Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Padre Pio and His Best Friend





I wanted to share a dream I had back when I was in novitiate. At that time, I had a shallow relationship with God and really did not know how to pray. Iwanted to have a deep and true friendship with Him, but all I knew about prayer was that it was dry and boring... and who really wants to pray when its boring?Anyway, I started to find out about different saints and how they lived. I came across Padre Pio and wanted to know more about him. I found out that he loved to play practical jokes, was funny, serious about the soul, suffered tremendously in his life (carried the stigmata...the wounds of Christ in his own body), was attacked alot by the demons, could read souls, and had a deep relationship with God.

I once came across a picture (seen above), where Padre Pio was looking into the Eucharist... not like he was looking at something, but rather, you just knew he was looking at his Best Friend. I wanted this in my own life... I really wanted to know Jesus and have a true and deep relationship with Him. So, anyway, I asked Padre Pio to show me how to pray. I asked him continually. I REALLY wanted this gift in my life.

A few weeks later I was in the chapel in adoration and had my eyes closed. Padre Pio came up to me in my prayer and took me out into a field. In the middle of the field was this huge mud pit. Padre Pio walked around to the opposite side and picked up a large rope that was coiled up on the ground and threw it at me. He started to pull on it like he wanted to play tug-a-war. I thought to myself... "Hey, wait a minute... I thought he was supposed to be teaching me how to pray!", but since I loved to play, I was up for the challenge.

I started to tug really hard on the rope and thought I could take him. Well, I didn't think that Padre Pio was really that big, but I guess he was a little heavier than me because I was starting to be dragged by the rope towards the mud pit. Before I knew it, I was deep in the mud! I was a little mad now and made my way to the opposite side where he was standing. I reached out my hand as if to say, you got me in here, now you get me out! Padre Pio graciously took my arm and was trying to pull me up when I grabbed him with my other arm and threw him in with me.

We started throwing mud balls at each other and were having a great time, when all of the sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a figure approaching dressed in bright white. I didn't dare look over because I knew in my heart Who it was... it was Our Lord. I felt so ashamed and couldn't even look at Him. I thought, "Boy, we are toast! I know souls in purgatory and in hell are crispy but we are about to get super crispy! We were supposed to be "praying", yet here we are goofing off. I was just waiting for the lightening to strike us both.

Well, I turned to look towards Padre Pio and I noticed him winking at me while having his hand behind his back. The next thing I knew, Padre Pio had a big mud ball in his hand and was throwing it in the air... only it was NOT coming towards me... it was moving in slow motion towards Our Lord. I thought, "OH CRAP!!! Now, we are really TOAST!"

The mud ball hit directly in Our Lord's chest and slowly dribbled down His white garment. But Our Lord slowly lifted up His head and smiled. He then jumped into the mud pit with us and started throwing mud balls at Padre Pio and at me. Of course, I started up too!

The next thing I knew, the dream ended... poofff... it was gone. Padre Pio was then standing in front of me and was pointing his finger very seriously at me. He said, "Scott, if you don't know how to pray like that, then you will NEVER know how to pray and you will NEVER have a real relationship with Our Lord!" Then, he was gone... completely vanished just like he came.

I was shaken to my inner core. It hit me like a ton of bricks. But then I came to realize that I would be willing to go into a mud pit with my best friend and I would be able to share everything with him.. but I never knew Our Lord like a best friend. I was ashamed to play with Him in that way, and I also was ashamed to share everything in my life with Him... especially the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences of my life. I never really let Our Lord in. If I was willing to play with Him in a mud pit, I wouldn't be afraid of sharing everything with Him.

So, from then on, I opened up... everything to Our Lord. I laid it all out. All the ways I was angry at Him for all the bad experiences of my life... everything and I held nothing back. It was then that my real prayer life and relationship with Our Lord really started. He is a True Friend who wants to be a part of my life...all of it.

Later on, I doubted the dream I had and thought God doesn't really want me to play with Him. How could I have that type of relationship with Him... If He really wants me to have that type of relationship with Him, He needs to prove it. The next time I opened up my Bible, I opened right up to Proverbs chapter 8... Happy reading!

What happens when you go to Confession....


Then He said to his disciples:
“There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father,
“Father, let me have the share of the inheritance that will come to me.”
So the father divided his property between them.
A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had
and left for a distant country
where he squandered his money on a life of corruption.
“When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine,
and now he began to feel the pinch;
so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants
who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.
And he would willingly have filled himself with the husks
the pigs were eating on
but no would let him have them.
Then he came to his senses and said,
“How many of my father’s hired men have all the food they want and more,
but here I am dying of hunger.
I will leave this place and go to my Father and say:
“Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
Treat me as one of your hired servants.”
So he left that place and went back to His Father.
While he was still a long way off, His Father caught site of him
and was moved with pity.
He ran to the boy, embraced him in his arms and kissed him.
Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you…
I no longer deserve to be called your son.”
But the Father said to his servants,
“Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it;
we will celebrate by having a feast.
Because this son of mine was lost and now is found,”
And they began to celebrate.
From the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke 15:11-23

Your Heavenly Father loves you no matter what you have
done in your past.... don't keep Him waiting!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why Christ Established the Eucharist ...


On the last night of His life, realizing that the long-desired hour of His death for the love of man had come, our Redeemer did not have the heart to leave us alone in this valley of tears. He did not want to be separated from us even in death, and so he decided to leave us Himself as food in the sacrament of the altar. He wanted us to understand by this that, having given us this infinite gift, there was nothing left he could give us to prove His love. – St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Passion of Jesus Christ, p. 25

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I SEE HIS BLOOD UPON THE ROSE (Joseph M. Plunkett)


I see His blood upon the rose

And in the stars the glory of His eyes,

His body gleams amid eternal snows,

His tears fall from the skies.



I see His face in every flower;

The thunder and the singing of the birds

Are but His voice

and carven by His power Rocks are His written words.



All pathways by His feet are worn,

His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,

His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,

His Cross is every tree.

LOVE by George Herbert


Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,

If I lacked anything.


"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here."

Love said, 'You shall be he.''

"I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,

I cannot look on Thee."

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

"Who made the eyes but I?''


"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame

Go where it doth deserve.''

"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?''

"My dear, then I will serve."

''You must sit down," says Love, "and taste My meat."

So I did sit and eat.

Friday, December 26, 2008

SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYER by Fr. Robert De Grandis


Sometimes healings and miracles are blocked due to occult barriers (witchcraft, Satanism, recourse to Ouija boards, curses, etc.). We are reminded in Ephesians 6 that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil. The Lord reminds us in Luke 10:19 that He has given us power over forces of evil. We must boldly exercise that power in the name of Jesus Christ that has dominion over every principality and force, both good and evil.
The following prayer will help to break controlling powers and open the door to God in one’s life and family. Insert your own name or another person’s name who is need of such prayer in the space provided.

I place …N…. under the Cross of Jesus Christ and cover …N… with the Blood of Christ. I surround …N… with the Light of Christ and I say in the name of Jesus that nothing shall block the Lord’s work and His miracles from acting within …N’s… life. In the name of Jesus Christ I bind all the spirits of the air, the atmosphere, the water, the fire, the wind, and the underground. I claim the Blood of Jesus in the air, the atmosphere, the water, the fire, the wind, and the underground.
In the name of Jesus Christ I break and dissolve every curse, hex, spell, bond, snare, trap and spiritual influence that has ever come against …N… .In the name of Jesus Christ I break and dissolve every disease of the body, the soul, the mind, and the spirit placed upon …N… or brought on by …N’s… own mistake or sins. Any territory, possession, or any part of …N’s… being that …N… has handed over to Satan, I now reclaim in the name of Jesus Christ.
I place the Cross of Jesus Christ between …N… and all generations in …N’s… family line, and separate …N… from any negative or evil influences from …N’s… family or relations.
I now ask that the waters of …N’s… baptism flow back through the family line to remove unholy influences and to bring the joy, peace and blessing of God the Father,X and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit into …N’s… life and family.
Heavenly Father, please forgive …N… for permitting any unhealthy or evil spiritual influences. Let this be a time of new beginnings, a new life in you, and a time of great miracles in …N’s… life. Thank you Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, in union with the Holy Spirit who lives and reigns with you for all eternity. AMEN.

To bind and dispel demons from a person or place (especially when traveling or entering into a home, business or building), use the following prayer interiorly:

In the Name of Jesus Christ, I bind all evil spirits and spiritual influences here present and cast them into the prison of the Most Holy Trinity. AMEN.

From a Sermon on Pastors by St. Augustine “Prepare your soul for temptation

You have already been told about the wicked things shepherds desire. Let us now consider what they neglect. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick, and to bind up what was injured, that is, what was broken. You did not call back the straying sheep, nor seek out the lost. What was strong you have destroyed. Yes, you have cut it down and killed it. The sheep is weak, that is to say, its heart is weak, and so, incautious and unprepared, it may give in to temptations.
The negligent shepherd fails to say to the believer: My son, come to the service of God, stand fast in fear and in righteousness, and prepare your soul for temptation. A shepherd who does say this strengthens the one who is weak and makes him strong. Such a believer will then not hope for the prosperity of this world. For if he has been taught to hope for worldly gain, he will be corrupted by prosperity. When adversity comes, he will be wounded or perhaps destroyed.
The builder who builds in such manner is not building the believer on a rock but upon sand. But the rock was Christ. Christians must imitate Christ’s sufferings, not set their hearts on pleasures. He who is weak will be strengthened when told: “Yes, expect the temptations of this world, but the Lord will deliver you from them all if your heart has not abandoned him. For it was to strengthen your heart that he came to suffer and die, came to be spit upon and crowned with thorns, came to be accused of shameful things, yes, came to be fastened to the wood of the Cross. All these things he did for you, and you did nothing. He did them not for himself, but for you.”
But what sort of shepherds are they who for fear of giving offense not only fail to prepare the sheep for the temptations that threaten, but even promise them worldly happiness? God himself made no such promise to this world. On the contrary, God foretold hardship upon hardship in this world until the end of time. And you want the Christian to be exempt from these troubles? Precisely because he is a Christian, he is destined to suffer more in this world.
For the Apostle says: All who desire to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. But you, shepherd, seek what is yours and not what is Christ’s, you disregard what the Apostle says: All who want to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. You say instead: “If you live a holy life in Christ, all good things will be yours in abundance. If you do not have children, you will embrace and nourish all men, and none of them shall die.” Is this the way you build up the believer? Take note of what you are doing and where you are placing him. You have built him on sand. The rains will come, the river will overflow and rush in, the winds will blow, and the elements will dash against that house of yours. It will fall, and its ruin will be great.
Lift him up from the sand and put him on the rock. Let him be in Christ, if you wish him to be a Christian. Let him turn his thoughts to sufferings, however unworthy they may be in comparison to Christ’s. Let him center his attention on Christ, who was without sin, and yet made restitution for what he had not done. Let him consider Scripture, which says to him: He chastises every son whom he acknowledges. Let him prepare to be chastised, or else not seek to be acknowledged as a son. (Taken from the Divine Office of Readings on Friday, the 24th Week in Ordinary Time)