Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry...
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” – Padre Pio
My wife and I coming home from a long weekend at the beach a few weeks back stopped at Padre Pio’s shrine in Berks Pennsylvania. If you have a chance to go visit it is well worth the four-hour drive. What an incredible saint he was, and going through the shrine and reading his stories and what he went through really moved me.
All of us worry in our life and it is how we deal with it or not deal with it can make or break us. Even when Jesus is facing something difficult, He prays. In one of His most human moments, Jesus struggles in agony in the garden of Gethsemane. Before his arrest, He endures a night of extreme stress that we cannot imagine. We too often try to control an outcome by ourselves instead of doing what Padre Pio did….pray first.
Think about what Jesus did. He asks His Father to be spared the coming suffering and for His help. Jesus experiences sorrow and worry and fear. He, like us, is tempted to control what is to come, praying: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). I think this is where we can learn a lot for Padre Pio.
St. Pio's example and spiritual guidance are beams of light for us striving to live in a sin-darkened world. Of the Mass, he said: “It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” To many who came to him with every manner of trouble, he said simply: “Pray, hope and don't worry.”
“Look at all the people from all over the world who gathered around him. Why?” said Pope Paul VI in 1971. “Because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from dawn to dusk and was -- it is not easy to say it -- one who bore the wounds of Our Lord. He was a man of prayer and suffering.”
When I am focused on Christ and His sacrifice, I realize my worries are usually petty, materialistic or sometimes even silly. I find strength in being able to make good decisions for myself which lessens my anxiety and accept when I cannot do anything at all. It is not a pessimistic view of the world, where I just do not care anymore. But rather, it is a realistic one, where I am responsible for my own actions and more accepting of outcomes, I leave it to the Lord to decide if my prayers are right for me and to answer in His time.
Let us learn from the great saint Padre Pio and the insight he gave us with those simple words…Pray, Hope, and don’t worry. Let us leave it in the hands of our Lord, then move on.