Sunday, May 4, 2014

Padre Pio and Vocations

     Carlon Careli's movie, "Padre Pio Miracle Man", is an unforgettable artistic presentation of a life of holiness, humility and unwavering devotion to Jesus and Mary. The tapestry of this great saint's life was intricately and colorfully woven, contrasting divine mysticism and complex familial relationships. He lived out his desire to model his interpersonal interactions after the mercy of Jesus, even if it brought severe opposition from his enemies.
     He realized his religious vocation early in life.  With great humility he alleviated the suffering of many with miraculous gifts of healing and bore the stigmata of Jesus. Padre Pio drew the attention of numerous souls longing to repair broken relationships with Christ. He bravely confronted hypocrisy and sinfulness with ruthless candor. He endured calumniation without any desire for retaliation. He responded to ridicule and scepticism with unconditional forgiveness. He embraced holy poverty and physical hardship. He was obedient to authority, even when it caused him pain and inconvenience. He valiantly suffered physical infirmity and recurrent demonic attacks. Finally, Padre Pio abandoned the adulation of worldwide followers in favor of submission to the directives of Holy Mother Church.

     There are many opportunities to obey Jesus' call to vocations: the priesthood, religious vocations (sisters, brothers), lay associates, service as a deacon, marriage, parenthood, widowhood, consecrated single life and a multitude of diocesan and parish ministries. Discernment is a spiritually challenging and rewarding experience, requiring simultaneous alertness to the will of God and resistance to the deceptions of the evil one. Many are the overlooked or misunderstood vocations-lay and religious. We must never underestimate the spiritual merit of our God given vocation, regardless of our state in life. Padre Pio was a humble saint who recognized the importance of the holy acts of even "the least"  of Our Lord's children. This movie is a powerful encouragement to all who face obstacles and disillusionment in their vocation journey with Jesus.  Carlon Careli's film, "Padre Pio Miracle Man" can be purchased at Ignatius Press.

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