Thought for the Day – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)
Miracles happened every day of Padre Pio’s life. Like other wonder-workers such as Francis of Paola (1416-1507), Pio freely contradicted inviolable laws of nature. He appeared in two places at the same time to help people in trouble. He summoned friends by mental telepathy or by causing them to smell the scent of violets, which was associated with his presence. He read people’s thoughts and used that special knowledge to tease them . He dumbfounded people in the confessional by describing all their sins in detail. He accurately predicted future events, including his own death. He healed people of deafness, blindness and incurable diseases. And for fifty years he bore Christ’s wounds on his body and suffered enormously because of them.
How do we understand the appearance of such a “medieval” figure in our contemporary world? Perhaps we should not be surprised that God acts dramatically to get our attention when we lose sight of spiritual realities. God sent Padre Pio to us as a light to challenge the darkness of the mid-twentieth century and to offer hope to a world racked by depression and war.