Mysticism In General
According to the doctrine of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the progress of growth in holiness and union with God in prayer rises together. Beginning with the most simple and human practices the person is transformed, supernaturalized, in their exterior life with man and in their interior life with God. This progress can be summarized as being emptied of self and being filled with God, or putting off the old man (Adam) and putting on the new man (Christ), or simply, conformity to Christ. It involves acts on the part of the Christian, but even more so the initiative and grace of God to raise the person to the heights of holiness, to which all are called but which few seem to achieve. Padre Pio is one who answered that call.
Growth in the Spiritual Life.
The Second Vatican Council in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium (Ch. V) affirmed what the Church has always taught, that every Christian is called to holiness. Jesus said "be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect" (Mt 5:48), yet few seem to know how to go about that. Padre Pio, however, following the example of the saints, climbed this mystical ladder that leads to God (Gen 28:10-12).