think about,
caution and self-restraint must be exercised. Whenever necessary you
must look without seeing and see without thinking about it.
Endeavor to unite the simplicity of children with the prudence of
To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity.
We must know how to confide. There is the fear of God and the fear of a
Judas. Too much fear makes one labor without love, and too much
confidence prevents us from considering the danger which we must
overcome. The one must go hand in hand with the other and proceed as
The sublime degree of humility is not only to recognize one's own
abjection but to love it. "I have chosen" says the prophet "to be abject
in the house of God rather than to dwell in the houses of sinners."
Obey promptly! Do not consider the age or merit of a person. And in
order to succeed imagine you are obeying the Lord.
Where there is no obedience, there is no virtue; where there is no
virtue there is no good; where good is wanting, there is no love; where
there is no love, God is not there; where God is not, there is no
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.
Always live under the eyes of the Good Shepherd and you will walk
unharmed through evil pastures.
treasures of wisdom are excerpted from the booklet, "Padre Pio
Counsels," available at "The Cause of Padre Pio, Inc."
SPIRITUAL MAXIMS OF PADRE
“Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds
“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against
self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection
except at the price of pain.”
“Whoever does not meditate is like someone who never looks in the mirror
before going out, doesn’t bother to see if he’s today, and may go out
dirty without knowing it. The person who meditates and turns his mind to
God, who is the mirror of his soul, seeks to know his fault, tries to
correct them, moderates his impulses, and puts his conscience in order.”
“If we are calm and persevering, we shall find not only ourselves, but
our souls, and with that, God Himself.”
“The demon has only one door by which to enter into our soul: the will;
there are no secret doors. No sin is a sin if not committed with the
will. When there is no action of the will, there is no sin, but only
“God enriches the soul which empties itself of everything.”
“In the spiritual life one must always go on pushing ahead and never go
backwards; if not, the same thing happens as to a boat which when it
loses headway gets blown backwards with the wind.”
“It is not a loss of patience if one asks Jesus to take away pain, when
this becomes insupportable to us and beyond our strength, nor does one
lose the merit of the suffering which is offered, by asking this of
“A good heart is always strong, it suffers, but with tears it is consoled
by sacrificing itself for its neighbor and for God.”
“Love and fear must go united together, fear without love becomes
cowardice. Love without fear becomes presumption. When there is love
without fear, love runs without prudence and without restraint, without
taking care where it is going.”
“Where there is no obedience there is no virtue, where there is no virtue
there is no good, where there is no good there is no love, where there
is no love, there is no God, and where there is no god there is no
“Time spent in honor of God and for the salvation of souls is never
“Keep well dug into your minds the words of Our Lord: In patience you
will possess your soul.”
“Pray that God will console you when you feel the burden of the Cross,
for in doing so you are in no way acting against the will of God, but
you are placing yourself beside the Son of God who asked His Father
during the Agony in the Garden to send Him some relief. But if He is not
willing to give it be ready to pronounce the same ‘Fiat,’ ‘So be it,’
that Jesus did.”
“Those strong and generous in heart do not complain except for a strong
reason, and even then it does not affect them intimately.”
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