Father, forgive them!

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for usThose who have assisted at the Mass of Saint Pio recall his fervent tears, and his earnest request that those present follow Holy Mass on their knees; they recall the impressive silence in which the Sacred Rite unfolded; they remember the distressing suffering which showed itself spontaneously on Saint Pio’s face when he pronounced with great effort the words of Consecration; they can think back on the awesome, impressive  silence of the faithful who filled the church while Saint Pio silently prayed several Rosaries for over an hour.

Saint Pio’s sentiment of sorrow during Holy Mass likens him to the other saints. His tears were like those of St. Francis of Assisi (who sometimes shed tears of blood), and those of St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Ignatius, St. Philip Neri, St. Lawrence of Brindisi (whose tears at times soaked seven handkerchiefs), St. Veronica Giuliani, St. Joseph of Cupertino, St. Alphonsus, St. Gemma Galgani….  But, after all, how is it possible to remain indifferent before the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus?  We shall certainly not be like the Apostles who slept at Gethsemane (Mt. 26:40-45), and much less like the soldiers who, at the foot of the Cross, played dice (Mt. 27:35-36), heedless of the atrocious death-agony of Jesus!  (And yet, this is the distressing impression that we get today when seeing some so-called “rock” Masses, celebrated to the rhythm of guitars playing profane and cheap tunes, with women in indecent attire and youths wearing the strangest fashions….  “Lord, forgive them!”)

St. John Bosco was also saddened at the sight of many Christians who, when in church, were “voluntarily distracted, showing neither modesty, attention, nor respect, standing [at times for kneeling] and gazing here and there….  They do not assist at the Divine Sacrifice like Mary and St. John, but are like the Jews—putting Jesus again on the Cross!”

Let us look to Our Lady and the saints and imitate them.  Only by following them are we on that right road which “has pleased God” (1 Cor. 1:21).

From the Jesus Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI

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