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Padre Pio ....true contrition necessary for absolution

Discussion in 'Spirit Daily and Spirit Digest' started by Beth B, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    a wee one, little me and SgCatholic like this.
  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Funny I was jsut thinking about this story at mass this morning. :)

    There is another story quite like this. One time a lady came to Padre Pio in confession and told him she had had an abortion several years previously. For a penance Padre Pio asked her when she got home to look down the well at the bottom of her garden when she got home. Mystified the woman did so and on doing so saw the face of her unborn child staring back up at her.

    Padre Pio ws a saint amongst saints , but one of the very great things he teaches us is the danger of a false mercy. Of believing that grace while free is bought cheaply. A kind of bargain basement way of looking at God;'s goodness. Of being guilty of the sin of presumption.


    'It may be defined as the condition of a soul that, because of a badly regulated reliance on God’s mercy and power, hopes for salvation without doing anything to deserve it, or for pardon of his sins without repenting of them.'

    This is really why Padre Pio got angry and roared at people, he was trying to beat some sense into them. Mostly over pride and presumption which are brother and sister.

  3. Recently I realised that I was more concerned with being totally honest in my confessions than with contrition but I saw that this compunction of heart cannot be made to order. It usually takes me by surprise like during the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows when sometimes I break down with Mary as She leaves the body of Her Son in the tomb. This is a gift that confirms my heart is in the right place and that my prayers are real and true.
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  4. padraig

    padraig New Member

    “When you intend to commit sin, who, I ask, promises you mercy from God? Certainly God does not promise it. It is the devil that promises it, that you may lose God and be damned. “Beware”, says St. John Chrysostom, “never to attend to that dog who promises the mercy of God.” If, beloved sinners, you have hitherto offended God, hope and tremble: if you desire to give up sin, and if you detest it, hope; because God promises pardon to all who repent of the evil they have done. But if you intend to continue in your sinful course, tremble lest God should wait no longer for you, but cast you into hell. Why does God wait for sinners? Is it that they may continue to insult Him? No; He waits for them that they may renounce sin, and that He may thus have pity on them, and forgive them. “Therefore the Lord waiteth, that He may have mercy on you” -Isaiah 30:18. But when He sees that the time which he gave them to weep over their past iniquities is spent in multiplying their sins, He begins to inflict chastisement, and He cuts them off in the state of sin, that, by dying, they may cease to offend Him. Then He calls against them the very time He had given them for repentance. “He hath called against me the time” -Lamentations 1:15. “The very time”, says St. Gregory, “comes to judge.”

    'And His mercy is from age to ago, ON THOSE WHO FEAR HIM'

    The Virgin Mary: The Annunciation.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
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  5. Denise P

    Denise P Principalities

    Last summer as I went through the door of mercy at the Duomo in Milan I was hoping to go to confession also before going to mass. Sometimes there will be a confessor there that speaks English but most times not. As I was surmising the situation in the confessional area a young woman in her 30's approached me and asked me in English-- but with an Italian accent if I wished to go to confession. I told her yes but 2 priests had already turned me down as they did not speak English. She told me that the priest with the longest line could read souls-- and that even though he did not speak English she would introduce me to him and that he would hear my confession. I didn't know quite what to make of what she was offering me but she was so confident I hung with her in line to see if this could be so. As I waited I thought about how many times I wished someone like Padre Pio could hear my confession-- just to be reassured that I was having a good confession and that I would be chastised if I wasn't. The line went quickly and just as she promised-- she entered the confessional with me and explained to the priest that I did not speak Italian but had just walked through the door of mercy and wanted to go to confession. He nodded and shooed her away and gestured for me to begin my confession. He was seated across from me and we were face to face-- not like most confessionals I have been in. As I began my confession he put his hands on top of mine and gazed very intently at me-- like I was the most important person to him. When I finished he gave me absolution and told me in Italian to go in peace. The young woman was waiting for me and said that she would come to mass with me which was just starting. She told me that her mother had cancer and asked me to pray for her. Also, she carried in her hand a book of prayers to fight the diabolical.
    Many times when I go to mass in Italy I wish I could understand the readings and the sermon. Well this young woman must have sensed this as she told me it was the feast of St. John Vianny and interpreted the sermon for me as best she could. When I look back on the experience sometimes I think she was an angel.
    Oh, and the Duomo in Milan houses the remains of St. Charles Borromaeo who I have a special devotion to so I took it all as one gigantic signal grace.
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  6. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Great story Denise
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
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  7. Praetorian

    Praetorian Powers

    Her name is Denise, not Dennis ;)
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  8. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I feel like flying out to Milan tonight :) What a great pity such priests are so very rare.
  9. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

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  10. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Thank you for correcting me.
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  11. Many years went to confession in The Brompton Oratory London, when the priest quickly voiced his disbelief that I really intended to change and began, I think, to express his reluctance to give me absolution. He was very loud and gruff and probably deaf and there was a queue of people at the box. I gave him a mouthful that the queue could hear telling him that he should be ashamed of himself and that his attituded was not Christian never mind Catholic and saying I was going to find a real priest and stormed out before he had finished. I went elsewhere for my false mercy, made false not by the priest but by me and my pride and anger and dishonesty to name but a few factors. When I calmed down and reflected on what had happened I realised he was right and I was cheapening confession and receiving the sacrament unworthily just as much as going to communion in this state would have been unworthy of reception. If it had not been for the courage and conviction of this holy priest I may never have found the humility to pray for true willingness to change. I confessed my bad confession and returned to look for the priest to apologise. I cannot remember if I found him. Maybe he is now one of my helpers in heaven....although by previous opinion expressed about me here on MOG it seems he still has much work to do. I wonder if that priest was Padre Pio. This never happened before or since. Has anyone here had a similar experience?
  12. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Wow, I sure give you credit for a humbling review of your history....not an easy thing to admit....much to your credit and spiritual growth. A good lesson for all of us here! Thank you.
  13. padraig

    padraig New Member

    My Spiiritual Director told me one time you should see the priest in confession as an Another Christ. Which is I suppose basically true I suppos ebut not always. For instance in the life of St Tereasa of Avila the poor woman was driven nearly insane by priests in confession giving her the most terrible shocking bad advice. Nor do you have to look far in the lives of the saints to find them being given such horrible dreadful advice.

    I have had two or three times when I suspect I have been given bad advice, not a bad record when you consider I have been regularly for about 50 years.:)

    But I think the worst was last Christmas time in Rome. I won't go into it but the preist suggested not only that I was not soirry for my sins but that most of the confessions and Eucharists of my life were sacrilegous and evil. :rolleyes:o_O I resisted the ugre to run out of the confession box screaming and to kneel down and consider what he had said in the light of reality. THe reality being either he was right and and every priest who had previously administered confession, including my Spiritual Director were direly wrong or this one priest I had never met before was right. I calmed down and understood tha tthe priest was wrong. But it did give me a scare.

    Generally speaking, though I prefer a strict priest, it at least shows they are taking an interest,.

    But yes priests in confession can be wrong. But we should go nto the sacrament with the Faith that Christ is speaking. But every now and again I think it is possible we may be facing a complete dud.

    The best recipe is to keep using the same priest, holy and wise all the time so he gets to know you.
  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    St Tereasa of the Andes told her confessor that God had told her that she would be dead in a month. The priest laughed and told her it was impossible for anyone to know when they would die.

    She was dead within a mont, suddenly of Typhus and septicemia.

    It is well known for saintly people to occasionally forecast their own death so her confessor was both ignorant and wrong.

    Beth B likes this.
  15. Thanks for your comment and good advice Padraig. "The best recipe is to keep using the same priest, holy and wise all the time so he gets to know you".

    I see that I omitted two words in my first sentence above. It of course should have read "Many years ago I went to confession etc...." I had typed it up quickly on my phone over sushi for lunch.

    Yes, like ourselves, priests can fail to come up to standard. I too was told that in confession the priest is "in persona Christi." I have always believed that. More and more these days I find myself quoting the scripture "I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me." When Christ forgave the sins of the man who had been lowered through the roof the pharisees recognized that Christ was proclaiming his Divinity because they knew "God alone can forgive sins." If Christ does not live in a priest, however, Christ can still act through such a priest through the faculty conferred on him. It has been suggested to me that it's like He goes through him to the other without touching the sides.

    The experience I shared above was from many years ago. I have changed. I have been changed. Generally, I have no trouble in owning and sharing my history especially when it may help others. I have hardly ever walked out of confession thinking "Well that priest got it wrong." But it has happened. On those occasions it made no difference. Although somewhat disturbed I was not angry at the priest. I still enjoyed that peace of forgiveness and absolution and freedom that always comes with a good confession and the fresh hope that comes with a cleansed soul and the chance once again for a new beginning. It is great to have that certainty of forgiveness. What a grace.

    I try not to take on-board the poorly informed opinions of others about myself and I will refute them when they undermine my attempts to defend the truth. While I thank you for your kindness Beth, my comment was not intended to be a humbling review of my history. For me it was neither humbling nor humiliating to tell this story. It was just an account of a very small part of my faith journey that I thought may have been of help to others. As Catholics we have journeyed through a special time of Mercy and are now entering a special time of Accountability in which we will have to deal with much Tribulation. Good confession will figure largely in our ability to survive well rather than just survive. It will be our best preparation. That is why I shared my experience: just as an example of how the truth can set us free and help us move on. It still shocks me to discover how little confession is used in the life of the church today even in those who most people regard as good Catholics. There seems to be a general aversion to its very existence.

    I prefer a priest who speaks simply and clearly to one who speaks strictly. I prefer to be humbled rather than humiliated but I have found there is an unavoidable element of humiliation in being humbled. Small cross compared with that of Christ. Small price for salvation. Without the clarity and simplicity of that priest I could not have progressed. He read my mind and my heart in truth. He spoke his mind and his heart in truth. For me it was indeed a salutary lesson in tough love and one that I am happy to pass on. For me it was a major milestone in spiritual growth. The bones of my firm purpose of amendment grew flesh and it came to life.

    So thank you for your affirmation Beth and for your encouragement. May the God of surprises always prepare us for the unexpected.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2016
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  16. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Thank you Padraig....this will help someone having a questionable confessor.
  17. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Amen Joe! I love when others share these experiences....it really does help so many of us.
  18. a wee one

    a wee one Angels

    This good news is pertinent to many threads, surely true contrition and true mercy are inextricable.

    Now is a time of mercy: Pope issues new Apostolic Letter

    Pope Francis closes the Holy Doors of St Peter's Basilica at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Although the Holy Year has ended, Pope Francis, in a new Apostolic Letter, says we are still living a time of mercy. - ANSA

    21/11/2016 12:00
    (Vatican Radio) Although the Extraordinary Jubilee Year has concluded, we are still living in a “time of mercy.” That was the message of Pope Francis in a lengthy Apostolic Letter, entitled Misericordia et misera, (“Mercy and Misery”), issued on Monday following the close of the Year of Mercy.

    Listen to Christopher Wells' report:


    The title refers to the encounter between Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, from the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John. In his commentary on the Gospel, St Augustine said of that encounter, “The two of them” – Jesus and the woman – “remained alone: mercy with misery.” The teaching of this Gospel, the Pope said, “serves not only to throw light on the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, but also to point out the path that we are called to follow in the future.”

    In light of the “great graces of mercy” we have received during the Jubilee, our first response is to give thanks to the Lord for His gifts. But in going forward, we must also continue to celebrate mercy, especially in the liturgical celebrations of the Church, including in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the other Sacraments, especially in Reconciliation and in Anointing of the Sick, the two “sacraments of healing.”

    Pope Francis proposed a number of ideas to continue the celebration of mercy, including an annual day dedicated to making the Scriptures better known and more widely diffused. He also called on the faithful to restore the Sacrament of Reconciliation to a “central place in Christian life.”

    The Holy Father also extended a number of initiatives already begun in the Holy Year, asking the Missionaries of Mercy to continue their ministry, and extending indefinitely the faculties of priests of the Society of St Pius X to hear confessions and grant absolution. Pope Francis also extended the faculties of all priests to absolve the sin of procured abortion. “I want to insist as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin,” the Pope said, “because it puts an end to an innocent life.” But, he continued, “I can and I must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”

    Though the Jubilee is closed, Pope Francis said, “the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open.” He called on the faithful to continue to practice new works of mercy, and to find new ways to give expression to the traditional works. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy, he said, “continue in our own day to be proof of mercy’s immense positive influence as a social value.” In this vein, the Pope said the Church must continue to be vigilant and offer solidarity in the face of attacks on human dignity.

    “This is the time of mercy,” the Pope concluded. “It is the time of mercy because no sinner can ever tire of asking forgiveness, and all can feel the welcoming embrace of the Father.

    As a final initiative for the future, Pope Francis asked the whole Church to celebrate, on the second to last Sunday of the liturgical year, the World Day of the Poor. This Day, he said, “will also represent a genuine form of new evangelization (cf. Mt 11:5) which can renew the face of the Church as she perseveres in her perennial activity of pastoral conversion and witness to mercy.”

    Read the full text of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera.
    Joe Crozier 2 likes this.
  19. Thanks for that Wee One. I had just seen a report on breakfast TV news this morning here in New Zealand about this extension of mercy and teaching about the power of true repentance and forgiveness in confession and contrition. God bless you.
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  20. DivineMercy

    DivineMercy Archangels

    In my experience, I have noticed that usually the confessions that I feel have been the most helpful are the ones with priests born outside my country of the USA. My area is poverty stricken when it comes to homegrown priests, and many come from countries outside the US. Philippines, Nigeria, India, are a few of the countries off the top of my head where priests have come from to my area, and they seem to hear my confession with more genuine concern and advise than many US born priests I have been to. Maybe it's the seminaries, maybe it's the culture, I'm not sure, but I usually notice a difference
    a wee one and Joe Crozier 2 like this.

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