40

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Prayer is the best weapon we possess, the key that opens the heart of God.   ~   Padre Pio

          On Friday this week, I finally shut the door on work. It was the end of the work week and I wasn’t about to give work free passage through my heart and mind any more. I had Friday night and two glorious days and I fully intended to sink my spirit into the peace of wild things.

          Just after Friday night Rosary, as I was feeling calm and mellowed, Padre Pio came by unexpectedly. And left before my eyes a message that startled me,

Prayer is the best weapon we possess, the key that opens the heart of God.

          My spiritual father’s words were a call to battle. Late the hour was, preparing for bed, after a week I never want to see again, the last thing I expected was a rally to fight.

          I decided to be my own holy spirit. I thought I’d just focus on the second part – the key that opens the heart of God. It was more suited to the peace I sought after the rocks and gullies of the past days. I had had my fill of fighting for the week. Fighting for others. Fighting against others.

Fighting against myself.

          I was battle weary. I was done fighting. At least for the weekend, I wanted peace and some rest. Padre Pio or not, I wasn’t going to think about arsenals.

          But St. Pio’s visit lightly troubled me. I felt mildly guilty for pushing his words aside when I had sought his help for an ailing friend recently. At the very least, it seemed rude to ask someone for help, and then to shut the door in his face when he came to visit.

          Instead of going to bed as I had planned, I stayed up a bit to read and calm down again.

          But although I read topics at random, in almost each one, what glowed more than others was the call to love as God loves – through prayer.

To fight through prayer.

To fight to pray.

          I paused and ran my eyes over the recent presses of spirit. Our Lady of Guadalupe had come by a few short days before. For me, whenever She comes to me this way, Mother brings the message of battle. As I pondered it, I knew this time was no different. I was being exhorted to continue the fight.

Ask Me to Bless Them

          That prayer had been the clanging bell that relentless yet gently pursued me all of this week. When I felt strong enough to pray that way. When I wanted to pray in any way but that. It was heaven’s cry to me to fight on.

Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.

Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.   ~  1 Kings 19: 4 – 8

 

This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.

          That is enough, O Lord were my own words when I wearied of the rigours of the battlefield. When the smoke of emotional tiredness was beginning to curl upwards within my heart. Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers. I hadn’t gone there yet but when answers to prayers were delayed, and evil triumphed and hurts deepened, then I too would most surely head to that broom tree and beneath it lie on my mat of despair.

An angel of Heaven brought Elijah food that nourished and fortified him.

          I felt a stirring within me. Yesterday’s discernment of the presence of birds quietly came before me.

Birdsong.

Kingfisher   ~   Listen!

Eagle   ~   Battle!

          Mother Mary sent me her feathered emissaries yesterday to remind me that no matter how desolate and bitter the journey through the blacklands of struggle and battle, She would be the Hand that shakes me awake and that feeds me manna. To nourish me to persevere in the prayers I am called to.

          That guided by Her emissaries, I may walk my forty days and nights to the Mountain of God.

 

 

 

 

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13 comments

  1. Caitlynnegrace
    You realize, of course, that 40 days from tomorrow is the eve of St. Padre Pio’s death and feast day, Sunday, Sept. 23. He will be honored by such a valiant 40 day prayer journey from one of his favorite warriors. May your prayers all be answered and effective.
    What you could not know is that 50 years ago, Sept. 22, 1968, on Padre Pio’s last day in this world, A young Army Officer was married to a beautiful blond nursing student on a glorious sunny Saturday afternoon. Many years later, I will join your 40 say prayer pilgrimage in thankgiving for the many graces and miracles, and for those we’ll need as we continue this journey together.
    Blessings to you and your family and those who love you.
    God’s Child

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel so strengthened to have you journey with me, God’s Child. I will remember you and your lovely wife on the 22nd of Sept in Adoration.

      I have no warrior-heart within me. I quake and rail and fume most of the time. Often, I cannot make out the trail ahead. May we all be blessed with strength, humility and wisdom for the 40.

      Yes, I am aware of the proximity of St. Pio’s feast day, just that I hadn’t realized it was to fall on a Sunday! My calculation of 40 days takes me to Sept 21. That would be a Friday. For some reason, I’m thinking of the 3 days of darkness. Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

      But I will not be disturbed. God be with us all.

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      1. Oh, CG, but you have more characteristics of a holy warrior than you’ll acknowledge. Humility, sensitivity, concern for others, fortitude…I could go on.
        You are truly one of God’s brave souls. Padre Pio’s pray for us, as we enter the fray. Blessed Mother, send St. Michael with us and let your mantle be our protection. Lord, let your holy Will be done.

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      2. You all have the three days of darkness confused. Unless, you are thinking of the three days of darkness that occurred during Christ’s crucifixion. Our Lady mentioned the Three Days of Darkness, during the End Times of Tribulation, at Our Lady of the Roses in NY in 1978-79.

        The “visionary” at that time was Veronica Lueken.
        [I’m not sure if the Holy Church has reviewed her case, yet and approved her as a true visionary or not. But, at Fatima, Our Lady had also mentioned the “Coming Darkness” of wars and of the coming tribulation. St Francis of Assisi also mentioned a coming “darkness” which was later attributed to wars and disease and famine.]

        I don’t think of my trail ahead as anything other than a “race to the finish line”, as St. Paul has taught me. I used to run relay races in my youth – so I only focus on the race. I neither look back (lest I trip and fall and cannot complete the race), nor further than the next hillock, (lest I despair at the amount of path yet to cross, during the length of the race).

        So, I simply take it “one step at a time”, as I was taught in Christian therapy.

        Don’t let the “darkness” overwhelm you, think only of the light of truth and grace, and concentrate on simply “running the race”.

        For those that have ever run a race, it can be quite joyous at times, by simply “being” in the moment or running and enjoying nature, while exerting yourself and giving it your best effort.
        So, it is with great joy and peace in my heart that I “struggle”, today, to accomplish His Will.

        Go in Christ’s peace and joy and love – and have a grateful and thankful heart – let His peace and joy be your comfort in “times of anxiety and struggle”. Let the comfort of the Holy Eucharistic Feast by your “consolation in times of desolation”, as Our Lady had said.

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      3. No. I stay well away from Bayside.
        My allusion to the 3 days of darkness is from my many personal experiences where certain events, certain calls to suffering, even certain difficult prayers to pray which seem to be spread over 3 intense days.

        What you’ve written is very true – to keep the eyes of our heart mostly on the now, as opposed to on the past or even the future.

        But there are many out there like me – the sort that is still healing from the past. So, we still take the past with us with every step forward but the weight gets lighter and lighter as healing flows through us. Healing and letting go of the past is not something that can be rushed. And definitely not something others can rush us into. It’s different for everyone. But not many realise or accept this. Many good intentioned people, who in their love, try to hurry struggling souls into ‘healing’. This can be damaging.

        And that is why I write as I do. I write for those struggling, not for those who have been healed. I write to undo the damage, the hurt, the bewilderment due to not being able to hurry up and get strong and positive quick.

        I write of my struggles so the struggling souls know what nobody could tell me – that we’re not mad, that we’re not negative-minded just because we can’t seem to let go of the past. I write to give hope that we are healing but just because it’s going at a slower pace than others hope for, doesn’t make it wrong.

        That said, I do not write to encourage readers to build a permanent residency in the past. This is not the blog for those who do not wish to be healed, who merely live just to rave and rant and fume at their sufferings.

        This is a place for gentle, patient love.

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  2. Day 1 prayer:

    Stay with us, Lord, for it is necessary to have you present so we do not forget you.
    You know how easily we abandon you.
    (Padre Pio’s prayer after communion)

    Like

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