Sunday, June 25th 2017
Apr
2008
26

THE NEW YORK TIMES takes on PADRE PIO, Father David takes on the post-Christian mind

map of italy

GUEST COLUMN: DAVID RICKEY

Whereas millions of spiritual seekers see the *mystical* in PADRE PIO, the mainstream media sees — well, the mawkish

Padre Pio died in 1968, was canonized in 2002, and more than a million people will visit Puglia in the coming months to view the remains of this remarkable holy man, which have been exhumed for veneration. Under the headline, Italian Saint Stirs Up a Mix of Faith and Commerce, today’s New York Times treats Pio as a tourism gimmick: The miracles he performed are relegated to a throw-away line for snickers, and a string of paragraphs citing contemporary critics who claimed Pio was a fake.

To the “post-enlightenment” (and now, pretty much “post-Christian”) mind, the idea of a saint performing miracles — like evidencing stigmata, or bi-locating — isn’t even worthy of consideration. But the fact that so many seek to believe — enough so, that critics spend commensurate amounts of energy debunking the object of their faith — points to a deeper thirst in the human psyche. padrepiobook.jpg

I believe that we first intuit transcendence, then seek various expressions to give it some concrete shape for our minds and heart to ponder.

What is important to me in the examples of Padre Pio’s miracles are the results. His evidencing stigmata resulted in the building of a hospital. Carolyn Myss reports documented evidence (apparently in U.S. Army records during WW II) of Padre Pio appearing in the sky to ward off the bombing of the San Giovanni Rotunda, and thus saving a number of innocent lives.

As humankind struggles to evolve toward greater levels of compassion, it seems to take “extra-ordinary” means to convince us to look beyond our ego-based limitations. A great Hindu guru said, commenting on his performance of miraculous feats, “I give them what they want so that they can be open to receive what I have to give.”

In the more mundane world, synchronicities (even as mundane as finding the perfect parking place) seem to have the role of educating us that life doesn’t work the way we thought, and perhaps we should open up our thinking to include greater possibilities – especially to risk compassion. Or as W.H. Auden said, “…persuade us to Adventure, Art, and Peace.”

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One Comment on “THE NEW YORK TIMES takes on PADRE PIO, Father David takes on the post-Christian mind”

  1. We all talk about 'parking karma'. You're right! There is a reflection in those mundane happenstances of a deeper reality. Thank you

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