Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Brothers Came To Him

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

You're Not Alone Minute Meditations
In times of intense loss and grief, we take our place with Mary as she embraces all our grief in her own as she is silently holding in her arms the stark presence of our suffering God in the lifeless body of her Son.
— from Startled By God

St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Pio of Pietrelcina

In one of the largest such ceremonies in history, Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio of Pietrelcina on June 16, 2002. It was the 45th canonization ceremony in Pope John Paul's pontificate. More than 300,000 people braved blistering heat as they filled St. Peter's Square and nearby streets. They heard the Holy Father praise the new saint for his prayer and charity. "This is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio's teaching," said the pope. He also stressed Padre Pio's witness to the power of suffering. If accepted with love, the Holy Father stressed, such suffering can lead to "a privileged path of sanctity."

Many people have turned to the Italian Capuchin Franciscan to intercede with God on their behalf; among them was the future Pope John Paul II. In 1962, when he was still an archbishop in Poland, he wrote to Padre Pio and asked him to pray for a Polish woman with throat cancer. Within two weeks, she had been cured of her life-threatening disease.

Born Francesco Forgione, Padre Pio grew up in a family of farmers in southern Italy. Twice (1898-1903 and 1910-17) his father worked in Jamaica, New York, to provide the family income.

At the age of 15, Francesco joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio. He was ordained in 1910 and was drafted during World War I. After he was discovered to have tuberculosis, he was discharged. In 1917 he was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, 75 miles from the city of Bari on the Adriatic.

On September 20, 1918, as he was making his thanksgiving after Mass, Padre Pio had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata in his hands, feet and side.

Life became more complicated after that. Medical doctors, Church authorities and curiosity seekers came to see Padre Pio. In 1924 and again in 1931, the authenticity of the stigmata was questioned; Padre Pio was not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or to hear confessions. He did not complain of these decisions, which were soon reversed. However, he wrote no letters after 1924. His only other writing, a pamphlet on the agony of Jesus, was done before 1924.

Padre Pio rarely left the friary after he received the stigmata, but busloads of people soon began coming to see him. Each morning after a 5 a.m. Mass in a crowded church, he heard confessions until noon. He took a mid-morning break to bless the sick and all who came to see him. Every afternoon he also heard confessions. In time his confessional ministry would take 10 hours a day; penitents had to take a number so that the situation could be handled. Many of them have said that Padre Pio knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned.

Padre Pio saw Jesus in all the sick and suffering. At his urging, a fine hospital was built on nearby Mount Gargano. The idea arose in 1940; a committee began to collect money. Ground was broken in 1946. Building the hospital was a technical wonder because of the difficulty of getting water there and of hauling up the building supplies. This "House for the Alleviation of Suffering" has 350 beds.

A number of people have reported cures they believe were received through the intercession of Padre Pio. Those who assisted at his Masses came away edified; several curiosity seekers were deeply moved. Like St. Francis, Padre Pio sometimes had his habit torn or cut by souvenir hunters.

One of Padre Pio's sufferings was that unscrupulous people several times circulated prophecies that they claimed originated from him. He never made prophecies about world events and never gave an opinion on matters that he felt belonged to Church authorities to decide. He died on September 23, 1968, and was beatified in 1999.


At Padre Pio's canonization Mass in 2002, Pope John Paul II referred to that day's Gospel (Matthew 11:25-30) and said: "The Gospel image of 'yoke' evokes the many trials that the humble Capuchin of San Giovanni Rotondo endured. Today we contemplate in him how sweet is the 'yoke' of Christ and indeed how light the burdens are whenever someone carries these with faithful love. The life and mission of Padre Pio testify that difficulties and sorrows, if accepted with love, transform themselves into a privileged journey of holiness, which opens the person toward a greater good, known only to the Lord."


"The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain" (saying of Padre Pio).
Padre Pio
New from Servant! "It is always a joy to read about Padre Pio, and one always comes away a better person." —Frank M. Rega, OFS

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


The more we call on God
the more we can feel God's presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.  Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.  I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest
Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart--
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.
Responsorial Psalm ps 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
R. (35) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Gospel lk 8:19-21
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you."
He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers 
are those who hear the word of God and act on it."

audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection 


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the Lord; wherever it pleases him, he directs it. (Proverbs 21:1)

The Grand Canyon is two hundred, seventy-seven river miles long, up to eighteen miles wide, and over a mile deep. Water flowing there, over millions of years, has left its mark in layer after layer of rock. How awesome, then, that the psalmist likens our hearts to a stream in God's hands and that God turns this stream wherever he wants it to go!

Think about what a stream looks like. It is fluid and flexible, defined yet open to new shapes. Nothing about it is rigid or hard. It changes form, depth, and force around each curve. The water's colors and hues vary as the light shifts during the day. Playing and dancing, flowing calmly at one moment then rushing forcefully, crashing against its banks, always moving forward.

Flow with the Lord today! Loosen up, and let yourself become more fluid. God knows you and has created you to keep moving forward, even as he has promised to guide you on your way. To be fluid is to give him permission to direct you wherever he pleases.

So set out today expecting the Lord to direct you. When you're not sure what to do, ask him. Let him set the boundaries for you as in a river bank. But remember that those boundaries can, and may well, shift over time.

Water and land—the movements of your life and the boundaries set by the Lord—will work together to form something new and unique in this world. Over months and years, your stream is sure to deepen and broaden, just as any river does. The obstacles to its progress—pride, lust, arrogance, and the rest—will all erode as you keep flowing toward the ocean of God's presence. It takes time. It takes a commitment to stay within the boundaries God has set for you. It requires you to prefer God's ways to your own, which can be difficult at times. But it's well worth it, for you are on a joyous adventure!

"Thank you, Father, that my heart is in your hands! I want to keep flowing with you. I trust that you will direct me and keep me safe."


Psalm 119:1, 27, 30, 34-35, 44; Luke 8:19-21


"Love Our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible."
— St. Padre Pio
Today's 1st Holy Scripture ended with "He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard".  Later in the bible we'll hear of those that call out "Lord, Lord" and not be heard.  "Oh but we cured people, and remember we ate with you?"  And the Lord says "get AWAY From me you EVIL DOERS".  Do you think that because you think you are "saved" you will prance and skip your way right through Heaven's gates?  Not with evil in your soul, never, only God can help with that, and right now, time is of the essence. 
 We prayed the Psalm "Guide me Lord, in the way of Your commands".  The only way to be guided is by the Holy Spirit.  A brother wrote saying that he prays alot and God is telling him to take care of his family so that they will be faithful Catholics. I replied saying that I too pray alot and let God lead my life.  As if I do not want my kids to be faithful Catholics?  As if I would abandon the reason for my vocation?  As if God does not have them in His hands?  As if I don't tend to my flock of sheep?  As if I am not in the attempt to hear God's word and ACT on it!?  I try.  Padre Pio had a saying ""The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain". 
  My dad once said "I wonder why some saints received the stigmata".  I said "it is a gift from God".  So can it be that pains and sufferings are a gift from God?  Why do saints accept suffering and even seek it to help God's children?  Nowadays Padre Pio has many self proclaimed "spiritual children".  He confessed his children all day, and for lunch "break" he would heal them.  What kind of priest does that nowadays?  Too busy.  And if the priest makes time for confessions, the children are too busy, nobody shows up.   So who is at fault?  Who is hearing the Word of God and acting on it?  Who are the brothers and sisters of Christ?  Who are the brothers and sisters of Mercy?  Is it you?  Where are your thoughts?  And actions?  Because Jesus is talking about action here, to move, and to do.  Guide me Lord in the way of YOUR commands.  Yet we cry when misfortune hits us, we brood over insult and or injury.  We hold grudges and we want to quit, even on life itself, "I'd rather die than to live on suffering", yet Jesus came as if to say "I'd rather suffer and die for you".  Backwards our culture has gone.  And these are pleas so they won't fall on closed hearts and ears.  YOU!  Imagine right now, there are nursing homes where the patients are not treated with human dignity.  Imagine right now there are orphanages where children are neglected always in need and nobody can spare a dollar.  Imagine the overfilled prisons where prisoners are treated as a number.  Now, imagine your community, or your parish where there are people fading away faster than are being brought in for salvation.  Now, imagine your family that could be any one of these in prison, nursing home, or an orphan in a nuclear family, one that wants to take its life even though they have loving parents.  Who are the children of God and who are the brothers and sisters and mothers of Christ?  Those who will ACT.  I offer my sufferings for Christ.  If I miss my family I meant it as a love offering, not that my flock is abandoned.  If God wants something from you He will ask for it Himself.  Because we are too weak to ask God for sufferings.  We are too weak to stand on our own two feet and kneel down to pray for one another and help one another to Heaven.  People will die in their riches and their sin.  People will die forgotten and abandoned.  People will die all around you gasping for air.  The air is our prayer.  Padre Pio was said to have prayed thousands of Hail Marys in a day, constantly praying the rosary.  The devil hated him and abused him at night and St. Pio awoke bleeding and bruised.  Padre Pio would get up and resume another day at work...for the Lord.  Pio was a brother of Christ, a child of the light, because he heard the Word of God and ACTed.  Some people will not read my2cents because it is too long.  I say it is because they have closed their ears.  Because right now God is calling you to Act on His behalf, to heal God's children and bring them to Heaven...our Home.  Nothing is more important than Heaven, to be with God forever, our salvation and those around us at any given moment.

     ... Your Brothers and Your Sisters are calling you