“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” – Padre Pio
I think it is safe to say it’s been a trying couple of years for most people. We have been full of worry in one way or another – about our health, our finances, and our freedom. Padre Pio speaks truth, however; that worry is useless. Yes, we can control some things, but worry is unnecessary.
From an early age, Padre Pio, born Francesco Forgione, was able to see Angels and speak to Jesus and Mary. He wanted to be a friar. Unfortunately, he was also sick a lot and suffered much during his youth . In August of 1918, Padre Pio was given the gift of the stigmata. He felt humiliated by his body and suffered greatly . But he bore the wounds of Christ, and remained compassionate and happy. Referred to as a “Man of Hope”, Padre Pio focuses our attention on the body of Christ as a means of salvation .
Studying about this Saint, I have come to see how much I worry and do not rely on God. I think it’s human to want to feel like we have control over our environment, but in a lot of ways we do not. We think it will lessen our anxiety to plan out every possible scenario. But in doing so, we put so much more attention on us and the world and less in the hands of God.
Padre Pio lived a life centered on only Jesus. He taught others to show their trust in God through their hard work and lack of worry. He had a 5 Point Rule of Life to keep others on the path to a holy life . They are:
- Weekly Confession
- Daily Communion
- Examination of Conscience each evening
- Daily Spiritual reading
- Mental Prayer twice a day
These things keep us always focused on God and keep our souls free from the occasion of sin. I find when I do these things, my perspective on life changes. I see more clearly how the worries I have are either extreme or not within my control. I offer them up to the Lord and grow in His ability to take care of them.
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 nihilistic view of the world, where I just do not care anymore. But rather, it is a realistic one, where I am culpable for my own actions and more accepting of outcomes I may not have known were best for me. I leave it to the Lord to decide if my prayers are right for me and to answer in His time.
I remembered as a kid in the 80’s, a secular song of a similar saying was a big hit. "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin was very popular. And I remember at the time thinking it was such a silly song, how could it be that simple? Well, now I realize it’s not – there is a lot of work that goes into that mantra. But it is possible!
I created this collection because I have always been a worrier and have used this saying many, many times on myself. But it is only more recently that I actually began to live it. The design is based off of the late 1980’s happy face, which has also made a big comeback recently. What could drive the point home more than a smiling face to ease your anxiety? I hope you also manifest this meaning of “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”, and take steps to apply it to your life.
St. Padre Pio, pray for us!
Find the collection here:
- Padre Pio - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online
- Biography - Padre Pio Foundation of America
- Padre Pio overcame suffering with hope, says Italian journalist – Catholic World Report
- Padre Pio's 5 Point Rule of Life - The Catholic Gentleman