Mission and diakonia of charity are the two essential aspects of the presence of a Christian in society. The miracles of Jesus are undoubtedly the sign of the advent of the Kingdom of God, as he himself affirms, but we cannot imagine that he was insensitive to the suffering of people. All the miracles he performed, as well as his choices to bring sinners closer to God, the caring words he addressed to the least and the poorest, always refer to this God who gives all of himself to man. In Jesus, the saving mission and love for man are identified: his charity is the origin of salvation, only his salvation makes us understand the greatness of his love. This kind of church lives its prophetic mission through the proclamation of the Word, the celebration of the sacraments, through prayer and charity. This kind of church makes listening to the suffering one of its essential choices.
Since their origin, the Prayer Groups have been an active part of this church, at least in two respects: first of all they support those who work in charity with their prayers; and secondly they gave in the past – and are still giving today - an important economic support to the charitable initiatives of the Church, in general, and of Casa Sollievo in this case. So as to live and actualize the spirit of our Groups today, it is necessary for us to adopt a new sensitivity, capable not only of listening, but also of that personal involvement that was a characteristic of Padre Pio.
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Can we recount the Rosary? Padre Pio describes Mary's Easter season in the speech prepared for the feast of the Assumption. This liturgical moment in which we joyfully contemplate the Resurrection of Jesus and our salvation, and - in the reflection of Padre Pio - a time in which Mary also unites sadness to joy because of the separation from her Son: "Those years in which she was separated from him were for her the slowest and most painful martyrdom, a martyrdom of love that consumed her slowly ». Obviously every prayer made to Mary binds us to Christ and helps us to meditate on his mysteries, the Rosary however can help us; to share this characteristic of the Virgin and is present in the life of the Church of all ages. On the one hand, faith already gives us a foretaste of the glory that we will live in heaven, just as Mary tasted it after the resurrection, moreover she used to live our same expectation, that sense of incompleteness. Meditating on the mysteries of Jesus's life with her, means sharing this presence and, at the same time, waiting for God. In this sense, the Rosary makes us feel like an ecclesial community that welcomes Christ in the Word and in the Sacraments, but together waits to contemplate him in eternity.
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The mission obviously begins at home. There is a point in common between the vocation to be Prayer Groups and that of bearing witness to the Gospel in the family: the emotional bond. In prayer we call God the Father, Jesus Brother, the Virgin, Mother, that is, we use precisely those terms that are part of the familiar language. Somehow a lived family life leads us to understand prayer better and vice versa.
It is clear that our mission should begin at home. There is a point in common between the vocation of being part of Prayer Groups and that of bearing witness to the Gospel in the family: the emotional bond. In prayer we call God the Father, Jesus Brother, the Virgin, Mother, that is, we use precisely those terms that are part of the familiar language. Somehow family life leads us to understand prayer better and vice versa.
To read the full article of April Catechesis, please click the pdf file below:
"The more difficulties you will encounter in this holy ministry, the more you must convince yourself that it is appreciated by the divine Majesty. It is indisputably certain that all holy initiatives displease our common enemy and therefore he in all his power endeavours that we desist doing the good. Therefore live quietly and always go forward, and let the Holy Spirit who is spread in your heart operate."
To read the full article of March 2021 Catechesis, please click the pdf file below:
How can we serve for the coming of the Kingdom of God?
One of the great difficulties of the modern man is accepting that the world belongs to God. Secularism does not always mean atheism, indeed there are many who accept the idea of a transcendent, invisible world; but it becomes difficult to come to terms with this reality, just when we speak of a God who wants to guide us to live better on this earth "Submission" to his will is also experienced by many believers almost as a burden. Respect for the moral principles that come from the Bible has become the object of free interpretation, so that the commandments and precepts of the Lord prevail - even among believers - the "in my opinion" or the concept of a democratic ethic: "everyone does it, so it's not wrong". Faith asks us to know how to look beyond, how to overcome the limited walls of our egos by looking at the world as a wonderful gift from God. “Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Sal. 1,8).
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Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
To what extent does the Rosary make us a community?
Father Franco Moscone, our General Director, in the Pastoral Plan 2019-2020 of the Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, invites each parish to be "a community like a womb, able to collaborate in educating the community”.
We can certainly repropose this invitation to our Prayer Groups, also because Padre Pio, although not having used this expression, had an image that was close to it. He wrote to Antonietta Vona: "After love for our Lord, I recommend to you love of the Church, His Bride and our tender mother. This dear sweet dove which, alone, can lay the eggs and let the little doves be born to the Spouse”. (Letters III, p. 846).
In catechesis and ecclesial reflections in recent years, a characteristic image of the first communities has been recovered: they were groups of people reunited by faith in Christ and by the baptism that had generated them. For this reason, the maternal aspect of the Church is often underlined when speaking of "womb community".
For complete prayer reflection for December catechesis, please download the file below:
Our Padre Pio Prayer Group Center in San Giovanni Rotondo has recently started to issue a monthly guided prayer reflection called Catechesis.
It starts with a Scripture, a letter of Padre Pio to one of his brothers or spiritual children, a reflection and it closes with a prayer to Saint Padre Pio.
This month Catechesis titled: In Solidarity with The People to Announce the Kingdom of God; here are the summary:
To download the complete November Catechesis:
Fr. Luciano Lotti, OFM Cap. General Secretary of of Padre Pio Prayer Group Center in San Giovanni Rotondo
In Solidarity with the people to announce the Kingdom of God