Today is the memorial of St. Padre Pio of Pieltrelcina. This letter comes from the book, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (Letters III). More on this somewhat difficult to obtain Italian book, in English, at the bottom.
Dear daughter of Jesus,
May your heart always be the temple of the most holy Trinity; may Jesus increase in your soul the ardour of his love and may he always smile on you as on all souls whom he loves. May most holy Mary smile on you throughout all the events of your life, and abundantly replace the earthly mother you lack.
May your good guardian angel always watch over you; may he be your guide on the rugged path of life. May he always keep you in the grace of Jesus and sustain you with his hands so that you may not stumble on a stone. May he protect you under his wings from all the snares of the world, the devil and the flesh.
Have great devotion, Annita, to this good angel; how consoling it is to know that near us is a spirit who, from the cradle to the tomb, does not leave us even for an instant, not even when we dare to sin. And this heavenly spirit guides and protects us like a friend, a brother.
But it is extremely consoling to know that this angel prays without ceasing for us; offers to God all our good actions, our thoughts, our desires, if they are pure.
For pity’s sake, don’t forget this invisible companion, always present, always ready to listen to us and even more ready to console us. O delightful intimacy, O delightful company! If we could only understand it!
Always keep him present to your mind’s eye. Often remember the presence of this angel; thank him, pray to him, always keep him good company. Open up yourself to him and confide your suffering to him. Have a constant fear of offending the purity of his gaze. Know this and keep it well imprinted on your mind. He is so delicate, so sensitive. Turn to him in times of supreme anxiety and you will experience his beneficial help.
Never say you are alone in sustaining the battle against your enemies. Never say you have nobody to whom you can open up and confide. You would do this heavenly messenger a grave wrong.
As regards those interior locutions, don’t worry but be calm. What you must avoid is that your heart becomes attached to these locutions. Don’t give too much importance to them; show that you are indifferent. Neither despise love, nor long for such things. Always reply to these voices: “Jesus, if it is you who are speaking to me, let me see the facts and the effects of your words, that is, holy virtue in me.”
Humble yourself before the Lord and confide in him, spending your energies by divine grace, in practicing the virtues, and then let grace work in you as God wishes. It is virtue which sanctifies the soul and not supernatural phenomena.
And don’t confuse yourself by trying to understand which locutions come from God. If God is their author, one of the principle signs is that as soon as those voices are heard, they fill the soul with fear and confusion, but afterwards, they leave a divine peace. On the contrary, when the author of internal locutions is the devil, they begin with a false security, followed by agitation and an unspeakable malaise.
I do not doubt at all that God is the author of those locutions, but one must be very cautious because often, the enemy mixes a lot of his own work through them. But this must not frighten you; this is the trial to which even the greatest saints and most enlightened souls were subjected, and they were acceptable to the Lord. You must simple be careful never to believe in these locutions too easily, especially when they concern how you must behave and what you must do. But you must receive them and submit them to the judgment of him who directs you. Then you should resign yourself to his decision.
Therefore it is best to receive similar locutions with great caution and constant indifference. Behave in this way and everything will increase your merit before the Lord. Don’t worry about your spiritual life; Jesus loves you and very much, and you try to correspond to his love by always advancing more and more in holiness before God and men.
Pray vocally also; as the time has not yet come to leave these prayers, and patiently and humbly bear the difficulties you experience in doing this. Be ready, also, to undergo distractions and aridity, and you must by no means neglect prayer and meditation. It is the Lord who wishes to treat you in this manner for your spiritual advantage.
Forgive me if I end here. Only God knows how much it cost me to write this letter. I am very ill; pray a great deal that the Lord may desire to free me from this body soon.
I bless you along with the excellent Francesca. May you live and die in the arms of Jesus.
This is a three volume series out of Italy and is the 2nd Edition (English). It was not easy to get these books and you must read carefully anything you find at Amazon because they are selling the Italian version. Fr. Perrone originally ordered them for us after he found the books when traveling in Italy.
The letters they had for Padre Pio were broken down into the volumes, to whom they were directed. One volume covers his letters to spiritual directors, another to his spiritual daughters, and the third to his friend Rafaela.
Note that website has multiple language icons at the top, including English (I would be careful about subscribing to anything without checking the language. If anything, use the contacts page to find out if there are any vendors here in the US carrying the book. Catholic book sellers should contact them to stock the book here in the US.
I believe the Assumption Grotto Gift Shop has it stocked. You can call the gift shop and leave a message for them to contact you back. We don’t have a website, but they will ship things out if you ask. The best time to actually reach someone would be weekdays around 8:45 AM to 9:30 AM. (313) 332-4432