Padre Pio’s Spiritual Direction is a compilation of spiritual advice and encouragement from Padre Pio gathered from his correspondence with others. Sometimes, even, we catch a glimpse of Padre Pio’s own struggles in the passages from letters to his spiritual director. These intimate instructions to others are like a daily dose of spiritual direction for us. And for those of us without a regular spiritual director or confessor–which I assume is most of us–this work can be an invaluable guide in the spiritual life.
Here’s a sample from the other day:
Holiness means overcoming ourselves. It means having perfect victory over all our passions. It means truly and constantly disregarding ourselves and despising the things of this world to the point of preferring poverty to riches, humiliation to glory, and pain to pleasure. Holiness means loving our neighbor as ourselves out of love for God. With regard to others, holiness means loving even those who curse us, who hate us, who persecute us, and even doing good to them. Holiness means living a life of humility, detachment, wisdom, righteousness, patience, charity, chastity, gentleness, and diligence. It is a life of doing our duty for no other reason than to please God and receive our reward from him alone.
Passages like that are frequent in these pages, and are words to contemplate throughout the day. And every day brings a challenge or word of encouragement. In a way, Padre Pio’s words capture all the same emotions discussed and experienced in the Psalms. This incredible range of emotions meets each of us where we are and brings us to a greater understanding of ourselves and our relation to God. Some thoughts:
The souls that are most afflicted are the favorites of the divine heart, and you can be sure that Jesus has chosen you to be the darling of his adorable heart.
My soul is melting with sorrow and love, with bitterness and sweetness, at the same time. How will I bear up under such an overwhelming action of the Most High?
Keep your resolutions: Stay in the boat in which the Lord has placed you, and let the storm come. Jesus is alive! You will not perish. He will be sleeping, but just at the right time he will wake up to restore the calm.
Padre Pio is a spiritual companion who can walk you through the seasons of the year, and the seasons of life. And if you wondered whether reading this book will be worth your time . . .
I want you to see how powerful sacred reading can be to induce a change in people’s direction and to make even worldly people begin their journey to perfection.
This review is part of The Catholic Company‘s Reviewer Program. This review is provided in exchange for a complimentary copy of this book. For more information about this book or other great gifts, visit catholiccompany.com.