Monday, September 23, 2013

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina

<from the homily at daily mass>

Today is the feast day of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina more commonly known as Padre Pio (the link takes you to more information of the good Padre). Padre Pio was born in 1887 in the small town of Pietrelcina in southern Italy, about 55 miles northeast of Naples, Italy.  He was a mystic of the highest order, and there were times he would become so enraptured during his offering of the mass, that it was not unknown for his masses to last for three hours. He was also gifted with, or burdened with depending on which day you asked him, with the stigmata, the wounds of Christ Jesus.

While a great many things could be about Padre Pio, there is one in particular I'd like to comment on. Padre Pio had the gift where he could read the hearts of the penitents who entered into the confessional, revealing to them sins they were either not confessing or even had simply forgotten about. Now think about that for a moment. If you were standing in line to go to confession, and you were told the confessor could read hearts, what is your gut reaction? Is it happiness or fear? Perhaps it is a mixture of both. Too often times though we hold back in confessional, not mentioning things we probably should. As Jesus says in our gospel today, for nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall be known and come to light [Luke 8.17]. God already knows our sins. Nothing is hid from him, nor can we hide ourselves from him. Yet while we live our life here on earth, we have the chance to accuse ourselves and thus plead for his mercy through confession, rather than having him reveal our sins on judgment day when it may be too late to ask for his mercy. Let us then make use of confession while we still have time.

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