Today the Church celebrated one of the greatest and most well know Capuchin saints. Saint Padre Pio. Throughout the day though, even before we had the mass which this was discussed at during the homily, something kept running through my mind. A thought that I kept reflecting on, which I find myself doing a lot since entering postulancy. The thought was this. One of the greatest realizations that we can have as human beings and as Christians, is the fact that we are imperfect...we are sinful...we are broken. We have all messed up in life. We have all fallen into a life of sin whatever that may be, and because of that sin we have been broken. We all struggle with something in life. Whether it's divorce, or other family issues, loneliness, depression, drugs, alcohol, you name it someone has been through it. And all of this builds on us as people. Yet despite our imperfections, despite our sinfulness, and despite our brokenness we must realize that no matter what we are and always will be the beloved sons and daughters of a God who created us in His very image and Whose likeness we strive to perfect each and every day of our lives. From our greatest imperfection comes our greatest strength and because of our brokenness we become wholy holy. It is only in being broken and knowing the pain that comes from that, that we can better understand the suffering of others and have not only a greater sense of compassion and mercy for them but also because of our own pain and emptiness we are better able to help others and to reach out to them.
It was interesting that I was thinking about this throughout the day because at mass celebrating the memorial of Padre Pio this very issue was brought up in the homily. Because of the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) that Padre Pio received and lived with throughout his life he had to deal with a great deal of pain. Physically. But he was also often persecuted and was even silenced by the Church for things that just were not true about him. This also brought him much emotional pain. All the pain that this holy man suffered, he turned into a deep love for people and becuase of this love he helped countless numbers of people. During his life numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession and even more so after his death. His great suffering, and his great brokenness before the crucified Christ brought forth great love and compassion for God's people. He is truly a model for us all. Padre Pio...Pray for us! Below is a link to a clip from a movie about Padre Pio. The end is very powerful.
Peace and all Good,