Theology of the Heart- Counsels from the heart

Counsels from the heart

Spiritual 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 God.

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 your Providence!

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 of meditation.

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 God.

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.

Against Temptation
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."

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 reprove them.

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 tender plants.

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 adults.

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 sisters.

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 heaven.
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.

The above treasures of wisdom are excerpted from the booklet, "Padre Pio Counsels," available at "The Cause of Padre Pio, Inc."


“Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds Him.”

“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 human weakness.”

“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 God.”

 “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 Paradise.”

“Time spent in honor of God and for the salvation of souls is never badly spent.”

“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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