We’ve all read stories of heroes, those of today and those of times gone by.  Sometimes we wonder if we, too, would react with heroic efforts if we were put to the test.  Padre Pio once said, “The most beautiful credo is the one we pronounce in our Hour of darkness.”  It reminded me of the legend of the Thorn Birds, from the book of the same name:

“There's a story... a legend, about a bird that sings just once in its life. From the moment it leaves its nest, it searches for a thorn tree... and never rests until it's found one. And then it sings... more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. And singing, it impales itself on the longest, sharpest thorn. But, as it dies, it rises above its own agony, to out-sing the lark and the nightingale. The thorn bird pays its life for just one song, but the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles, as its best was bought only at the cost of great pain.”

Are we to look for suffering?  I don’t think God expects that, but if and when it strikes us, will we be able to sing a hymn of praise as ravishing and poetic as the thorn bird?  Will we overcome our own pain with the beauty of our faith, and trust in Christ through our hour of darkness?  Padre Pio continued his own song throughout the suffering of his life, and the world stilled to listen.  And God, in His heaven, smiled.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us!