Padre Pio was attacked just about every day, his miracles were scrutinized, his wounds were scientifically examined, he was weak all the time for lack of blood, yet his faith in God never once wavered. He didn’t quit when it was hard…it was hard EVERY day.
The other day I told you the story of my new friend, Tenskawata (Open Door), from the Shawnee Tribe. A lot of you wrote and said you loved hearing the story and I thank you for this. It’s always a little nerve wracking to open up and speak about what actually goes on in my life. ha!
As I’ve stated a million times, the more open we are to receiving our signs and messages from beyond, the more abundant they become! It’s important to note that when I say, “from beyond”, I’m using this as a “catch-all” phrase for all things of super natural origin. For me this includes, God first, and also the Universe, the angels, Saints, loved ones, and spirit guides. “Universe” for me even includes signs in nature. I realize it’s a vast definition but how vast is this place we live?
I had another visit last night that came in the form of a dream. I asked specifically for a dream, because I wasn’t in the mood to be startled awake by a presence in the room. I did receive a dream. I won’t relate it here because it’s personal for me and for the two others I requested it for, but suffice it to say, “Ask, Believe, Receive”.
I will tell you that for about three months I’ve suffered with a terrible case of hives on my forearm. Just yesterday I noticed it spreading and it’s really bothering me. As I was falling asleep last night I heard something on TV say, “some Native Americans have remarkable healing abilities through their spirituality”. The thought occurred to me to ask for my arm to be healed OR AT LEAST to be relieved of the itching. So I did.
This morning the rash is still there though not as pronounced and I have had no itching since last night. Coincidence? I think not.
What I wanted to talk about today is something that happened during Sunday Mass this past weekend. We attend a church that I simply adore. It took us a long time to find this place. We feel immense comfort inside and the other parishioners seem to be just as laid back as we are. I have two favorite Priests there. One is from Africa and truly exudes joy and the other is an elderly man, who to me, seems to be one of the “Holiest” of all the Priests I’ve ever known. (I can’t explain what it is about him that makes me feel this…but I feel it and this is what’s important.)
I can be in the worst possible mood going into this place and the moment I sit down, I start to feel the layers come off. This past Sunday I was downright giddy and giggly to the point that I was almost bothering Charlie. LOL. Every time he looked over at me I was flashing an ear to ear smile. Typically this would make him start to laugh, but this past Sunday, he wasn’t really laughing. I decided I was probably being disrespectful causing him distraction so I attempted to contain myself.
About half way through, I looked up and was elated to see St. Padre Pio standing just to the right of our Priest. I sat there a few minutes watching him go through the exact motions our Priest was and I giggled. The moment I broke concentration to look away, he was gone. When I gathered myself and went back, I’d see him again. This only went on about three minutes but that’s as long as it takes. I knew it was a sign…(perhaps just to tell me to stop being such a giggle box and pay attention. So I did.)
Padre Pio is special to me because he was my Grandfather’s favorite. Because of this, I’ve read several books on the man’s life and I’ve prayed to him on numerous occasions to intercede for me. One of his many signs is the aroma of violets (my favorite flowers) and once a million years ago, I was Blessed to get to smell them as a sign of his presence.
His is a fascinating life story. I won’t get into all of it here, but I encourage you, if you are curious, to go and do some research. Get a book and read about this man’s life. Incredible stuff. In short, he was a Catholic Priest who bore the stigmata (wounds of Christ) for most of his life. He is very well know for bi-locution…meaning he is believed to have manifested himself in more than one place at a time. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and his miraculous healing work is well documented.
So there I am sitting next to Charlie seeing this. I was overcome with joy and could not figure out why Charlie didn’t seem to be his normal self. He looked a bit bothered,, which I chalked up to my being so goofy.
Days later, AFTER I finally told him about Tenskwata’s visit, I decided to go ahead and tell him about seeing Padre Pio on Sunday. ( I’d kept this to myself because believe it or not, there are things I actually prefer to keep quiet.) Before I’d even finished telling him, his eyes grew wide and he said, “OMG! WHERE WAS he?” When I told him he gulped. He had seen something as well but he chalked it up to shadows playing tricks with his mind.
What did he see? Well, it may sound very strange but at the very same time I was seeing Padre Pio to the right of the Priest, Charlie was seeing what he says looked like the shadow of a demonic being standing just next to him. He confessed this is why he was so somber during Mass, half thinking he was seeing things and the other half wondering why he would see such a thing on the alter next to a Priest.
Part of Padre Pio’s story has to do with the fact that it is said that for the many years he had the stigmata, he was also tormented by demonic beings. I recall reading how the other Priests would sit outside Padre Pio’s room at night, keeping vigil, while they heard all sorts of horrible noises coming from inside his room. In the morning he’d be weak and beaten, bruised and of course bleeding, but he never missed saying a Mass.
What in the WORLD does this all mean? Well for me, it’s confirmation that I wasn’t imagining things. Since I know some of the history of Padre Pio, this is just part of the sign letting me know what I experienced is real. Do I think the Padre is still being tormented by the devil? No way. I do know that wherever goodness is present, darkness tries to loom but never wins.
For me it seems to be a continuation of the same message I keep receiving which translated says, “Keep moving forward and don’t stop, no matter what happens.”
For Charlie it’s confirmation that our church hasn’t been invaded by demonic beings. HA! Do I think it was a real demonic being standing on the alter? Nope. I think he was meant to see this so that we’d talk about it and that’s all there is to it.
I wonder how much we would learn from one another if the fear of being labeled “crazy” wasn’t present?
Sometimes people tell me that as soon as they reach a place in life where they feel they are finally on the right track, something comes along almost instantly to knock them off and keep them down. I think we all feel this way every now and then and it does get so frustrating. It’s these times we are supposed to draw God closer, pray harder and refuse to give up. Nothing can knock us down faster than our own psyche telling us, “this is too hard…I’m tired…I give up”.
Padre Pio was attacked just about every day, his miracles were scrutinized, his wounds were scientifically examined, he was weak all the time for lack of blood, yet his faith in God never once wavered. He didn’t quit when it was hard. It was hard EVERY day. Despite all he went through he experienced immense joy and he exuded light to all he encountered and I believe with my whole heart, that in giving he received on a daily basis.
Times are hard for almost all of us but we don’t have to remain stuck in that hardness. It’s a decision.
Ask. Believe. Receive.