I wanted to share a dream I had back when I was in novitiate. At that time, I had a shallow relationship with God and really did not know how to pray. Iwanted to have a deep and true friendship with Him, but all I knew about prayer was that it was dry and boring... and who really wants to pray when its boring?Anyway, I started to find out about different saints and how they lived. I came across Padre Pio and wanted to know more about him. I found out that he loved to play practical jokes, was funny, serious about the soul, suffered tremendously in his life (carried the stigmata...the wounds of Christ in his own body), was attacked alot by the demons, could read souls, and had a deep relationship with God.
I once came across a picture (seen above), where Padre Pio was looking into the Eucharist... not like he was looking at something, but rather, you just knew he was looking at his Best Friend. I wanted this in my own life... I really wanted to know Jesus and have a true and deep relationship with Him. So, anyway, I asked Padre Pio to show me how to pray. I asked him continually. I REALLY wanted this gift in my life.
A few weeks later I was in the chapel in adoration and had my eyes closed. Padre Pio came up to me in my prayer and took me out into a field. In the middle of the field was this huge mud pit. Padre Pio walked around to the opposite side and picked up a large rope that was coiled up on the ground and threw it at me. He started to pull on it like he wanted to play tug-a-war. I thought to myself... "Hey, wait a minute... I thought he was supposed to be teaching me how to pray!", but since I loved to play, I was up for the challenge.
I started to tug really hard on the rope and thought I could take him. Well, I didn't think that Padre Pio was really that big, but I guess he was a little heavier than me because I was starting to be dragged by the rope towards the mud pit. Before I knew it, I was deep in the mud! I was a little mad now and made my way to the opposite side where he was standing. I reached out my hand as if to say, you got me in here, now you get me out! Padre Pio graciously took my arm and was trying to pull me up when I grabbed him with my other arm and threw him in with me.
We started throwing mud balls at each other and were having a great time, when all of the sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a figure approaching dressed in bright white. I didn't dare look over because I knew in my heart Who it was... it was Our Lord. I felt so ashamed and couldn't even look at Him. I thought, "Boy, we are toast! I know souls in purgatory and in hell are crispy but we are about to get super crispy! We were supposed to be "praying", yet here we are goofing off. I was just waiting for the lightening to strike us both.
Well, I turned to look towards Padre Pio and I noticed him winking at me while having his hand behind his back. The next thing I knew, Padre Pio had a big mud ball in his hand and was throwing it in the air... only it was NOT coming towards me... it was moving in slow motion towards Our Lord. I thought, "OH CRAP!!! Now, we are really TOAST!"
The mud ball hit directly in Our Lord's chest and slowly dribbled down His white garment. But Our Lord slowly lifted up His head and smiled. He then jumped into the mud pit with us and started throwing mud balls at Padre Pio and at me. Of course, I started up too!
The next thing I knew, the dream ended... poofff... it was gone. Padre Pio was then standing in front of me and was pointing his finger very seriously at me. He said, "Scott, if you don't know how to pray like that, then you will NEVER know how to pray and you will NEVER have a real relationship with Our Lord!" Then, he was gone... completely vanished just like he came.
I was shaken to my inner core. It hit me like a ton of bricks. But then I came to realize that I would be willing to go into a mud pit with my best friend and I would be able to share everything with him.. but I never knew Our Lord like a best friend. I was ashamed to play with Him in that way, and I also was ashamed to share everything in my life with Him... especially the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences of my life. I never really let Our Lord in. If I was willing to play with Him in a mud pit, I wouldn't be afraid of sharing everything with Him.
So, from then on, I opened up... everything to Our Lord. I laid it all out. All the ways I was angry at Him for all the bad experiences of my life... everything and I held nothing back. It was then that my real prayer life and relationship with Our Lord really started. He is a True Friend who wants to be a part of my life...all of it.
Later on, I doubted the dream I had and thought God doesn't really want me to play with Him. How could I have that type of relationship with Him... If He really wants me to have that type of relationship with Him, He needs to prove it. The next time I opened up my Bible, I opened right up to Proverbs chapter 8... Happy reading!