A recent Gallup poll concluded 37% of Catholics wanted to leave the Church because of the sexual abuse scandal. Bishop Robert Barron www.wordonfireshow.com/letter has written a new book coming out in July 2019 addressing, among other things, why leaving the church is an easy choice for laypeople, but not one that will bring you closer to God.

In his new book, Letter to a Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis (July 2019), Bishop Barron lists the sacraments, the saints, the Eucharist, and the Body of Christ as some of the many ways grace flows to us in times of need. Walking away from the Real Presence of Jesus is like refusing to drink water when you’re thirsty.

A Prayer to Jesus from Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Catholics have the privilege of receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus every day of their lives if they choose to. The Eucharistic celebration of Jesus’ Last Supper at the Mass brings us into union with God like nothing else that exists anywhere. Like everything in life, however, it can be easily taken for granted.

I found the following prayer by Fr. Pio in my files recently. Saint Padre Pio was an Italian priest who was known for his adoration of charity and love for the people around him. He bore the wounds of Christ, which is still something that cannot be explained. Francesco Forgione was born May 25th, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy. He was the son of peasant farmers Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio.

In August of 1918, he began experiencing a painful stigmata that would come and go for weeks. The wounds would soon become permanent, and remain on his body for the next 50 years. They disappeared miraculously a few days before his death in September 1968.

Countless experts and doctors looked at his wounds with no satisfactory explanation as to their bleeding day after day for 50 years. Read more about him and his ability to bi-locate here.

I hope this prayer and Padre Pio himself bring you into a deeper friendship with Jesus who comes to us in Holy Communion.

Photo by Walrus36

Prayer after communion by Padre Pio.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so taht I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon you.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, because I am weak and I need your strength, that I may not fall so often.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without meaning and hop;e.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, for You are m light, and without You I am in darkness.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, to show me Your will.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, so that I can hear Your voice and follow You.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, for I desire to love You more, and to be in Your company always.

Keep praying.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, if you wish me to be faithful to you.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish to be a place of consolation for you, a dwelling of Your love.

STAY WITH ME, Jesus for it is getting late; the days are coming to a close and life is passing. Death, judgment and eternity are drawing near. It is necessary to renew my strength so that I will not stop along the way, and for that I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. Oh, how I need you, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

STAY WITH ME, Jesus, because in the darkness of this life with all its dangers, I need you.

Help me, Jesus.

HELP ME to recognize You as Your disciples did at the Breaking of the Bread so that the Eucharist Communion becomes the light which disperses the darkness, the power which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to be one with You, and if not by Communion, at least by Your grace and Love.

STAY WITH ME, Jesus. I do not ask for divine consolations because I do not deserve them, but I only ask for the gift of Your presence. Oh yes! I ask this of you.

STAY WITH ME, Lord, for I seek You alone, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and I ask for no other reward to love You more and more, with a strong and active love.

GRANT THAT I may love You with all my heart while on earth so that I can continue to love You perfectly throughout all eternity, dear Jesus. AMEN.

Read about my favorite ways to pray here.