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Several years ago I made a trip to the National Centre for Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania. It was a novel experience for me as I had never visited a shrine of this nature. The group I traveled with was more familiar than I with Padre Pio’s teachings and life story. On the grounds’ walk to the building, various monuments stood in his honor. With a look inside the building, we were met with splendor: more monuments, artifacts, and statues representing Padre Pio and religious masters like Jesus and Mary. We could attend mass, pray, listen to a talk given about Padre Pio, view a film with historical footage of his life, marvel at artifacts displayed in the museum, and bring home something from the gift shop. Pilgramages frequent this site often. The Centre is also a destination for those in need of healing and miracles.

The journey to Pennsylvania was a bit long, but it was worth it. I had an experience that could be described as exceptionally profound. The details I will omit because I wish to keep it private. I will share that my going in search of treasure proved fruitful for my friends and for me.

Why do I pen a piece about a man that many adore and pray to? I do this because it is important to remember the holiness of self in relation to other. How many times have you read and/or heard one remind you that the Love and adoration of self is paramount to seeing and feeling and knowing Love outside of you? Well, you are reading this yet again if you have and it is a first if you haven’t.

Worship is an outside-of-self, or externalized activity that is quite human to engage in. Religion has it woven into its fabric. Society promotes this on a myriad of platforms. It seems natural and righteous to do — even holy. As a spiritual teacher and healer, I offer caution about worship as it relates to healing self in this Earth reality. One could worship a person, a group, a concept, a product. The possibilities really are endless. Worship looks, sounds, and feels like one is looking up from a lower position to an entity that is outside of self. The reverence is separate from and disparate in that the one being worshipped knows more and has achieved a level greater than the one who is worshipping them. One might negate or minimize their being a Godspark, which blocks their spiritual development as it relates to power, communication, creativity, and abundance. Giving power away is a common human drama in Earth School. What is important to realize is that it is a relationship that is uneven and puts one in a submissive position.

Am I dissing religion? No. I was observant and religious for many years of my life. I worshipped God. Today, as one who embraces *Unity Consciousess, I no longer worship. (*Unity Consciousness: We are all One.) I found that my participation placed me in a role of “less than.” My intuition and Knowing was minimized. I also came to realize that reverence and love of self was paramount to worship of other. We incarnate here to fall in love again with ourself. The identification of our holiness is key to healing and loving self first. If this sounds blasphemous, you might be worshipping other and that is fine. I enter with another perspective and this is my truth to share here.

Many souls worship, pray, and love other before loving self. The healing of the mind, body, and spirit is paramount to finding another to praise and find their glory. One can heal self, love self, and continue admiring all those who are wonderful examples of Love. When one becomes a follower, a submissive, or a groupie, they have lost themselves to an extent in other. You are your own teacher, guru, and master. Then, others can guide and role model and exemplify high *Christed living and be-ing. (*Christed: One that has achieved a very high level of enlightenment.)

You are holy and your name is holy. Bless you for your being part of the Oneness — the tapestry called Love. Consider turning your focus inward and finding your master within. With humility and grace, stand tall as a statue and profess Love to self. The rest will fall into place.

I say this from the heart: May Padre Pio and All of Love join you in song. May miracles and healing abound.

With Love,

~Joanie