Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prayer by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Here's another prayer by Padre Pio from his early correspondence:
"Dear God! What torment I endure in the depths of this
heart of mine! When will my heart find rest? I feel it is breaking and I don't
know where to turn. If I could at least have the satisfaction of giving vent to
this interior torment by tears, it would be some relief, but my sorrow is so
great that it has turned my heart to stone.

"I now understand, dear Jesus, why your Mother did not
cry as she gazed at you on the Cross. But tell me, dear Jesus, what on earth is
this inner voice which I hear continually saying: Where is your God? A
voice to which I can give no answer for fear of saying what is not

"Ah, Lord, assist me in my sorrow. My heart is restless
and it will not be at peace until it reposes in you. But ought I to hope for
this, in view of my unfaithfulness? Yes, Lord, I still have the strength to say
to you: Even if you were to slay me, I would still hope in you. Yes,
dear God, I will repeat to you always: Cut and burn me, do not spare me in
this world, as long as you spare me in the next.

--from his letter of January 31, 1918, to Padre

I've been re-reading Saint Pio's correspondence this summer, putting together a devotional booklet for Lent and Easter. This is actually the third time I've read through all of his letters, and I've always felt that his words speak directly to the Lenten journey, that his life was itself a Lenten journey. But I'm struck this time by his utter human-ness: this was a man who suffered incredible doubts and needed repeated reassurance that he was on the right path and that God loved him. Isn't that what we all need to hear?