San Giovanni Rotondo, 6 September 1918
"All that is happening to you is the effect of love". "The Lord is and will always be with you". Purgation and transformation combined.
Maria, my dearest daughter,
May the grace of the divine spirit always dwell in your heart, filling it and transforming it in heavenly charity!
No, you have not been abandoned, you are not the object of God's vengeful justice, there is no unworthiness on your part, deserving of rejection and condemnation. All that is happening to you is the effect of love. It is a trial, it is a vocation to coredemption, and hence a cause of glory.
Given this as a certain, undoubted fact, all anxiety and trepidation created by the enemy from the wicked delight he takes in tormenting you, and permitted by the Supreme Good for the above — mentioned purpose — all such anxiety disappears.
To call yourself a thorn that torments the lovable Lord and to recognize your unworthiness as a clear and obvious fact, leaving no room even for the shadow of a doubt, is a downright lie; a scene presented to you in vivid and glowing colours by the skilful artist of the darkness whose treachery is equal to his ability to enhance his picture by the bold use of light and shade.
It is absolutely untrue that you offend the most sweet Lord when you are tempted by satan. It is absolutely untrue that you have corresponded badly to grace and by your unfaithfulness, cut yourself off from God, earning the refusal of his embrace and his irreconcilable enmity. The Lord is and will always be with you. Live tranquilly. He is with you patient, suffering, eager love, crushed and trampled upon, heartbroken; in the shadows of the night and even more so in the desolation of Gethsemane, he is associated in your suffering and associates you in his own.
This is the whole fact of the matter; this is the truth and the only truth. Yours is not a purgation but a painful union. Rejoice in this suffering. Kiss the hand that repels you, my daughter, as it does this simply in order to stimulate [love] and to render the same love more ingenious. Hold on to it tightly as the seal of love.
Tell the Lord to save me from perishing in this trial, and to leave me the strength to hope against hope itself.
I warmly bless you.
[Letter to Maria Gargani, p. 343-344,
Ref. Book :
Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,
Letters Vol. III
Correspondance with his spiritual daughters (1915 -1923) Editions Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,
Our Lady of Grace Capucin Friary,
71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, FG, Italy
English office tel : (0882) 417214]