“Merciful like the Father”
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
08-Dec-2015 to 20-Nov-2016
February 6, 2016 (Saturday) (Diocese of Scranton)
Women’s Day — Fr Pio with the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth
“The Call to Follow Jesus”
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish
(at St Mary’s Church on Route 6)
Wyalusing PA 18853
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with Mass at 9:00 a.m.
The Sacrament of Penance will be available.
Sponsored by St Mary’s Ministry of Mercy Outreach
There is no charge for this retreat, but pre-registration is required.
Call the Parish Office (570-746-1006) for to register.
February 27 to March 2, 2016 (Saturday-Wednesday) (Archdiocese of New York)
53 St Patrick’s Place
Staten Island NY 10306
Call the Parish Office (718-979-4227) for information.
March 12-16, 2016 (Saturday-Wednesday) (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
Mary, Mother of the Redeemer
1325 Upper State Road
North Wales PA 19454
Call the Parish Office (215-362-7400) for information.
April 3, 2016 (Sunday) (Diocese of Scranton)
Divine Mercy Sunday
St Maria Goretti
42 Redwood Dr
Laflin PA 18702
Mass at 2:00 p.m.; Confessions will be heard before Mass
Divine Mercy devotions after Mass
Call the Parish Office (570-655-8956) for information.
Misericordiae Vultus — The Face of Mercy
(Pope Francis’ Bull of Indiction)
Corporal Works of Mercy
- Feeding the hungry
- Sheltering the homeless
- Clothing the naked
- Visiting the sick
- Visiting the imprisoned
- Giving drink to the thirsty
- Burying the dead
Spiritual Works of Mercy
- Admonishing sinners
- Instructing the ignorant
- Advising the doubtful
- Comforting the sorrowful
- Bearing wrongs patiently
- Forgiving injuries
- Praying for the living and dead
St Faustina’s “Prayer to be Merciful to Others” (Diary, n. 163)
O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy. I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor. Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue. Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings. Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all. Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks. Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor. Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
You Yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically. O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things.
POPE FRANCIS’ 06-FEB-2016 ADDRESS TO PADRE PIO PRAYER GROUPS
Below is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ address when he met with Padre Pio prayer groups, who were in Rome to venerate the saints’ relics, in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday morning:
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
I give you my welcome — I see that you are very numerous! – and I thank Monsignor Castoro for the words he addressed to me. I greet you all, who come from several countries and regions, united in great affection and gratitude to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. You are very grateful to him, because he helped you to discover life’s treasure, which is the love of God, and to experience the beauty of the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy. And this is knowledge that we should learn every day, because it is good: the beauty of the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy.
In fact, we can say that Padre Pio was a servant of mercy. He was so ‘full time,’ practicing sometimes to exhaustion “the apostolate of listening.” Through the ministry of Confession, he became a living caress of the Father, who heals the wounds of sin, reassuring the heart with peace. Saint Pio never tired of receiving persons and of listening to them, spending time and effort to spread the perfume of the Lord. He could do so because he was always attached to the source, slaking his thirst continually from the Crucified Christ, and he thus became a channel of mercy. He carried so many persons and so many sufferings in his heart, uniting everything to the love of Christ who gave Himself “to the end” (John 13:1). He lived the great mystery of pain offered for love. Thus, his little drop became a great river of mercy, which irrigated so many desert hearts and created oases of life in many parts of the world.
I think of the prayer groups, which Saint Pio described as “nurseries of faith, hotbeds of love”; not only meeting centers to be at ease with friends and to be consoled somewhat, but hotbeds of divine love. The prayer groups are this! Prayer, in fact, is a true and propermission, that brings the fire of love to the whole of humanity. Padre Pio said that prayer is a “force that moves the world.” Prayer is a force that moves the world! But do we believe this? It is so. Try it! It – he added — spreads God’s smile and blessing on all languor and weakness” (2nd International Congress of Prayer Groups, May 5, 1966).
Prayer, therefore, is not a good practice to get some peace of heart; nor is it a devout means to obtain from God what is useful to us. If it were so, it would be moved by a subtle egoism: I pray to be well, as if I took an aspirin. No, it’s not so. I pray to obtain this thing. But this is to do business. It is not so. Prayer is something else, it’s something else. Prayer, instead, is a work of spiritual mercy, which wishes to lead everything to God’s heart. “You take charge, who are a Father.” It should be this way, to say it simply. Prayer is to say: “You take charge, who are Father. Look at us, who are Father.” This is relation with the Father. Prayer is this. It is a gift of faith and of love, an intercession of which there is need as of bread. In a word, it means to entrust: to entrust the Church, to entrust people, to entrust situations to the Father – “I entrust this to you” – so that He takes care of it. Prayer, therefore, as Padre Pio loved to say, is “the best weapon we have, a key that opens God’s heart.” A key that opens God’s heart: it is an easy key. God’s heart is not armoured with many means of security. With prayer, you can open it with an ordinary key, because He has a heart of love, the heart of a Father. It is the greatest strength of the Church which we must never abandon, because the Church bears fruit if, she does as Our Lady and the Apostles did, who were “with one accord devoted to prayer” (Acts 1:14), when they awaited the Holy Spirit – devoted and concordant in prayer. Otherwise, one risks leaning elsewhere: on means, on money, on power; then evangelization vanishes and joy is extinguished and the heart becomes troubled. Do you want to have a troubled heart? [The people: “No!”] Do you want to have a joyful heart? [‘Yes!”] Pray, this is the recipe!
While I thank you for your commitment, I encourage the prayer groups to be “power stations of mercy”: power stations that are always open and active, that with the humble power of prayer provide the light of God to the world and the energy of the love of the Church. Padre Pio, who described himself only as “a poor friar that prays,” wrote that prayer is “ the highest apostolate that a soul can exercise in God’s Church: (Epistolario II, 70). Be always joyful Apostles of Prayer! Prayer does miracles. The apostolate of prayer does miracles.
Besides the prayer groups’ work of spiritual mercy, Saint Pio wanted an extraordinary work of corporal mercy: the “House for the Relief of Suffering,” inaugurated sixty years ago. He wanted it to be not only an excellent hospital, but a “temple of science and prayer.” In fact, “human beings always need something more than technically correct care. They are in need of humanity. They are in need of the attention of the heart” (Benedict XVI, Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, 31). This is so important: to cure the sickness but above all to take care of the sick person. They are two different things, and both are important: to cure the sickness and to take care of the sick person. It can happen that while the wounds of the body are medicated, the wounds of the soul are aggravated, which are slower and often more difficult to heal. The dying also, who sometimes seem unconscious, participate in the prayer made with faith close to them, and they entrust themselves to God, to His mercy. I remember the death of a priest friend. He was an apostle, a man of God. However, he had been in a coma for a long time, for a long time. The doctors said: “We don’t know how he is still able to breathe.” Another priest friend entered, got close to him and spoke to him. He could hear: ”let the Lord take you. Let yourself go. Have confidence, entrust yourself to the Lord.” And with these words, he let himself go in peace. So many people are in need, so many sick need words to be said to them, to be given caresses, to be given the strength to go on in their sickness and to go to meet the Lord. They are in need, there, to be helped to entrust themselves to the Lord. I am so grateful to you and to all those who serve the sick with competence, love and lively faith. Let us ask for the grace to recognize Christ’s presence in sick people and in those who suffer; as Padre Pio repeated, “the sick person is Jesus.” The sick person is Jesus. He is the flesh of Christ.
I also want to address particular good wishes to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo. Saint John Paul II said; “whoever went to San Giovanni Rotondo to participate in the Mass, to ask for advice or to go to Confession to Padre Pio, saw in him a living image of the suffering and Risen Christ. Shining on Padre Pio’s face was the light of the resurrection (“Homily for the Beatification of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, May 2, 1999: Insegnamenti XXII,1 , 862). May whoever comes to your beautiful land – I would like to go! – be able to find in you also a reflection of the light of Heaven! I thank you and I ask you, please, do not to forget to pray for me. Thank you.
All together we pray, we knock on the door of God’s heart who is Father of mercy: Our Father …
And we are not an orphan Church: we have a Mother. Let us pray to our Mother, let us pray to our Mother. Hail Mary …
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
Visit the Mystics of the Church website
CONFESSION brings HEALING
“…’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.'”
(Jesus, in Mark 2:10)
“…confession…allows us to be healed by Christ and to progress in the life of the Spirit.”
(Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 306)
“When I go to confession, it is in order to be healed, to heal my soul, to heal my heart and to be healed of some wrongdoing. The biblical icon which best expresses them in their deep bond is the episode of the forgiving and healing of the paralytic, where the Lord Jesus is revealed at the same time as the physician of souls and of bodies.”
(Pope Francis, General Audience 19-February-2014)
Steps in making a good Confession:
- Examination of conscience
- Contrition/sorrow for sins
- Firm purpose of amendment/conversion
- Confession of sins to the priest
- Do penance
- Express gratitude to our Lord (Luke 17:12-19)
Click HERE to see the availability on Amazon of “Padre Pio: Encounters with a Spiritual Daughter From Pietrelcina,” the book written by Fr Pio’s mother and translated by Fr Pio: