It was only days ago that I hit the button to publish and post a new blog entitled, “The Aroma of Charity.” I had no intention of writing another blog quite so soon but as the title above describes – “I was moved by grace.”
Having gone to bed last night quite early, I woke up way too early I thought – or did I?
Now I find myself sitting before a computer screen wanting to share yet another story that has been unfolding and touching my life, the life of others and hopefully yours as well.
Someone moved me out of bed! Yes, “I was moved by grace!” May you be as well!
St. Maximillian Kolbe tells us that “all grace of God reaches us through the intercession of the Blessed Mary.” I came to understand those words very early in my life when I lost my own earthly mother at age 10. When Christine Watkins asked us initially in 2017 to name our blog postings for Queen of Peace Media, I chose “A Hand to Hold Through Life’s Journey.” I realize I couldn’t have come up with a better title. Over and over again, the Blessed Virgin Mary graces my life with her direction, guidance and love. This morning was no different and so as usual, let us journey together throughout this story.
This past Easter, I received a beautiful book, entitled “Welcoming the Christ Child with Padre Pio – Daily Reflections for Advent” by Susan De Bartoli. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano wrote the following words in the forward of the book:
“Padre Pio invites us on a simple journey to find what our hearts are looking for in Jesus.”
I know at this point, you might be thinking did I just read that you received this book at Easter? Yes! I did from a precious person in my life! He wrote 3 simple words in the Easter card that I will never forget – “Listen to See.”
Listen to See
In the blog I posted just days ago, I wrote about the “blind man” calling out to Jesus. He ignored the naysayers telling him to be quiet and he pursued in asking for Jesus to have mercy on him. He “listened” to hear Jesus pass by him and in his “calling out,” Jesus heard him and healed him – giving him his sight. Wow! Mighty images of “sight” being restored.
In that particular blog, I also wrote about “Christine” listening to see what was happening in front of her and acting out a beautiful random act of kindness.
I believe this morning, I was awakened quite early to step up to the plate. I was “moved by grace” to call out to all who read this blog and invite you on this journey with St. Padre Pio beginning next Sunday – the First Sunday of Advent.
Why this particular book? And why now? We are certainly living in times of darkness and we, too, can be blinded to many things not only around us but within us. We, too, need to be converted – not just the world. And so Padre Pio enters into the story now in a very direct way. He wants us to be “moved by grace” – by the Infant Jesus Christ.
I have a friend named “Lourdes” who likes to bring gifts to my home every time she arrives at my front door. Last year she arrived with a large picture in her hands telling me, “he wanted to come here and be with you!” Shaking my head at her, I waited for her to turn the picture around and reveal who it was that was moving into my house.
It was Padre Pio!
Well, Padre Pio made it upstairs to my prayer room and since that time – we pray together everyday. I’ve always been one of his “spiritual children” signing up years ago to be on that heavenly roster under his direction.
Recently my eyes rested on the “Eastertide gift of the Advent Journey!” I looked over at Padre Pio and I knew he was sending out an invitation to my heart but also to a prayer group that I am part of.
Again, it was a movement of grace and so I acted on what was asked of me. I presented the invitation to the prayer group giving them plenty of time to order the book. The invitation was heard and acted upon by many and as their books arrived the comments that came back to me were of “sheer excitement.” This wasn’t going to be an ordinary “book” to read through like a newspaper. It was going to be a treasure trove of meditations with Padre Pio.
As the “giver of the book” to my heart shared with me last night, it’s truly a “deep meditation book.” It’s light for the soul and as the last lines of the intro of the book read you will be invited to do the following:
“to hold the Christ Child in your arms as Padre Pio did, and to experience a heavenly peace.”
You may be wondering why am I so “convicted” about this book and why would I post a blog about it here on Queen of Peace. Well, there is a “tie-in” to Christine Watkins, Deacon Lawrence Klimecki and his wife AnNita of 40 years.
You see Deacon Lawrence who wrote for Queen of Peace Media for many years died suddenly this year on April 26th.
He has been sadly missed for so many, many reasons for he was not only a deacon but a gifted writer and artist as well as beloved husband and father. I remember at the time of his death – hearing of his wife’s name and the spelling of it.
It struck me as my name is spelled “Anita” and her named is spelled “AnNita.” It was not too long ago that Christine wrote me and in addressing me, she wrote my name as AnNita Klimecki spells it but instead lower case – “Annita.” At the time I wondered what the Holy Spirit was showing me….He would soon reveal His plan.
The day after Thanksgiving I went to Corpus Christi Church for Mass. I went with the idea of consecrating myself to my guardian angel as our prayer group was giving honor and thanksgiving to our heavenly guides before we began our journey with Padre Pio. I did this before the Mass began and afterwards as I was praying, I felt to “google” Padre Pio and his guardian angel.
What popped up was an article written by Oleada Coven on May 17, 2015 for Aleteia about Padre Pio and “listening to your guardian angel.” The article begins with these words,
“don’t forget this invisible, ever present companion, who is always ready to console us!
But it was the following words in the article that literally BLEW ME AWAY!
Letter to Annita
“In a letter he wrote on July 15, 1913, to “Annita,” he gives her (and us) invaluable advice on how to act in relation to our guardian angel, locutions and prayer.
I was blown away as I wrote above. What followed was more than I could handle for Padre Pio spoke of “Annita having Mary Most Holy smile upon her to make up for the absence of her earthly mother.”
Here are some of his words written to her.
Link is included below for entire letter written in full.
Dear daughter of Jesus,
May your heart always be a temple of the Holy Spirit. May Jesus increase the fire of his love in your soul and may he always smile upon you, as he does on all the souls that he loves. May Mary Most Holy smile upon you during all the events of your life, and abundantly make up for the absence of your earthly mother.
I cannot explain what was felt within my soul in reading this letter and seeing the name of “Annita” not only for myself but also for Deacon Lawrence’s wife “AnNita” and the “absence of your earthly mother!”
His Card Awaits Me at Home
When I returned home from Mass I read through the entire letter written to “Annita” from Padre Pio in July of 1913 pausing at certain parts that spoke deeply to my soul.
During that time, the mailman dropped letters through the slot of my front door and later on I retrieved them. I had no idea at that time of what I would be receiving!
There was a Christmas card from the “National Centre for Padre Pio” in Barto, Pa.
It was an image of the “Christ Child” on the front of the card as you can see here and on the back a picture of Padre Pio and golden words of wisdom for the journey that lies ahead for your Advent Journey if you but say “yes” with your whole heart and enter into it deeply.
Padre Pio Awaits You!
Here is the back of the card I received the day after Thanksgiving from the National Centre for Padre Pio.
CONSIDER IT YOUR OWN
PERSONAL INVITATION FROM PADRE PIO TO JOURNEY TO JOURNEY
WITH HIM THIS ADVENT
“For the Feast of the Infant Jesus
my wish for you is that
your heart may be
His cradle adorned with flowers.
May the Infant fill you with all His graces
and make you ever more worthy of His caresses.”
Padre Pio – December 20 1918
Deacon Lawrence Klimecki – His own words of wisdom
“Our entire life here in this world is a pilgrimage,
a word that embodies adventure, journey and quest all in one,
We are on the path to eternal life
and our mission is to purify ourselves
so that we are fit for that life
and to bring with us as many people
as we are able to.
Deacon Lawrence, pray for us!
©2023 Anita Guariglia
Deacon Lawrence Klimecki – Queen of Peace Media
Christmas Card – National Centre for Padre Pio
Featured Image and Padre Pio Pictures – Instagram
Guardian Angel Image – Pinterest
Article from Aleteia
Link for entire letter to “Annita”