It’s an image that is familiar to any Christian. It’s been the subject for myriad artists for centuries, from paint-by-number coloring books to DaVinci, Raphael, and the greats. The Upper Room is a source of great mystery while at the same time being the center of several of the most significant events of Revelation. It was there that Christ shared the Last Supper with His apostles, but it was also there that Christ appeared to the apostles after His resurrection to institute the sacrament of penance. And it was there that the Holy Spirit rushed upon the apostles to empower them and lead them to all truth as Christ had promised.
Much of what I knew about Padre Pio before reading this book came through stories that seemed apocryphal. They seemed too good to be true. They seemed to be part of the saccharine hagiography that characterizes so much of what is out there. This book changed all that.
Fr. Francesco Napolitano knew Padre Pio, worked with him, cared for him. The story of Padre Pio told through this lens provides a whole different view of his life and work. It’s just as amazing as those original stories I heard, but this time it was real. It was a human portrait of a super-human figure. Continue reading “Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait (Francesco Napolitano)”
Thomas Merton said in No Man is an Island that “We ought to stop taking our conscious plans and decisions with such infinite seriousness.” We all have plans in life, and that is admirable. Goals are important. As some say, though, to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. We need to realize that our ways are not always His ways, and to align them more and more with His will as we are able to discern it.
Today marks the beginning of a discernment period, asking God what is next in life. I feel that I am being called to something else, though I do not know what that might be. Only time will tell, but I intend to use that time wisely. To make sure that I am diligent in prayer and study so as to hear the Lord clearly when and where He calls.
It is always a good time to grow closer to God, and I encourage you to put forth additional effort in that regard. Wherever you are in the spiritual life, you can go deeper–you can listen more, respond more willingly, and find more joy. Embrace the uncertainty and let Him guide you.