Christ the King

Jesus’ Three Offices: Prophet, Priest, and King

Jesus is both divine and human at the same time. Therefore, in the one person of Jesus are two distinct natures. This is called the hypostatic union, but, this isn’t all we know about the person and work of Christ. Jesus also occupies three main offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. In other words, Jesus functions and/or has functioned in these offices. Let’s take a look.

Christ as Prophet

A prophet of God is someone who reveals God, speaks for God, and communicates to people the truths that God wants them to know. Undoubtedly, Jesus did this when he came to do the will of the Father (Luke 22:42), to reveal the Father (Matt. 11:27), and to speak the things of the Father (John 8:28; 12:49).

In the Old Testament Moses said in Deut. 18:15, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” This prophecy is quoted by Peter in Acts 3:22-23 in reference to Jesus, “Moses said, ‘The Lord God shall raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed in everything He says to you. 23 ‘And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’” The context of Acts 3:22 is clear that it is speaking of Jesus. In Acts 3:15 it speaks of Jesus being raised from the dead. In v. 16 Jesus is the one who strengthened a certain man. Christ is mentioned in v. 18 as needing to suffer. In v. 20 Jesus is called the Christ.  Verse 21 mentions how God spoke “by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient time.” Then we have v. 22 which quotes Deut. 18:15. The context is clearly about Christ.

Furthermore, Jesus refers to himself as a prophet.

  • Luke 13:33, “Just at that time some Pharisees came up, saying to Him, “Go away and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’ 33 “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.”

  • Matt. 13:57, “And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief..”

In Luke 13:33 Jesus refers to himself as a prophet because he knows he is about to die, but he cannot do it outside of Jerusalem. Also, in Matt. 13:57 Jesus speaks about a prophet having no honor in his home town, and that is why he did not do many miracles there. Clearly, Jesus is referring to himself as a prophet.

Christ as Priest

The priests were the ones in the Old Testament who offered sacrifices to God in order to cleanse of sin. Ultimately, all such priests were representations of Jesus who is the True Priest who offered himself as a sacrifice (Eph. 5:2; Heb. 9:26-27; 10:12) by which he cleanses us of our sin (1 John 1:7). But, Jesus is called a priest after the order of Melchizedek. “Where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb. 6:20).   Heb. 9:11 says, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation.” As a priest, Jesus is our mediator between God and ourselves (1 Tim. 2:5).

It could be said that both the Prophet and the priest stand between God and man. In the case of the prophet, he delivers the word of God from the top down. In the case of the priest, he delivers the sacrifices of people to God from bottom to top. So, Jesus is a prophet who delivers the word of God to us, and he is also the priest who delivers his sacrifice, on our behalf, to God the father.

Christ as King

A king is someone who has authority to rule and reign over a group of people. Jesus is just such a king. He is called the King of the Jews by the Magi (Matt. 2:2), and Jesus accepts that title in Matt. 27:11, “Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’” Matt. 21:5 speaks of Jesus and says, “Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey.” Remember, Jesus is King in that he rules and judges. “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” (Rev. 19:11). The armies follow him (Rev. 19:14).

The phrase, “Kingdom of God,” occurs 66 times in the NASB–most of them in the synoptic gospels. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14). Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” (Matt. 6:10). Is there a kingdom of God without a King? No. Jesus is that king: “‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’” (Matt. 27:11).

Does his three offices diminish Christ’s deity?

No, they do not. Jesus is still fully divine and human even now (Col. 2:9) and presently holds the three offices mentioned above. It is simply a manifestation of the work of the person of Christ who is Prophet, Priest, and King. By the way, God is called the King in Psalm 95:3, “For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” So, if it does not diminish God’s deity to be called a king, then it does not diminish or deny Christ’s deity by calling him a King–or, for that matter, a Prophet and a Priest.

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Taken from: http://carm.org/prophet-priest-king

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Doomsday pope warns man’s greed will destroy world

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Pope Francis says man’s greed will destroy world, urges world leaders to help the hungry
 
Posted Fri at 8:05amFri 21 Nov 2014, 8:05am
Pope Francis has warned that planet Earth will not forgive the abuse of its resources for profit, urging the world’s leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.
He said if action was not taken the world risked a doomsday scenario in which nature would exact revenge.
“God always forgives, but the earth does not,” the Argentine Pope told representatives from 190 countries gathered for the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome.
“Take care of the earth so it does not respond with destruction.”
Pope Francis has warned that planet Earth will not forgive the abuse of its resources for profit, urging the world’s leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.
He said if action was not taken the world risked a doomsday scenario in which nature would exact revenge.
“God always forgives, but the earth does not,” the Argentine Pope told representatives from 190 countries gathered for the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome.
“Take care of the earth so it does not respond with destruction.”
Pope Francis, a staunch defender of the poor, said the world “paid too little heed to those who are hungry”.
While the number of undernourished people dropped by over half in the past 20 years, some 805 million people were still affected in 2014.
“It is also painful to see the struggle against hunger and malnutrition hindered by market priorities, the primacy of profit, which reduce foodstuffs to a commodity like any other, subject to speculation and financial speculation in particular,” Pope Francis said.
“The hungry remain at the street corner… and ask for a healthy diet.
“We ask for dignity, not for charity.”
The Pope has in the past launched several scathing attacks on those who get rich through market speculation, particularly the practice of betting on the price of food commodities which can inflate prices and see poor families go hungry.
He urged the world’s population to have “mutual respect, instead of fighting between themselves, damaging and impoverishing the planet”.
Pope Francis praised the work of the UN food agency and the World Health Organisation for getting delegates at the conference to adopt a “Rome Declaration on Nutrition” and “Framework for Action”.
But he called on those drawing up “rules and technical measures” not to lose sight of the hungry man “fighting for survival”.
“Feed the hungry, save life on the planet,” Pope Francis said at the end of his speech which was met with a standing ovation.
The declaration focused on improving access to healthy food but also the growing problem of inactive over-eaters.
Two billion people suffer from deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamin A, iron and zinc – a condition known as “hidden hunger” by experts – while 42 million children and 500 million adults are overweight or obese.

Pope Francis: Heaven ‘a Party!’

“The Lord never says that the Kingdom of God is a show,” said Pope Francis Thursday. “It’s a party! But it is different. And a party is beautiful, of course. A big party. And Heaven will be a party.”

In his homily during Mass at the chapel in his Saint Martha residence, Francis contrasted the idea of show or spectacle—where people go to see and be seen—with the idea of a feast or party, where people rejoice together.

As an example of a spectacle, Francis proposed a wedding, where “people often come for a fashion show, to be seen, out vanity, rather than to receive a sacrament.”

Heaven, and the kingdom of God, are different. It is not this sort of show; it’s a true feast, and it begins now, the Pope suggested.

“The Kingdom of God is not far from us,” the Pope stated. “It’s close! This is one of its features: It’s close to us every day.”

“The Kingdom of God is humble, like a seed” Francis said. “It is humble but becomes great, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Our job, the Pope said, “is to let it grow in us, without boasting. Let the Spirit come, change our souls and brings us forward in silence, in peace, in quiet, in closeness to God,” he said.

“When you think of the perseverance of so many Christians,” Francis went on, “who are taking care of their families—men and women—caring for their children, for their grandparents and they reach the end of the month with only half a euro, but they pray… there is the Kingdom of God, hidden in the holiness of everyday life.”

Francis concluded by asking “the Lord for the grace to take care of the kingdom of God that is within us, with prayer, worship and the service of charity.”

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Pope Francis writes to Tony Abbott, calls for G20 not to forget poor

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November 12, 2014 – 2:51PM

Judith Ireland, Tom Allard

Pope Francis has written to Tony Abbott, calling for the G20 to not forget the world's poor.

Pope Francis has written to Tony Abbott, calling for the G20 to not forget the world’s poor. Photo: Getty Images

Pope Francis has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott ahead of the G20, calling for the leaders’ summit to focus on poor families and inequality as well as economic figures.

In a letter dated November 6, the Pope has asked Mr Abbott and his fellow heads of government “not to forget that many lives are at stake” behind the political and technical discussions of the G20 weekend.

“It would indeed be regrettable if such discussions were to remain purely on the level of declarations of principle,” Pope Francis wrote.

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“There are far too many women and men suffering severe malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, an extremely high percentage of young people without work and an increate in social exclusion, which can lead to criminal activity, and even the recruitment of terrorists.”

The Pope also warned there were “constant assaults” on the environment as a result of “unbridled consumerism”.

In calling for consensus among world leaders, he said he hoped that assessment of the G20’s results “will not be restricted to global indicies, but will take into account as well real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality”.

The Pope also used his letter to call on all G20 member states to be “examples of generosity” in meeting the needs of victims of conflict, “especially [those] of refugees”.

The Prime Minister’s office has been contacted for comment.

“Inclusive growth”

The letter comes as the community arm of the G20 calls on world leaders to set a growth target that would boost incomes for the poorest 20 per cent of households around the world.

In a paper released on Wednesday, the C20 argued that G20’s two per cent growth target will not address the widening gap between rich and poor.

The current target is projected to boost world GDP by $US2 trillion over the next five years, but the C20 has questioned where the money will go, asking “will it go to those who need it most?”

Instead, the C20 is pushing for a target that would see the bottom 20 per cent of households in each G20 country increase their incomes by at least two per cent. By 2018, this would see around 950 million people with an average increased income of $US800.

C20 chair Tim Costello said the G20 had previously recognised the importance of inclusive growth at the 2013 St Petersburg Summit, but it had slipped off the agenda in 2014.

“Across the world, people are talking about the threat posed to economic stability by poverty and increasing inequality,” he said.

New analysis

A new analysis by Oxfam has also revealed that inequality has grown significantly among G20 nations in the past year, with the richest 1 per cent of people enjoying an extraordinary $US6.2 trillion boost to their wealth, or 36 per cent of the total generated

The study by Oxfam found 15 of 19 G20 members (not including the European Union, a G20 member) saw inequality widen, based on assessment of how much wealth has been accrued by the top 1 per cent of people in each country.

Those 15 nations, on average, saw its richest citizens share of wealth increase by 3 per cent, led by rises of 7 per cent and 3.9 per cent in Indonesia and Russia, respectively.

The only nations to experience a decrease were Canada, Japan and the US (all down 0.1 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (down 1.6 per cent).

Overall, the wealthiest 1 per cent living in each G20 country snared $US6.2 trillion of the $US17 trillion created between 2013 and 2014, some 36 per cent of the total increase.

Oxfam Australia chief executive Helen Szoke welcomed the aggregate increase in the number of people being lifted out of poverty around the world in recent decades, but said it was disturbing to find that, nonetheless, income disparity is rising.

“It is vital that the G20 doesn’t just look at growth but shows it is serious about tackling inequality,” she said.

Like Mr Costello, Dr Szoke said it was deeply worrying that the draft final G20 communique that has been circulated does not include a commitment to “inclusive growth”, a term that was inserted into the declaration by leaders after the St Petersburg Summit.

Instead, the favoured phrase appears to be “strong, sustainable and balanced” growth.

“This is beyond semantics,” said Dr Szoke. “The reason is was included [in St Petersburg] was to show the G20 would address rising inequality and that growth needed to include all people”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/pope-francis-writes-to-tony-abbott-calls-for-g20-not-to-forget-poor-20141112-11l00c.html#ixzz3ItkbosDV

Pope Francis warns ‘lukewarm Christians’: The Lord will ‘vomit you from [his] mouth’

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Francis cautions against Pagan Christians during a morning Mass, Friday at Vatican City.

Pope Francis warned there are too many people who live their lives as Christians in name only, and that such ‘false’ Christians are merely Pagans and “enemies of the Cross.”

During a morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta in Vatican City on Friday, the Pontiff went on to cite Revelations 3:16 against mediocre believers, declaring that, “because you are lukewarm (Christians) I vomit you from my mouth.”

According to Francis, there are only two types of Christians– those who advance the faith and those who behave as “enemies” of Christ. These “enemies,” are “Pagans with two strokes of Christian paint, in order to appear as Christians.”

He said true believers must be careful not to fall into the trap of Paganism. Believers must check in on their intentions, and make sure that they are not too focused on material concerns.  Asking oneself questions such as, “Do I like to brag? Do I like money? Do I like my pride, my arrogance? Where are my roots, and where is my citizenship? In heaven or on earth?” can be helpful, according to the Pope.

It is often difficult to distinguish Pagan Christians from true Christians, as both go to church together, praise the Lord and call themselves Christian, the Pontiff stated. The difference, he added, is Pagan Christians are too concerned with worldly desires and hopes and “act like enemies of the Cross of Christ! Christians’ enemies of the Cross of Christ.

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Pope Francis to venerate famed Shroud of Turin

ROME — Walking in the footsteps of both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Pope Francis will travel to the Italian city of Turin on June 21 to venerate its famous shroud, traditionally regarded as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

The shroud will be placed on display in the Turin cathedral from April 19 to June 24, marking one of the rare occasions when the revered but controversial cloth will be available for public viewing.

On the same trip, Francis also will pay tribute to Italian St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian religious order, on the bicentennial of his birth. “Don Bosco,” as he was known, dedicated his life to helping and educating street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth.

The Shroud of Turin is a piece of linen cloth that, according to Catholic tradition, was used to wrap the body of Christ after his death on the Cross. It contains a full-length photo-negative image of a man, front and back, bearing signs of wounds that correspond to the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion.

To date there’s no scientific consensus on how the image was created. Skeptics regard it as a later forgery, while devotees believe it was burned into the cloth at the time of Christ’s resurrection.

All three recent popes have been careful not to pronounce definitively on the authenticity of the shroud, generally referring to it as an “icon” that inspires genuine faith regardless of its historical origins.

“The pope comes as a pilgrim of faith and of love,” said Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin, papal custodian of the Shroud, during a Vatican news conference Wednesday to announce the pope’s trip next June.

“Like his predecessors did, Pope Francis confirms the devotion to the shroud that millions of pilgrims recognize as a sign of the mystery of the passion and death of the Lord,” Nosiglia said.

In 1978, a detailed examination carried out by a team of American scientists found no evidence of how the image was produced.

A radiocarbon dating test performed in 1988 over small samples of the icon by three laboratories, at the universities of Oxford and Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, concurred that the samples they tested dated from the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390.

Other scientists, however, believe those results could be off by centuries, pointing to the possibility of bacterial contamination of the cloth. They note, for instance, that burial shrouds for Egyptian pharaohs sometimes test to centuries later than their known age for precisely that reason.

Despite the controversies, Pope Benedict XVI visited the shroud during its last public exhibition in 2010, and St. John Paul II did so three times: in 1998, in 1980, and in 1978, months before the conclave that elected him pope.

During the first days of his pontificate, Francis referred to the disfigured face depicted in the Holy Shroud as “all those faces of men and women marred by a life which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence which afflict the weakest …”

The message was made public on March 30, 2013, hours before footage of the icon was shown on TV for the first time in four decades.

During the press conference, organizers of the exhibition announced that more than 1 million people from all over the world are expected in Turin to venerate the icon.

The visit to the display in the city’s cathedral will be free, but to regulate the massive flow of visitors, mandatory reservations should be made through the official website.

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Inés San Martín is the Vatican correspondent for Crux, stationed in Rome. More

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The Apparitions and the Souls in Purgatory

Padre Pio started to have apparitions when he was a child. The little Francesco didn’t speak of it because he believed that the apparitions normally happened to all people. The apparitions were of Angels, of Saints, of Jesus, and of Our Lady, but sometimes, also of devils. In the last days of December, 1902, while he was meditating on his vocation, Francesco had a vision. Here is the description that he gave several years later to his confessor. “Francis saw on his side a stately man of rare beauty, shining as the sun, that picked him up by the hand and encouraged him with the precise invitation: ‘It is convenient for you to come with me and fight like a good warrior.’ He was conducted to a spacious country, among a crowd of men divided into two groups: on one side were men with very beautiful faces and dressed in white dresses, candid as the snow. On the other side there were men with horrid faces and dressed in black dresses; they looked like dark shades. Francesco was situated in the middle of these two groups of spectators and he saw that a tall man, so tall that he could touch the clouds with his forehead and with an ugly face, came toward him. The character that shined exhorted Francesco to fight against this monstrous character. Francesco prayed in order to avoid the fury of the strange character but the bright character didn’t disappear: ‘Your resistance is useless. It is worthwhile to fight against this bad character. Please, be faithful and enter confidently in the struggle. I will be nearby you; I will help you and I won’t allow him to defeat you.’ Francesco agreed and the fight was terrible. With the help of the bright character that always was nearby him, Francesco won the fight. The monstrous character was forced to run away and he dragged with him the big crowd of men with horrid faces, among howls, curses and cries. The other crowd of men with beautiful faces roared with applause and praises for him who had assisted the poor Francesco in that great battle. The splendid and bright character, more bright than the sun, put down on the head of victorious Francesco a wonderful crown that is not possible to describe. But then the crown was removed from Francesco’s head and the good character said: ‘Another crown, more beautiful than this one, I have preserved for you if you will fight with that character with which you have now fought. He will always return to the assault; you will fight without having any doubt of my help. Do not worry about his strength; I will be nearby you, I always will help you, and you will succeed in winning.’” Such visions were followed by real clashes with the Devil. Padre Pio had several clashes against the “enemy hostile to souls” during his life. In fact, one of Padre Pio’s first goals was to tear souls from the clutches of the Devil.
One evening Padre Pio was in a room, on the ground floor of the convent, turned guesthouse. He was alone and had just laid down on the cot when, suddenly, a man appeared to him wound in a black mantle. Padre Pio was amazed and arose to ask the man who he was and what he wanted. The stranger answered that he was a soul in Purgatory. “I am Pietro Di Mauro” he said “I died in a fire, on September 18, 1908, in this convent. In fact this convent, after the expropriation of the ecclesiastical goods, had been turned into a hospice for elderly. I died in the flames, while I was sleeping on my straw mattress, right in this room. I have come from Purgatory: God has granted me to come here and ask you to say Mass for me tomorrow morning. Thanks to one Mass I will be able to enter into Paradise”. Father Pio told the man that he would say Mass for him…, “but…“padre Pio said: “I, wanted to accompany him to the door of the convent.  I surely realised I had talked to a dead person, in fact when we went out in the church square, the man that was at my side, suddenly disappeared”. I have to admit that I re-entered in the convent rather frightened. Padre Paolino of Casacalenda, Superior of the convent, noticed my nervousness, after explaining to him what happened, I asked “permission to celebrate Holy Mass for the deceased soul,”  A few days later, Father Paolino, wanting to verify the information, went to the office of the registry of the commune of St. Giovanni Rotondo.  He required and got the permission to consult the register of the deceased in the year 1908. The story of Father Pio Father was true. In the register of deaths of the month of September, Father Paolino found the name, last name and cause of death: “On September 18, 1908 in the fire of the hospice, Pietro Di Mauro died.”
Mrs Cleonice Morcaldi of St. Giovanni Rotondo was one of the Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters. Her mother had died.  One month after the death of her mother, Father Pio told Mrs Cleonice at the end of the confession: “This morning your mother has gone to Heaven, I have seen her while I was celebrating Holy Mass.”
Padre Pio told this story to padre Anastasio. “One evening, while I was alone in choir to pray, I heard the rustle of a suit and I saw a young monk that stirred next to the High altar. It seemed that the young monk was dusting the candelabra and straightening the flower vases. I thought he was Padre Leone rearranging the altar, and, since it was supper time, I went to him and I told him: “Padre Leone, go to dine, this is not the time to dust and to straighten the altar”. But a voice, that was not Father Leone’s answered me”: “I am not Padre Leone”, “and who are you? “, I asked him. “I am a brother of yours that made the noviciate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the noviciate. Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar, thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me.” I believed to be generous to that suffering soul, so I exclaimed: “you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass”. That soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared. That complaint produced in me a wound to the heart that I have felt and I will feel my whole life. In fact I would have been able to immediately send that soul to Heaven but I condemned him to remain another night in the flames of Purgatory.”

Friar Pio wrote some experiences in his letters to his spiritual father:

Letter to Friar Augustine, on April 7, 1913, “My dear Father, I was still in bed on Friday morning, when Jesus appeared to me. He was battered and disfigured. He showed me a great crowd of priests, among whom were different ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating or where donning or removing their vestments. To see Jesus in this condition caused me much pain. I wanted to ask him why he suffered so much. He did not answer me, but showed me that priest being punished. But shortly after, he looked sadly at these priests and I noticed, to my great my horror, two tears running down his face. Jesus went away from that crowd of priests and with a great expression of disgust on his face, cried’: “Butchers!” Then He told me: “My Child, do not believe that my agony has been only three hours, no; actually I will be in agony till the end of the world because of the souls I love. During the time of the agony, my child, nobody can sleep. My soul goes looking for some drop of human pity, but they leave me alone under the weight of their indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers increase the agony for me. They badly respond to my love! The greater torment for me is that these people add their contempt to their indifference and disbelief. How many times my wrath was to strike them like lightning, but I was stopped by the angels and the souls who love me….. Write to your confessor and describe to him what you saw and heard from me this morning. Tell him to show your letter to the Provincial… “Jesus continued to talk but I may never reveal what he said…”

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni – Edizioni “Padre Pio da Pietrelcina” Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo – FG

Letter to Father Agostino of (February 13, 1913): “Don’t worry, I will make you suffer, but I will also give you the strength” – Jesus reveals to me. – “I desire that your soul be purified and tried with daily hidden martyrdom; don’t be frightened if I allow the Devil to torment you, and the world to disgust you, because nobody will win against those who suffer under the cross for my love, for I have decided to protect them. “

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni – Edizioni “Padre Pio da Pietrelcina” Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo – FG

Letter to father Agostino, (November 18, 1912), “… Jesus, his dear Mother, the Guardian Angel with the others to encourage me, that they not forget to tell me that the victim, to be called victim, has to lose all his blood”.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni – Edizioni “Padre Pio da Pietrelcina” Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo – FG

Letter to father Agostino, of (March 12, 1913), “… my father, listen to our sweet Jesus’ complaints: “My love for men is repaid with so much ingratitude! Those people would have offended me less if I had loved them less. My father doesn’t want to tolerate them anymore. I would like to stop loving them, but… (And here Jesus kept silent and, afterward taken aback) but my heart is made for loving! The tired men don’t try to overcome the temptations. Rather these men enjoy their iniquities. The souls I love more than the other’s when they suffer a temptation, when they don’t succeed in withstanding. The weak souls are dismayed and desperate. The strong souls trust Jesus. They leave me alone at night and in the morning in Church. They don’t take care of the sacrament of the altar; they don’t speak of this sacrament of love anymore; also, the people who do speak of the sacrament do it with so much indifference and coldness. My Heart has been forgotten; nobody cares for my love; I am always saddened. My house has become a theatre of plays for a lot of people; even my priests that I have always protected carefully, that I have loved as the apple of my eye; they should comfort my sorrowful heart; they should help me in the redemption of the souls, instead…. Who would believe it? I receive ingratitude from them. I see, my Son, a lot of them that… (Here he stopped, sobs tightened his throat, he wept) that under false semblance they betray me with sacrilegious communions, stamping on the light and the strength that I continually give them… “.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni – Edizioni “Padre Pio da Pietrelcina” Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo – FG

Padre Alessio Parente said: “At the end of his life when Padre Pio was an old monk, Padre Alessio and Padre Onorato used to help him to go to bed. They washed his face and they helped him to go to bed. Once Padre Alessio said: “I have never been in Lourdes. We can go together and see Our Lady. But Padre Pio said: “I do not need to go to Lourdes to see Our Lady I meet with her all the nights”. A few minutes after Padre Alessio said. “Ah! This is the reason for which you wash your face in the evening and not in the morning”. Padre Pio did not answer but he smiled” (Ep. 1, p. 330-331).
Padre Alessio Parente said: “One day Padre Pio was praying with the Rosary when suddenlly he stop himself and start looking at the pavement. Then he jumped on the chair where he was sitting and raised his hands, In that moment his faces was covered with small drops of sweat. Padre Alessio took several handkerchiefs in order to dry him.

After few minute he had recovered and said: “Let’s go to the Church for the Mass”. After the Holy Mass we went to the garden of the convent and I asked Padre Pio: “Father, I saw you were suffering before the Holy Mass. What happen?

Padre Pio said. “If you had seen what I have seen you would have died”.

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Taken from: http://www.padrepio.catholicwebservices.com/ENGLISH/App.htm

Casting Out Demons: Pope Francis Declares Support for Exorcisms

Pope Francis recently expressed his approval of a group of exorcists meeting at the Vatican this week. While exorcisms, in which demonic spirits are driven out of a supposedly possessed person, may seem a dark practice relevant only on TV screens, they have long been recognized by the Catholic Church and several religions.

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The IAE was founded in 1990 byFather Gabriele Amorth, exorcist for the diocese of Rome, and was formally recognized by the Vatican this past June. [Spooky! The Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena]

Priests who pursue the ministry of exorcism “manifest the Church’s love and acceptance of those who suffer because of the devil’s works,” Pope Francis wrote in a message to the association’s president, Father Francesco Bamonte, Breitbart reported this week. The Holy See’s approval of the International Association of Exorcists was “cause for joy not only for the association, but for the whole Church,” Bamonte said.

The belief that demons exist and can possess people features in many religions, including Christianity. Exorcisms date back to the time of Jesus, who according to the Bible, “cast out demons.”

Exorcism is “a highly unusual ministry for a situation in the human condition, which is quite rare, but it’s growing in frequency,” said Father Dwight Longenecker, a parish priest at Our Lady the Rosary in Greenville, South Carolina, who is not an exorcist, but supports the practice.

“Exorcism is a little bit like brain surgery in the spiritual realm,” Longenecker told Live Science. Real exorcisms aren’t quite as dramatic as Hollywood films such as “The Exorcist” would have you believe, but such movies do portray a version of events that actually happen, he said.

Signs that a person may be possessed, though never proven by science, include a great aversion to anything to do with the church, such as holy water or crucifixes; preternatural strength or knowledge; alien voices; and levitation or other paranormal phenomena, Longenecker said. Nevertheless, “we always look for natural explanations first,” such as mental illness or addiction problems, he said.

Modern exorcists are normally experienced in both psychology and spiritual matters, and the job requires specialized training, said Longenecker, who writes a blog about the Catholic faith, called “Standing on My Head.”

Exorcisms have been known to be harmful in some cases, perhaps due to the involvement of untrained exorcists, as news reports have attested. In 2011, a Virginia man was convicted in the death of his 2-year-old daughter for beating her to death in an attempt to rid her of demons, according to news reports.

The practice of eradicating demons is not unique to the Catholic Church, but it does have a long history with Christianity.

“It’s really at the heart of the Church’s mission, and it goes back to Jesus himself,” said Dan Lord, a writer and director of religious education at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina.

Lord told Live Science he is glad to see the International Association of Exorcists making progress, but this isn’t the first time the Church has recognized the group’s efforts.

“They had the support of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, too, so the approval of the [IAE’s] statutes is just the latest step in what has been a fairly steady process,” Lord said.

Still, Lord said today’s exorcists often feel “undervalued,” or suppressed by Catholic priests and bishops who “have jumped on the same materialistic, rationalistic bandwagon as so many others in society,” he said.

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook &amp; Google+. Original article on Live Science.

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