Today is the feast of one of the most popular saints of the 20th century, best known as simply 'Padre Pio'. My favourite saying of St. Pio was ' Pray, hope and don't worry.' When things get tough I try to remember his advice: 'PRAY, HOPE AND DON'T WORRY'. The reading at today's mass from the Prophet Haggai tells us the same thing with reference to the building of a new Temple which will 'surpass the old' : ' Courage....To work! I am with you ..and my spirit remains among you.' In other words, pray, and just get on with your life - build for the future without fear and worry. As Teilhard would put it - stop worrying and build the new earth, for it will surpass the old.
So many problems that we face as individuals and as societies are ( as Teilhard frequently observed) the result of being unable to do or to act because we lack confidence and hope. Instead of getting on with life, we worry. ( Today's newspapers are full of worry. Worry - fears about uncertainty - has profound and far reaching economic as well as political and social consequences!) Worry - fear and uncertainty about what may or may not happen - can freeze us and incapacitate us and inhibit our capacity to be creative and productive human beings focused on building the future. We lack energy , we lack what Teilhard refers to as ZEST! ( SEE THIS POST) When we stop worrying as individuals and societies - when we refuse to be held captive by worry and uncertainty - we can realize our hopes, but when we are prisoners of worry we have no hopes to realize. Worry eats away at our zest for life. On the other hand, prayer and hope can empower and energize us : when we open our hearts to God in prayer we are re-kindling and re-fuelling our zest for life.
St Pio had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart and his Novena to the Sacred Heart is well known and much loved. (Download it HERE) I think this will be my morning prayer - and my antidote to worry - for the next nine days.
So, with the advice of this holy man before us, today's prayer is simple enough:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, zest of the world: in your infinite mercy, fill us with the glowing energy of your love. Help us to pray. Help us to hope. Help us not to worry. We place all our trust in you.
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