Man does not Think,
Reason, Judge, with his Brain; he does these things with the
Supra-organic Faculty of Mind or Intellect, a Faculty of the
Memory, Imagination, Emotions,
As I walked away from the Room called Intellect, I heard a voice say,
"Look into the Room called Will". I walked inside and the Gentle Voice of
Faith said, "Take me with you, do not Fear". I found
in that place Pure Love - Strong Love -
Determined Love. I found New Weapons - Will and Love -
the kind of Love that is not dependent on Feelings - the
kind that is Consistent, like God's Love. Yes, Lord Father, I
would like to live in this Room - the Room of Will and Love.
Love is an Act of the Will.
There will be no Faith in Heaven,
for we will already See;
There will be no Hope in Heaven,
for we will already Possess;
But there will always be Love. God
I Stumble into the Room (Will), almost Feebly, and
look at the Power and Presence within it. It is a
Paradox - it seems that Suddenly the Darkness in my
Memory and the Faith in my
Intellect join-Forces and let me stand in the Door Way of Will.
Faith beckons me to 'Do', rather than 'Rest' in Darkness - to 'Accomplish', rather than
Question Why - to 'Admit' what I am before You, Lord Father, and
'Do' Your Will with Love - to be willing to
Suffer the Vacuum in my Soul, the
Darkness of my Mind, the Uncertainty
of my Way, and still accomplish Your Will - to say "I love
You", when only the Deafening Sound of Silence Rings in my Ears - to say
"I Believe" when the Void before Creation calls out to
me - to Understand that this is for My Good, when Futility
surrounds me like a Cloak.
Do You hear my Sighs of Pain as I
Struggle to Rise above the Darkness? Yes, I know
You do. Does it Hurt You to
see me Struggle, and Search to-be what You want me-to-be? Will I
ever Cross that Bridge called Humility so I can Accept Myself and keep my Eyes on
You? Can I stand before You, willing to Feel my
Sinner Condition, and keep my Eyes on Your Beauty?
Give me a Pure Heart and a Strong Will so my
seeking Will ever reach-out to You as I Feel my
Weaknesses. Strengthen my Faith so I will never look for Reasons
or Excuses. Let my Hope grow Deeper as I realize Your Power is
Working in the Darkness of my Soul.
There is something Deep within me that makes me somehow Feel a Presence in the midst
of an Absence, Your Compassionate Heart in the midst of One so
Empty, Your Merciful Glance that somehow wishes things were not
so, but knows there is no other way but the Cross.
There is no other Way but the Cross. Jesus has gone before us, and knows the Way.
Why do I feel like I'm Alone on a Desert Waste? How is it I know I am so
Loved by God, and yet Feel so
Lonely? What a Wretched State, to Think even for a Moment, that the Knowledge of God's Love
is not enough. Are you saying, my Father, that my Heart is
not all Empty, so You can Fill it? Must my Walk be in
Pure Faith, my only Assurance Your Providence, and my
Strength Your Will? Must my Soul cry-out in
Anguish and then hear only the Sounds of its Own Echo?
Detail from the 'Ladder of Divine Ascent' -
Click to view the entire Icon
I have come to realize, O God, that You are not
my All. I thought my Heart was Detached from Everyone and Everything,
but the Purifying Fire of Your Spirit touches my
Soul, and suddenly, I see myself on the Bottom Rung of the Ladder, barely able to climb. I stand before
You, Infinite Holiness, wanting to Shield my Eyes, but not daring,
even for a moment, to take them from You. I look at Jesus,
Who took on my Humanity and Struggled as I
Struggle. I know He understands, and yet I Feel I have
Disappointed Him. I want to run, but there is no place to go. I want to be Transformed,
but my Lack of Courage keeps me from making that Giant Step. I say "Yes, Lord, take all" and
Fear Grips my Heart. I say "No,
Lord, I cannot" and Disappointment envelops me. Tears
Flood my Eyes and I am Ashamed of my Lack of Courage. Do You Cry in me,
with me? I do not want to Cry alone.
Battle of Wills -
Conflict of Our Will and God's Will
The Superior Will of Man is made to Lovingly
serve the Divine Will of God
Solely motivated by Love
Interior Battle of Wills
Man's Superior Will being placed, as it were, Mid-Way between the
Divine Will, which is above It - and the
Inferior Will, or Will of the Senses,
which is beneath It, is continually Assaulted in
an Interior Battle of Wills by both Appetites and Wills; each seeking in turn to Attract and
Subdue, and Bring It into Obedience.
Because of Original Sin, the
Sensitive Appetites and Inferior Will tend to serve their own
Commonly described by the Words: Body-Appetite,
Why do I Feel Trapped - I know this will Pass. I know Your
Love never leaves me. I know You see my every Action, my Thoughts are open to
You - and yet I Feel as if I were in a Battle - a
Battle of Wills. I Feel my very
Weaknesses are somehow Tools in my Hands to Fight the
Enemy. Where is my Weakest Point? Is the Knowledge of my
Weaknesses my Stumbling Block, or am I Fighting that
Knowledge? Perhaps I seek Perfection thinking Your Love would be
a Reward. Do I find it Difficult to accept the Reality that Your
Love is a Gift to me, a Sinner?
You Love because You are so Good, and I am a Bungling
Child, stumbling-along each day. Why do I find it so Hard to Face-myself and Plunge-myself into
Your Mercy and Love? Why can't I honestly present myself before
You and drink in Your Love? Would this be
Humility? Am I Running-from a Secret Weapon to Fight the
I used to think Humility was a Matter of Humiliations,
but, Lord Father, is there any Humiliation comparable to the Reality of
Seeing my True Self and how I stand before You? Will I ever accept myself and then be Free to try and be
like You? Will I ever be able to Feel my Sinner Condition, expect
Your Power, and then Plunge into the Ocean of Your Mercy? My
self-knowledge is no Surprise to You, Lord Father. My
Soul is Distressed because my New Realization as to the Depth of my
Degradation has made me Aware of my Need of Your Love and Presence,
while I Feel almost pushed-away from Your Sight. It is as if Your Eyes
were Cast-down at the sight of me. As each New Day begins, it seems the Distance is Further-away, and as my
Soul cries out "I love You", the Echo of my own Voice returns and my
Heart sinks once more into another Depth of Anguish. I shall wait in
Hope for Your Eyes to Turn-toward me. Does it
Hurt You to wait for the Fire to accomplish its Work
in me? Does Your Heart throb as You hear my voice cry out,
"Oh God, lift Your Eyes and look at me - look upon this Empty Vessel - fill me with Your Love - Touch me - Heal
me - Chastise me, but never leave me"?
I see Your Image reflected in my Neighbor, in Nature, in Events and my
Soul is Thrilled at the Sight, but when I look for more Traces of Your Presence,
You are gone. My Soul becomes Restless
and Tosses to-and-fro as a Child with a High Fever. I Thirst, and a little
Living Water only increases my Thirst. It brings back the
Memory of those times we were at home together, content in each other's
Presence. Those days seem so long ago. My Heart is Consoled at
the Realization that You knew me then, as I know myself now, and still You
Love me. I must Wait with Patience for Your Good Pleasure.
Thank you, Father, my Soul somehow Feels as if a Door
is Opening. It is like hearing a Familiar Foot-step, and waiting for the Key-in-the-Lock that will Open the Door to a Loved One. The Room of
Memory is still Dark and Troublesome,
and little things seem to stir it up easily. As I seek You, even though my
Soul is in Darkness, I feel Your Eyes are no longer
Cast-down. Are You glancing at me? How Powerful You are,
Lord God, for Your Slightest Glance brings
Peace in the Midst of Turmoil. I seem not to Fear
the Darkness. Have I begun to look at myself without Surprise, and perhaps accepted my
Weaknesses? Will I be able to keep my glance ever on You?
If I keep looking at myself, I will be facing Raw Truth and that Sight keeps me in a State of
Unmitigated Turmoil. Help me to be able to Feel my Weaknesses, but keep my eyes on
Your Beauty and Power. This would be Freedom - the Ability to
accept Human Truth, and keep my Eyes on Divine Truth - to possess
Knowledge of my Natural Worth, without losing sight of my Supernatural Worth - to Understand I am
Capable of any Evil, but Fully Aware that Your Grace
is at its Best in my Weakness - to have a Consciousness of the Possibility of
Falling, while Resting Secure in Your Mercy - to Feel the Icy Chill of Separation while
ever Resting in Your Love - to see as I am seen and not Flinch at the Sight, but see the
Glorious Goodness of God as You
accomplish a Holy Work in an Imperfect Being.
Can I be like Jesus when I find it so Difficult
to be Kind, Patient and
Understanding? My Soul is Constantly Plunged into Darkness
and the tiny glimpse I may have had of You only makes the Darkness
more Black when You are gone. My Soul
is like a Rudderless Boat bounced back-and-forth by the Flesh, the World and the
Enemy. Just when I think I have conquered All Three (3), I suddenly find myself
bound-up in One (1) of them.
Why are there Three (3) sources of
Are the Temptations of the Flesh in the Faculty
made to Your Image, Father
- the Memory?
Are the Temptations of the World in the Faculty made to the
Image of the Eternal Word
- the Intellect?
Are the Temptations of the Enemy geared toward the
Faculty made to the Image of the Spirit
- the Will?
There is within my Soul a Battle on
Three (3) sides. I cry out to You for Help, my
Jesus, and I do not Hear Your Voice. There are times the
Battle is so Fierce I Question Your
Power and my Endurance. Forgive me - I seek only Your Will and the
Glory of Your Name.
It seems that the Seven (7) Capital Sins often
take-up Residence in a Particular Faculty. Does God permit this to enable me to make Right Choices -
to Confound the Tempter - to Utilize Grace, to Witness to
It seems as if Lust, Gluttony and
Sloth, the Tempters of the
Flesh, try to Influence the Memory and Imagination.
Covetousness and Envy are used by the World to influence the
Intellect - while the Enemy desperately tries to Acquire the
Will by Pride and Anger.
What do I Possess, Lord Jesus, to Fight such
Foes? Yes, I Possess Your Spirit, Your
Grace, Your Cross, Your
Presence, Your Love. You have asked me to be
Merciful and Compassionate and to Recall the Words of Scripture,
and to Pray so that I am not put to the Test. And yet,
with all these, my Lord, I seem Hopelessly Entangled in a Maze of
Darkness. What is the Shield to Fight such Powerful Foes?
Am I to be Passive and let the Storm Rage as I live in Your Presence? Am I to
Fight the Battle of Wills as Saint Michael did
long ago? Am I to Love more when I Feel Hatred - to be more
Gentle when Anger takes hold of me?
My Lord and Father, I have tried them all and each
in turn gave me an Oasis on which to live for a while - a Breath of Fresh Air to Revive my Drooping
Spirit - a New Direction to take - a New Plan of Attack. Yes, all these ways of Fighting the
Foe have served me Long and Well.
Is there a New Way - a New Path for me to Trod? Have I perhaps begun, and do not see it? Is this a
Vacuum that comes from an Absence, or an Emptiness that comes from
Light - the Light in the Darkness -
the Light that Penetrates my Being and makes me see myself, as I stand before my
Creator? What do I do at such a Sight? What does He want me to do?
The Love that took upon Itself my Sins
"Prayed the longer in Distress, Fear and Anguish of Heart" (Mark 14; Luke 22). In
the Garden of Gethsemane He Prayed for
Three (3) Hours and asked His Apostles to Pray
with Him. The Apostles' Prayer was to enable them to keep from
Falling. Like Jesus, they were to
Pray for God's Will, and the Courage to endure the
Suffering that would soon Befall them.
Jesus was Afraid, but
He took His Distress to His
Father, He asked for some other-way, but there was None.
Suffering was necessary to Manifest His Love for me.
Communion with the Father in Prayer kept
Jesus in Union with the Father's Will. No matter what the
Difficulty, Jesus saw the Father's
Will and accepted whatever that Will permitted in His
Life. I am more like the Apostles, who Slept, as Saint Luke tells us, from Sheer Grief
as Jesus Agonized in the Garden.
Obviously, Prayer did not take-away the Terrible
Suffering that was in Store for Jesus and His Apostles.
What then was the Test they were asked not to be put-through? The
Test certainly was the way they endured that Suffering. I see in the Gospel that
Jesus Prayed and received Strength to face the
Trials ahead with Courage. Humility
enabled Jesus to Submit to the Father's Will in everything.
The Apostles' Pride did not permit them to face Reality, so
Grief took possession of them instead of Holy
Fear and Prayer. As a result, the situation forced them to Act on an
Emotional, Selfish Level and they could not see the
Father's Will. They ran-away from the Situation, First by Sleep,
then by Abandoning Jesus. They did not realize that in
Proportion as they Ran and Hid, in that Proportion they were Miserable. Had they
Prayed, they would have had the Courage to Stand-by Jesus
as His Mother Mary did. I can be reasonably-sure that
she Prayed Constantly to the Father
for Strength to Endure the Sufferings of
Yes, my Father, I Pray for the
Cross to be Taken-away, for I do not Possess the Humility necessary to say
"Thy Will be done - not mine". I do not Pray
"Earnestly and Longer" - I do not place my Soul in
Darkness and Temptation before
You, and depend upon You entirely.
Lord Father, take my Feelings, my
Anxieties, my Fears and Weaknesses -
they are the only things that are Mine to Give - take my Will and Unite it to
Yours. Let my Strength be in a Humble Acceptance of myself, and my Hope be Steadfast in
Your Will. Let our Hearts - Yours
and Mine - be United in Pain, that I may Comfort my Neighbor in his
Sorrow. Let our Love be One (1)
Love, that my Love for my Neighbor may be Unselfish.
Oh, God, let the Dark Night within me, Unite itself to
the Agony of Jesus in the Garden,
that those who walk in Darkness may one day see the Light of the World,
for with the Dawn comes Rejoicing. Truly, there is a Quiet Awareness of Your Presence in this
Darkness and Anguish. Though I look and do not find, there is a
Nearness of Love Itself that brings upon-me a Quiet Calm. I push forward to Live on a
Will Level and find myself more Patient with my Neighbor, because I am More Aware of my
I find myself more Capable of Loving my Neighbor. It is as if the
Faults that made him Difficult to Love at times are
Nothing any more. The Reality of my own Weaknesses - Weaknesses
that are so Present and so Clear to me - makes me look upon everyone else with Greater Love. They
suddenly seem so much Better than I - so much more Deserving of Love than I. This
Darkness in my Soul makes me Love all Mankind
with a Compassionate and Unselfish Love. Through the Maze of their
Sins and Faults I am able to see Jesus. Since I am so
full of Weaknesses, their Weaknesses are no longer an
Obstacle to my Love.
I am Free to Love and to Understand. The Spiritual
Numbness that sometimes accompanies the Darkness makes me listen
to others. The False Concepts of my own Strength that made me unable to Stop and Listen to my Neighbor, has been lessened. I am happy with
their Questions and the Opportunity to be of Service. The Darkness in my
Soul sees only other Souls, also Struggling, also in
Anxiety of Heart.
The Purifying Flame of Your Spirit that Touched
my Soul and Plunged it into Agony, forced it to rise above itself.
Prayer is no longer a Time of Conversation with God, but a
Deep Awareness of Holiness Itself - ever Present - ever Merciful -
ever Loving - ever Awesome. The Weaknesses in me see the
Agonies of Jesus as He Lived
on Earth, and the Tender Justice of the Father. It is as if I am
all Sin, gazing at Infinite Holiness. It is
Frightening and yet without Fear. His
Love for me seems so much more important than my Love for
Him. He is All, and I am Nothing.
The Struggles and Darkness that force me to live
on a Will Level, make me seek God's Will as a welcome
Haven of Rest. My Sinner Condition makes me want to do
His Will over my own. I am no longer sure of my Will since the
Real Me is ever present before me. Now I see the Wisdom in His Will,
His Timing, His Designs. I watch Him
Evolve Events, and then I step into them with Confidence, for He
alone is my Security. Whatever happens in my moment-to-moment living, I am only to make myself
available to its demands without Worry, for He alone bears
What a Paradox! "Unless a Grain of Wheat falls into the
ground and dies, it remains alone". My refusal to face myself keeps me from "falling into
the ground" and prevents me from Dying to myself, but
His Love Plunges me headlong into the Ground of Self-Knowledge and in the Darkness of
Humility, the Seed of my Soul grows into a Tree - a Tree that is
beginning to bear the Sweet Blossoms of His Fruit.
How Great You are, Oh God, for
You still call out to the Void - to the Darkness -
to Nothingness, and say "Let there be Light".
Prayer of Saint Padre Pio
Lord Jesus, sometimes, when I am in the State of Spiritual Aridity, I don't even feel like
Praying, and I certainly do not feel Your Presence. I wonder how You, the Bread of Life, could ever Love me, a Miserable Sinner.
Help me to Accept my Weak Humanity, and to bow always Humbly before You and Accept the "Medicine" of Your Holy Spirit
Who longs to Heal my Heart and Soul.
Padre Pio was Graced by God with the Stigmata. His Shield depicts the Pelican,
a Symbol of Christ, who strikes her own breast to draw blood in order to feed her young chicks.