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Friday, September 23, 2016

Catholic News World : Friday September 23, 2016 - SHARE

2016


Free Catholic Movie : Padre Pio Movie with English Subtitles - #PadrePio



Padre Pio (2000) TV Movie - 202 min - Biography | Drama - 17 April 2000 (Italy)
The poor Italian peasant boy Francesco already has visions of Jesus and Mary as a child, but the Devil visits him too. He, Francesco, is quite certain that he will become a priest.
 Director: Carlo Carlei Writers: Renzo Allegri (book), Carlo Carlei,
Stars: Sergio Castellitto, Jürgen Prochnow, Lorenza Indovina
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Novena to St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina - Miracle #Prayers and #Litany to SHARE


Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.






























God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Virgin 
Immaculate, pray for us.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us.

Beloved of God, pray for us.
Imitator of Jesus Christ, pray for us.
Good shepherd of the people, pray for us.
Model for priests, pray for us.
Light of the Church, pray for us.
Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Faithful son of St. Francis, pray for us.
Marked with the stigmata of Jesus, pray for us.
Patient in suffering, pray for us.
Helper of the dying, pray for us.
Director of souls, pray for us.
Heart of gold, pray for us.
Apostle of mercy, pray for us.
Worker of miracles, pray for us.
Consoler of the afflicted, pray for us.
Lover of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Helper of souls in doubt and darkness, pray for us.
Comforter of the sick, pray for us.
Example of humility, pray for us.
Source of wisdom, pray for us.
Mirror of the divine life, pray for us.
Lover of Jesus Crucified,
Resigned to the will of God, pray for us.
Doing good upon earth, pray for us.
Filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice, pray for us.
Our help and hope in all our needs, pray for us.
Vessel of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.
Leading us to Christ, pray for us.
Our spiritual father and advocate, pray for us.
Crowned with glory in Heaven, pray for us.
God our Father,  You helped St. Pio of Pietrelcina to reflect
the image of Christ through a life of charity and self-sacrifice.
May we follow your Son by walking in the footsteps of
St. Pio and by imitating his selfless love.

Amen

Stay with me, Lord

Prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina after Holy Communion
Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have
You present so that I do not forget You.
You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak
and I need Your strength,
that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life,
and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light,
and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice
and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You
very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is,
I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes;
death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength,
so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.
It is getting late and death approaches,
I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows.
O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers. I need You.
Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread,
so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness,
the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You,
if not by communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it,
but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart,
Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth
and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.

Prayer for the Intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina


Dear God, You generously blessed Your servant,
St. Pio of Pietrelcina,
with the gifts of the Spirit.
You marked his body with the five wounds
of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness
to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son.
Endowed with the gift of discernment,
St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional
for the salvation of souls.
With reverence and intense devotion
in the celebration of Mass,
he invited countless men and women
to a greater union with Jesus Christ
in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina,
I confidently beseech You to grant me
the grace of (here state your petition).
Glory be to the Father… (three times). Amen.
Prayer of Pope John Paul II to St. Pio of Pietrelcina

St Padre Pio Novena -A Novena to Saint Padre Pio seeking his intercession for a special grace.

Day 1
Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Oh holy Saint Padre Pio, throughout your entire life you sought always to love Jesus and Mary with your whole heart. Help us that we too may always seek to know, love and serve God with all of our hearts, and help us to seek His holy will in all things. And for the love of God we ask the following grace (mention your request). Beloved St Padre Pio, we give this request to you, seeking your heavenly intercession, and we ask you to make this request in our name before the throne of God.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!
___________________________________
DAY 2


Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Oh beloved Saint of God, Padre Pio, you were especially chosen by God to bear the holy stigmata in union with Jesus for 50 years, sacrificing and suffering all for the conversion of souls. What intense suffering these holy wounds caused you! But your bore this constant pain for the love of God and for the love of souls. We ask you to place this request (mention request) into your stigmatised hands, and present it to Jesus in our name.

-Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!
__________________________________

DAY 3

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Oh most loving Saint Padre Pio, you offered your life to become a holy priest of God, giving yourself completely to Jesus through the intercession of His Mother, the most Blessed Virgin Mary. We ask you to join with our holy Mother in heaven, and to present this request to Her holy Son, (here mention request), and we ask our beloved Mother in heaven to join you and obtain this grace for us.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!

DAY 4

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Oh blessed Saint Padre Pio, you were a priest after the Heart of Jesus, seeking always to love and please Him in all things. We ask you to place this request before the Sacred Heart of Jesus (mention request). And through the love that you bore the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, may God hear and answer our poor prayers.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!
___________________________________
DAY 5

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

O God, Who fashioned thy servant Saint Padre Pio into a likeness of Thy Crucified Son, grant us through his intercession the favor that we humbly request (mention request), and through the Passion Death and Resurrection of Thy Son, may we be united with You for all eternity. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!

DAY 6

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Most devout priest of God, Padre Pio, you spent countless hours in the confessional seeking always to reconcile sinners to God. We present ourselves to you, sinful and in sorrow for our sins. Help us to recognise and repent of our sins, and to be always faithful to the teachings of Jesus. Pray for us that God may not look upon our sins, but upon the desire in our hearts to please Him. Plead for mercy for us before God, and especially pray for the intention that we are presenting to you (mention request).

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!

DAY 7

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Beloved St Padre Pio, you had a most tender devotion to the Mother of God and were known to recite many rosaries and prayers in Her honor each day. Plead for us then before the Holy Mother of God, that She may join us in prayer before Her most Holy Son Jesus, that we might obtain the request we are asking (mention request).

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!
___________________________________
DAY 8

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Oh most pure and chaste Saint Padre Pio, during your life on earth you gave a most beautiful example of purity and love of God, and was found worthy to bear in thy flesh the marks of our Lord's Passion. Have pity on us who are so much in need of God's Mercy, and obtain for us through thy merits and intercession, the special favor which we now fervently implore (mention request).

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!


DAY 9

Preface: Oh most Holy God, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Infinite Majesty, and we adore Thee and dedicate to Thy glory the devout prayers which we now present to Thee, as an act of devotion to your servant, St Padre Pio, whose intercession we are now imploring.

Oh most loving Saint Padre Pio, you were very devout in the service of God, always encouraging others to obey God's laws and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Obtain for us, we beg you, not only the grace that we are asking, if it would be God’s will (mention request) but most importantly obtain for us the conversion and salvation of our souls, so that someday we may be united with Jesus, Mary and you for all eternity. Finally, help us to accept God's will in all things, even if it runs contrary to our own likes or desires.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be...

May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN. +

-St Padre Pio, pray for us!
- See more at: http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/2011/09/novena-to-st-padre-pio-padre-pio-novena.html#sthash.eU5D0N7x.dpuf
Pope John Paul II recited this prayer
on the occasion of the canonization of Padre Pio, June 16, 2002.
Teach us, we pray, humility of heart,
so that we may be counted among the little ones of the Gospel
to whom the Father promised to reveal
the mysteries of His Kingdom.
Help us to pray without ceasing,
certain that God knows what we need
even before we ask Him. Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will help us recognize
in the poor and suffering, the very face of Jesus. Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial and, if we fall,
let us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness.
Grant us your tender devotion to Mary,
mother of Jesus and our Mother.
Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage
toward the blessed Homeland,
where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever
the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen


Today's Mass Readings and Video : Fri. Sept. 23, 2016


Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest
Lectionary: 453


Reading 1ECCL 3:1-11

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task that God has appointed
for the sons of men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time,
and has put the timeless into their hearts,
without man’s ever discovering,
from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Responsorial PsalmPS 144:1B AND 2ABC, 3-4

R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
my mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
LORD, what is man, that you notice him;
the son of man, that you take thought of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days, like a passing shadow.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

AlleluiaMK 10:45

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Saint September 23 : St. Pio of Pietrelcina - #PadrePio

Padre Pio (Francesco Forgione) was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, in the small farming town of Pietrelcina, Italy on May 25, 1887. Although the Forgiones were poor in material goods, they were certainly rich in their faith life and in the love of God.
Even as a young boy, Francesco had already shown signs of extraordinary gifts of grace. At the age of five, he dedicated his life to God. From his early childhood, he showed a remarkable recollection of spirit and a love for the religious life. His mother described him as a quiet child who, from his earliest years, loved to go to church and to pray. As a young boy, he was able to see and communicate with, not only his guardian angel but also with Jesus and the Virgin Mary. In his simplicity, Francesco assumed everyone had the same experiences. Once a woman who noticed his spiritual demeanor asked him, “When did you consecrate your life to God? Was it at your first Holy Communion?” and he answered, “Always, daughter, always.”
When Francesco was fifteen years old, he was admitted to the novitiate of the Capuchin Order of the Friars Minor in Morcone, Italy. He was admired by his fellow-students as well as by his Superiors for his exemplary behavior and his deep piety. One of the novices stated, “There was something which distinguished him from the other students. Whenever I saw him, he was always humble, recollected, and silent. What struck me most about Brother Pio was his love of prayer.”
On August 10, 1910, at the age of twenty-three, Padre Pio was ordained to the priesthood. The celebration of the Holy Mass was for Padre Pio, the center of his spirituality.  Due to the long pauses of contemplative silence into which he entered at various parts of the Holy Sacrifice, his Mass could sometimes last several hours.  Everything about him spoke of how intensely he was living the Passion of Christ. The parish priest in Pietrelcina called Padre Pio’s Mass, “an incomprehensible mystery.” When asked to shorten his Mass, Padre Pio replied, “God knows that I want to say Mass just like any other priest, but I cannot do it.”
His parishioners were deeply impressed by his piety and one by one they began to come to him, seeking his counsel. For many, even a few moments in his presence, proved to be a life changing experience. As the years passed, pilgrims began to come to him by the thousands, from every corner of the world, drawn by the spiritual riches which flowed so freely from his extraordinary ministry. To his spiritual children he would say, “It seems to me as if Jesus has no other concern but the sanctification of your soul.”
Padre Pio is understood above all else as a man of prayer. Before he was thirty years old he had already reached the summit of the spiritual life known as the “unitive way” of transforming union with God. He prayed almost continuously. His prayers were usually very simple. He loved to pray the Rosary and recommended it to others. To someone who asked him what legacy he wished to leave to his spiritual children, his brief reply was, “My child, the Rosary.” He had a special mission to the souls in Purgatory and encouraged everyone to pray for them. He used to say, “We must empty Purgatory with our prayers.” Father Agostino Daniele, his confessor, director, and beloved friend said, “One admires in Padre Pio, his habitual union with God. When he speaks or is spoken to, we are aware that his heart and mind are not distracted from the thought and sentiment of God.”
Padre Pio suffered from poor health his entire life, once saying that his health had been declining from the time he was nine years old. After his ordination to the priesthood, he remained in his hometown of Pietrelcina and was separated from his religious community for more than five years due to his precarious health.  Although the cause of his prolonged and debilitating illnesses remained a mystery to his doctors, Padre Pio did not become discouraged. He offered all of his bodily sufferings to God as a sacrifice, for the conversion of souls. He experienced many spiritual sufferings as well. “I am fully convinced that my illness is due to a special permission of God,” he said.
Shortly after his ordination, he wrote a letter to his spiritual director, Father Benedetto Nardella, in which he asked permission to offer his life as a victim for sinners. He wrote, “For a long time I have felt in myself a need to offer myself to the Lord as a victim for poor sinners and for the souls in Purgatory. This desire has been growing continually in my heart so that it has now become what I would call a strong passion. . .It seems to me that Jesus wants this.” The marks of the stigmata, the wounds of Christ, appeared on Padre Pio’s body, on Friday, September 20, 1918, while he was praying before a crucifix and making his thanksgiving after Mass. He was thirty-one years old and became the first stigmatized priest in the history of the Church. With resignation and serenity, he bore the painful wounds in his hands, feet, and side for fifty years.
In addition, God endowed Padre Pio with many extraordinary spiritual gifts and charisms including the gift of healing, bilocation, prophecy, miracles, discernment of spirits, the ability to abstain beyond man’s natural powers from both sleep and nourishment, the ability to read hearts, the gift of tongues (the ability to speak and understand languages that he had never studied), the gift of conversions, the grace to see angelic beings in form, and the fragrance which emanated from his wounds and which frequently announced his invisible presence. When a friend once questioned him about these charisms, Padre Pio said, “You know, they are a mystery to me, too.” Although he received more than his share of spiritual gifts, he never sought them, never felt worthy of them. He never put the gifts before the Giver. He always remained humble, constantly at the disposal of Almighty God.
His day began at 2:30 a.m. when he would rise to begin his prayers and to make his preparation for Mass. He was able to carry on a busy apostolate with only a few hours of sleep each night and an amount of food that was so small (300-400 calories a day) that his fellow priests stated that it was not enough food even to keep a small child alive. Between Mass and confessions, his workday lasted 19 hours. He very rarely left the monastery and never took even a day’s vacation from his grueling schedule in 51 years. He never read a newspaper or listened to the radio. He cautioned his spiritual children against watching television.
In his monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo, he lived the Franciscan spirit of poverty with detachment from self, from possessions, and from comforts. He always had a great love for the virtue of chastity, and his behavior was modest in all situations and with all people. In his lifetime, Padre Pio reconciled thousands of men and women back to their faith.
The prayer groups that Padre Pio established have now spread throughout the world. He gave a new spirit to hospitals by founding one which he called “The Home for the Relief of Suffering.” He saw the image of Christ in the poor, the suffering, and the sick and gave himself particularly to them. He once said, “Bring God to all those who are sick. This will help them more than any other remedy.”
Serene and well prepared, he surrendered to Sister Death on September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one. He died as he had lived, with his Rosary in his hands. His last words were Gesú, Maria – Jesus, Mary – which he repeated over and over until he breathed his last. He had often declared, “After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death.”
In 1971, Pope Paul VI, speaking to the superiors of the Capuchin order, said of Padre Pio, “What fame he had. How many followers from around the world. Why? Was it because he was a philosopher, a scholar, or because he had means at his disposal? No, it was because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from morning until night and was a marked representative of the stigmata of Our Lord. He was truly a man of prayer and suffering.”
In one of the largest liturgies in the Vatican’s history, Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio on June 16, 2002. During his homily, Pope John Paul recalled how, in 1947, as a young priest he journeyed from Poland to make his confession to Padre Pio. “Prayer and charity–this is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio’s teaching,” the Pope said.
Drawing approximately eight million pilgrims each year, San Giovanni Rotondo, where St. Pio lived and is now buried, is second only to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in its number of annual visitors.
St. Pio’s whole life might be summed up in the words of St. Paul to the Colossians, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.”
St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us.
Biography shared from padrepiodevotions.org

#PopeFrancis "Jesus’ death on the cross is the summit of God’s history of love.." FULL TEXT - Audience - Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We heard the passage of Luke’s Gospel (6:36-38) from which the motto of this Extraordinary Holy Year is taken: Merciful as the Father. The complete expression is: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (v. 36). It is not a slogan for effect, but a commitment of life. To understand this expression well, we can compare it with the parallel one in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus says: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5:48). In the so-called Sermon on the Mount, which opens with the Beatitudes, the Lord teaches that perfection consists in love, fulfillment of all the precepts of the Law. In this same perspective, Saint Luke specifies that perfection is merciful love: to be perfect means to be merciful. Is a person who is not merciful perfect? No! Goodness and perfection are rooted in mercy. God is certainly perfect. However, if we consider Him in that way, it becomes impossible for men to strive to that absolute perfection. Instead, having Him before our eyes as merciful enables us to understand better in what His perfection consists and it spurs us to be like Him, full of love, of understanding and of mercy.
But I wonder: are Jesus’ words realistic? Is it really possible to love as God loves and to be merciful as He is?
If we look at the history of salvation, we see that the whole of God’s revelation is an incessant and tireless love for men: God is like a father or a mother who loves with unfathomable love and pours it out abundantly on every creature. Jesus’ death on the cross is the summit of God’s history of love for man. A love that is so great that only God can realize it. It is evident that, compared to this love that has no measure, our love will always be defective. However, when Jesus asks us to be merciful as the Father, He does not think of the quantity! He asks His disciples to become sign, channels, and witnesses of His mercy.
And the Church cannot but be the sacrament of mercy of God in the world, at all times and towards the whole of humanity. Hence, every Christian is called to be a witness of mercy, and this happens on the path of holiness. We think of the many Saints that became merciful because they let their heart be filled by divine mercy. They gave flesh to the Lord’s love, pouring it out on the many needs of suffering humanity. In this flowering of so many forms of charity it is possible to perceive the reflections of the merciful face of Christ.
We ask ourselves: What does it mean for disciples to be merciful? Jesus explains it with two verbs: “forgive” (v. 37) and ‘give” (v. 38).
Mercy is expressed, first of all, in forgiveness: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” (v.37). Jesus does not intend to subvert the course of human justice, however, He reminds the disciples that to have fraternal relations it is necessary to suspend judgments and condemnations. Forgiveness, in fact, is the pillar that governs the life of the Christian community, because in it is shown the gratuitousness of the love with which God loved us first. A Christian must forgive! — but why? Because he has been forgiven. All of us who are here, today, in the Square, have been forgiven. No one, in his life, has not been in need of God’s forgiveness. And because we have been forgiven, we must forgive. We recite it every day in the Our Father: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” that is, forgive the offenses, forgive many things, because we have been forgiven so many offenses, so many sins. And so it is easy to forgive: if God has forgiven me, why should I not forgive others? Am I greater than God? This pillar of forgiveness shows us the gratuitousness of the love of God, who loved us first. It is a mistake to judge and condemn a brother that sins, not because one does not want to recognize the sin, but because to condemn the sinner breaks the bond of fraternity with him and scorns God’s mercy, who, instead, does not want to give up on any of His children. We do not have the power to condemn our brother who errs; we are not above him: instead we have the duty to restore him to the dignity of a child of the Father and to accompany him on his journey of conversion.
To His Church, to us, Jesus indicates a second pillar: “give.” To forgive is the first pillar; to give is the second pillar. “Give, and it will be given to you […] For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (v. 38). God gives well beyond our merits, but He will be even more generous with all those who on earth were generous. Jesus does not say what will happen to those that do not give, but the image of the “measure” constitutes an admonition: with the measure of love we give, it is we ourselves who decide how we will be judged, how we will be loved. If we look well there is a coherent logic: in the measure that one receives from God, one gives to a brother, and in the measure in which one gives to a brother, one receives from God!
Therefore, merciful love is the only way to go. How much need we all have of being more merciful, of not running down others, of not judging, of not “plucking” others with criticisms, envies and jealousies. We must forgive, be merciful, live our life in love. This love enables Jesus’ disciples to not lose the identity received from Him, and to recognize themselves as children of the same Father. Thus, in the love they practice in life, that Mercy is reverberated that will have no end (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1-12). But do not forget this: mercy and gift; forgiveness and gift, thus the heart widens, it widens in love. Instead, egoism and anger render the heart small, which hardens like a stone. What do you prefer, a heart of stone or a heart full of love? If you prefer a heart full of love, be merciful!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
I give a warm welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the faithful of the Dioceses of Asqui, Grosseto, Nola, Sessa Aurunca and Tortona, accompanied by their respective Bishops, and the Major Inter-Diocesan Seminary of Udine, Trieste and Gorizia, accompanied by the Archbishop, Monsignor Mazzocato: I hope that the Jubilee pilgrimage and the crossing of the Holy Door will nourish faith in you, give new impetus to hope and render charity fruitful with ever more earnest attention to the needs of needy brothers.
I greet the participants in the course promoted by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; the Municipal Council of Taranto with the Archbishop, Monsignor Santoro; the directors of the Houses of Divine Providence of Italy and the Montfort Missionaries, observing the third centenary of the birth in Heaven of their founder, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort. May the visit to the Tombs of the Apostles foster in all the sense of belonging to the ecclesial family.
A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today is the feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. May his conversion be an example to you, dear young people, to live life with the criteria of the faith; may his meekness sustain you, dear sick, when your suffering seems unbearable; and may his following of the Savior remind you, dear newlyweds, of the importance of prayer in the matrimonial itinerary you have undertaken.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
Observed today is the 23rd World Alzheimer’s Day, whose theme is “Remember Me.” I invite all those present to “remember” with Mary’s solicitude and the merciful Jesus’ tenderness all those who are affected by this disease and their families, to have them feel our closeness. We also pray for persons who are at the side of the sick, able to take up their needs, including the most imperceptible, because they are seen with eyes full of love.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
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