Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Reflection #7: Saturday

Padre Pio
23 September 2006

Luke 8:4-15

Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of Pio of Pietrelcina, known to the world as “Padre Pio.” Padre Pio was born in Italy in 1887. He entered the Capuchin Friars at the age of 15 and was ordained a priest at 22. For fifty years, he lived at the monastery of Saint Stephen, where his miraculous abilities as spiritual director and confessor attracted the attention of people all over the world. He was a man of remarkable humility and great devotion to the Eucharist. He was given the grace of the stigmata – he bore the wounds of Christ’s passion on his own body.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. In the story, the man goes out to sow some seed. Some of the seed does not fall in the good soil but lands on the path, on rocky ground, and among thorns. Some of it is trampled and some is eaten by birds. The seed symbolizes the Word of God. Each of the places where the seed lands symbolizes a circumstance in the lives of believers. The good soil, of course, represents those who have heard the Word of God, have embraced it, and have borne good fruit.
Padre Pio is a living example of good soil. He heard the Lord call him to the priesthood, and call him to give his life in service to the Church. He embraced his vocation, answered the call of the Lord with generosity, and bore great fruit in the lives of many people. In his own day, he attracted many people, who came to him to hear the great spiritual wisdom he was able to share with them. Today, he is numbered among the saints, and stands as an example to the Church and to the whole world of what it means to be a humble servant of Christ.
Despite his great gifts, and despite the tremendous graces God bestowed upon him, Padre Pio never focused on himself. He was a humble priest. He never wished to be famous for his spiritual knowledge. He often remarked, “I only want to be a friar who prays.” Yet, the Lord used his life to bring His love and mercy and healing to many people. And now, his powerful intercession before the throne of God in heaven remains a source of grace for many.
There is tremendous power in the Communion of Saints, the invisible bond that unites the Church on earth with the suffering souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven. The saints were good soil. They heard the Word of God and embraced it. They continue to bear fruit as they provide for us an example of holy living, and intercede for us in our own journey of faith.
Today we ought to pray for the strength to live as Padre Pio did, as a humble servant who gave his life over to the Lord. For if we embrace God’s Word and His will for us; if we allow our lives to be used by the Lord for His good purpose, we too shall bear much fruit.

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