Wednesday, September 23, 2020

⛪ Let No One Take .. . ⛪

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Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Pray for Us

A man holds a sign with a reference to his St. Padre Pio prayer group from Rovigo, Italy, before Pope Francis' arrival for an audience with St. Padre Pio prayer groups from around the world in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 6. The bodies of Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic were brought to Rome at the request of Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)The earthly existence of Padre Pio was abundantly full of mysterious phenomena and events. However, the most important of the various charisms in his life was the stigmata, the wounds on his feet, hands, and side that he bore on his body for fifty years and recalled the "signs" of the passion and death of Jesus. For believers, these wounds demonstrated, and continue to remind us, that Padre Pio was a special person chosen by God to call the world's attention to the great mystery in history: the redemption by Jesus through the most terrible suffering, a death on a cross. Padre Pio is the only stigmatized priest in history and has come to be called an "Alter Christus," another Christ. Pope Paul VI defined him as "a stamped representative of the stigmata of Our Lord." The stigmata is the feature that identifies and characterizes the life, message, mission, and holiness of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

—from the book Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope by Renzo Allegri


†Saint Quote
"Love Our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible."
— St. Padre Pio

"Always be impartial and just in your deeds. Put yourself into your neighbor's place, and him in yours, and then you will judge fairly . . . Frequently, therefore, examine your heart, whether it is so disposed towards your neighbor, as you would have his disposed towards you, were you to change places; for this is the true test."
— St. Francis de Sales, p. 226
Introduction to the Devout Life

"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever."
1 Chronicles 16:34


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Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Saint of the Day for September 23
(May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968)

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 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 Saint 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.

Referring to that day's Gospel (Matthew 11:25-30) at Padre Pio's canonization Mass in 2002, Saint John Paul II 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."


Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, priest

Reading 1 PRV 30:5-9

Every word of God is tested;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words,
lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.
Two things I ask of you,
deny them not to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me,
give me neither poverty nor riches;
provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you,
saying, "Who is the LORD?"
Or, being in want, I steal,
and profane the name of my God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163

R. (105) Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Through your precepts I gain discernment;
therefore I hate every false way.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Falsehood I hate and abhor;
your law I love.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.

Alleluia MK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them."
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.


Daily Meditation: Luke 9:1-6

Take nothing for the journey. (Luke 9:3)

"Lord, these words are hard. I know you were speaking to your disciples when you sent them out to evangelize, but how does this relate to me? You have called me to fulfill a specific mission and vocation that requires me to trust you completely. But I find as I journey in my faith that I want to control every detail.

"You told your disciples to take nothing for their journey, but that wasn't so hard for them, was it? They could rely on the hospitality of the towns they entered and expect to find shelter and food. But me? Going on a trip and losing my luggage or my wallet is my worst nightmare, surely not something you expect me to do on purpose!

"I'd rather have my route planned out in detail so that the journey is as quick as possible. But you're asking me to take a different approach. Help me to trust you and be open to the ways you can provide for me. Help me to be willing to turn off the 'main road' if that's where you want to lead me.

"Jesus, when I'm on my journey and I think about talking to someone about you, I want to rehearse exactly what I need to say. But the truth is, you are already in a conversation with every human being you've created. Help me not to worry so much about the preparation but to seek you and listen carefully before I start talking. Help me trust that you can give me even just one word you want that person to hear.

"Lord, you know I like to control as much as I can. I don't do well with the unexpected! But I'd like to learn to trust you more. You might even want to accomplish some purpose I haven't envisioned in what seems like a chance encounter. Instead of panicking when something surprises me, help me to stand still and seek your direction for my next steps.

"Jesus, you have called me to trust you and follow you. You tell me that you can give me what I need. You can show me the next steps to take."

"Honestly, Lord, I'm not quite ready to 'take nothing.' How about this: I would like to take your hand and let you lead me!"

Proverbs 30:5-9
Psalm 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163



Today if we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other—that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister.
— St. Teresa of Calcutta
from Love: A Fruit Always in Season


"Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me,
give me neither poverty nor riches;
provide me only with the food I need..."
Two things our Lord asks today. Just two little things.
Stop lying and being false.
Provide with just enough food.

These are two things we aim for in the Holy Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.
There we say to our Lord in Reconciliation "I promise to stop lying". And in the same temple we provide ourselves for food, and we provide the wheat.
Because when we are liars, we are untrue, we are not doing His will, but ours. And to provide the true wheat, for a true sacrifice, we need to weed out and provide gift of finest wheat. And our Lord would not let us alone to do so, He provides.


And so we pray today: "Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet." There are some who look back to the past and say they wish they still lived in the good ol' days. This is wrong. We live in the now. And not for now, but for God who is in the forever now. We cannot live in the future that has not happened, and we cannot live in the past that has already happened. And so we pray today, and for now to be that moment you want to be good. Realize this and live in what is designed to be...this is called being. Be who you are meant to be, do what you are called to do. If we are the Church, we are in the Body of Christ.


Three sentences make up the backbone of today's entire Holy Gospel reading:
1.)"Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. "

That's it. He gave AUTHORITY. The Holy Catholic Church has been given authority and the worldly (darkness) does not like this. Do you like authority? Do you love the law? Let's not lie! I see a huge problem with most of us...and it is problems with dealing with authority, letting others boss you around, letting others tell you what to do. And when we don't like things and we don't follow the authority of God, a dis-ease occurs. And we don't like that either! Who likes to be sick? Who likes to be smitten? Who likes...suffering? And so, our Lord has left Authority to cure disease and charged us with proclaiming the healing news. For GOOD reason!

2.) He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic."
Have you ever encountered a homeless person, with no food, no clothes, no money, just themselves with nothing in the world? This is how our Lord presented Himself. He had no house. He had no money per say. He was stripped of his tunic His Mother made for Him. This is how we are to live. Homeless? Yes and no. We are to live as we have nothing. Because then, material things make you who you are and this is not how we are called to live. St. Paul to the Corinthians said ". What I am saying, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who weep, as if they did not; those who are joyful, as if they were not; those who make a purchase, as if they had nothing..."
Time is short my friend. Time flies. Where have you been, and where are you going? The answer is in the now.
3.) A short verse: "Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there." Stop bouncing around. Be honorable to those who opened their door to you. To leave them is to leave their hearts rejected. How often do people just want out? People just want to quit? I see it everywhere. Quit ministries. Quit marriage. Quit work. Quit town and leave town. Quit life. Short verse, but it means everything. It means fidelity. It means stay put until it is time appointed by the Holy Spirit. What He says goes, when He says go. How will you know? Just be faithful and the doors will open when it is time. You do not need to worry about tomorrow, Mt. 6:34 "33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own...", we live in the forever now.

And our Lord ends with:
"And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them."
In Mark and Luke we heard: "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority." You should not be concerned with successes and failures. If all you see is failures, you call the work of God a failure. Then, you are no longer faithful, but faithless. Your job is to persevere. This is the mission we are charged with. Did our Lord see success in everything He did the night before He was crucified? No. He pleaded on His holy knees crying and bleeding blood through His pores. And the only success He had was the cross...everything obedience. Everything humility. Everything that is true. Shake the dust off of negativity and impurity. The seeds need dust, dirt to grow. You have helped our Lord plant seeds. Keep working.
And so we heard the last verse: "Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere."
How did Padre Pio fulfill the two requests of our Lord? He made himself poor yes, but he didn't travel house to house...or did he? He was stuck in a friary, how could he be on a mission? Every soul he encountered was a house, and he visited thousands. To this day he visits those who visit him. And so it is in the forever now. The Holy Spirit comes to billions of people. Our Lord's offering allowed this to happen.

I invite you to do these two things. Put falsehood and lying far away, and provide food.
One seed can feed thousands. Even though thousands of other seeds will not, one seed can save the world.

Lord, it is not for me to know what you know. All I need to know is you love Me and you love the person next to me, in person, in my thoughts, and everywhere I go. I pray that we do Your Holy Will.
Help us Lord, to be poor in Spirit, and rich in love, grace and mercy...


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Proverbs 15:33

3 The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom,

and humility comes before honor.


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