Veneremur Christi Vultum

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Vultus Christi reader Bailey Walker was kind enough to point out that Dominicans are keeping the feast of Saint Vincent Ferrer today. The Proper Invitatory from the Dominican Office is an invitation to adore the Face of Christ:

Venerémur Christí vultum, * Quem Vincéntius prædicávit Iúdicem esse ventúrum. Allelúia.

Let us worship the Face of Christ * Whom Vincent preached as the Judge to come. Alleluia.

The Fourth Responsory at Matins also speaks to my heart. It complements the description of Saint Vincent's ministry in the lessons drawn from the Bull of his canonization, and presents a practical rule of life for preachers and for all priests. Nearly every line of the liturgical text can be traced back to a passage in the Psalms, the Wisdom Books, or the Gospels. The Responsory is a perfect example of meditatio, that is, the repetition of the Word in other words.

At night, keeping vigil, he studies attentively,
applying himself to the sacred texts;
in the morning, like a beautiful star,
he shines with the marvelous light of doctrine; *
in the evening he banishes all kinds of illness by the healing remedy.
V. No period of time goes by in which he is not occupied in some good work.
In the evening he banishes all kinds of illness by the healing remedy.

For me, at least, this Responsory is a rather effective examination of conscience. Do I keep vigil? Is sacred study my delight? Do I apply myself to the sacred texts? Does the clear light of doctrine illumine my mornings and shine in my preaching? Do I offer myself to Our Lord at the close of day for the healing of all kinds of illnesses? Is there any period of time in which I am not occupied with some good work?

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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