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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Padre Pio: The Advancing Satanic Forces Against the Fortress

Padre Pio: The Advancing Satanic Forces Against the Fortress
By:  Eric Gajewski

I was inspired to title the book I am writing “Fortress of the Soul”.  This was long before reading Padre Pio’s intimate entries to his spiritual directors and friends.  In his writings, he too, called his soul a Fortress and used this analogy often.  I recently passed some entries wherein the temptations were getting so great that he said the “satanic forces were trying to bring down his fortress”.  Do you feel the drudgery of this life?  Is nothing going “your way”?  Does it seem that God does not hear you nor can you feel His Presence within?  Are the satanic forces pressing themselves upon your own Fortress trying to gain entrance?  Temptations are a good sign that you are on the right path.  As Pio mentioned the soul that never gets tempted is already at the disposal of the enemy.

There are Satanic forces trying to penetrate your soul (Fortress)

Temptations purify our intentions and grow our love of God.  God allows some very vivid temptations in so that you can grow in Love for him.  You will never be tested beyond your limit.  Those arguing it is simply too much do not realize that God sees more in them than they do, therefore, he knows you can endure whatever is sent with His grace.  Temptations also help to remind us to trust in God and not self.  Without grace we would stand no chance against these advancing satanic forces.  We must protect our Fortress by continual prayer.  We must weed out all our bad habits on this path to perfection.  The more we stay focused in on this world the more likely we are to be tempted.  God wants you to see the growth in your own soul and yet how is this possible without temptation?  The man and woman who are early in their courtship truly have little temptation because they are not yet in Love.  After some time temptations incur because we know we ought cling to the One we love but our hearts are tried to see if we will pass the test of Love.  The most important thing you have is God and your soul yet people spend so little time trying to protect and cultivate it.  As the soul advances in the Fortress the temptations become all the more worse.  Thus, do not think you are moving away from Christ but are rather being prepared for an even higher love for the Beloved.

Father Augostino called Christ the Absolute Monarch of this Fortress.  This is true.  Christ must be King of our hearts if we are to be in union with His Will.  Scripture says that where your heart is there also is your treasure.  What do you think about during the day?  Is it mainly or all God?  Or is it useless things of the world?  Vain desires?  Worldly attachments to status and position?  No eagle can fly who is truly not detached from all things.  Does “self “ reign on the Throne of your heart or does Christ?  He is not only King of Heaven and Nations but first He is King of our hearts.  Thus, the Beloved is found in the most intimate and high position in the Fortress, His ThroneRoom.  Few in this life (mortal body) will arrive here but for those brave few it is unlike any other state one can be found in.  It is being surrounded in Heaven and perfect peace with no thought disturbing this stillness.  It is heaven on earth.

Assurances.  On this path to perfection wherein a soul goes from the dark night to illumination than union we find that there will be many fears and anxieties to cross.  It is good to know that Padre Pio was constantly assailed by fears and anxieties.  That means there is hope for you.  Yes, I know you are not Padre Pio but God calls all to His Throne Room.  In this leaving, behind of self we will find as we get closer to God a care for nothing other than Him.  This is exactly what He wants.  First seek Him out then all these things shall be added unto you.  Having said that, with so many fears and anxieties (attributed to our own weakness, self and the devil) you are going to need an obvious growth in Faith and Hope.  These are the two wings of an eagle.  Pio was constantly reassured by his directors under obedience that he was okay spiritually.  He was advancing in this Fortress.  He was becoming more and more like Christ and the man who does so will suffer more.   For where the Cross is Christ always is and vice versa.  Be assured that your thread of hope will be maintained in your own interior journey.  As Padre Pio said, the storms of life are swallowing me up”.  I know we all say this at times but it is not the spiritual reality.  God is just “gutting out” the old man and preparing it for the new.  The Fire will eventually consume its host and Christ is our model.  At first the Fire is so hot that we will attempt to run away only to find out that after some heavy crosses we become more “tolerable” to the Fire.  Eventually the Fire must become One with the soul for there are no imperfect souls in heaven.

Immaculate and Sacred Heart is our shelter from the Storm.  The New Ark, Mary, is our protection in these times of tribulation.  We turn to her in prayer not turn on the TV.  She protected the FEW who crossed over in the Great Flood and when the Storm hits you she shall protect you likewise.  Do not trust yourself but trust Mary and Jesus.  Jesus was even found therein in her earthly body?  If this Ark was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for us.  Take time out to develop your relationship with Mary.  She is feared by all hell and will help to dispel any fears.  You are protected from God’s Justice within these two hearts.  For the storm may reach your mind and senses but cannot touch your soul if you confide in them. 

Abandon Ship or Abadonment?  Will you jump ship, that is, off this New Ark?  Abandoning Mary is to both abandon Jesus and the Church.  She is a safe haven.  We must constantly be pursuing God’s Will staying close to Our Lady.  She knows the “ins and outs” of this Fortress.  She knows the divine path to Union with Her Son thus why delay your own progress today?  Abandon yourself to Mary and you will progress in this path to perfection.  Given all that is happening the Church today so many are abandoning Religion altogether.  However, now is the time to stay within the New Ark and continue on our way over the stormy seas.

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