5 rules for Spiritual Growth by St. Padre Pio

By 1918, Padre Pio had a circle of female disciples who regularly met and prayed with him.  These were his "spiritual daughters."  Many of Pio's letters to them have been preserved.  

Padre Pio established five rules for spiritual growth:

1. Weekly Confession

"A room needs to be dusted once a week, even if nobody is in there." - Padre Pio to Maria Campanile (a spiritual daughter).

2. Daily Communion

"Unless you are positive that you are in mortal sin, you ought to take Communion every day." - Padre Pio to some of the ladies who were afraid they were unworthy of taking communion every day. 

3. Spiritual Reading

Pio urged them to study Scripture and suggested spiritual books from the friary library.  

4. Meditation

"Meditation," Padre told Maria, "is the key to progress in the knowledge of self as well as the knowledge of God, and through it we achieve the goal of the spiritual life, which is the transformation of the soul in Christ."

5. Examination of Conscience

Padre Pio urged two periods of meditation daily, as well as two periods of self-examination: in the morning, "to prepare for battle," and in the evening, "to purify your soul from every earthly affection that might have been attach itself to you during the day."  Each of these periods of reflection and recollection was to last at least a half hour.  

Source: Padre Pio: The True Story, by C. Bernard Ruffin