Quaerite faciem eius semper

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Seek His Face Evermore

My plan was to write a little commentary on the splendid liturgical texts of this Ember Friday, but, as so often happens, the day was very full and I hadn't a minute to sit at my desk. Just a wee word then, at this late hour, about today's Introit, Laetetur cor.

Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord:
seek ye the Lord and be strengthened:
seek His Face evermore.
V. Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His Name:
declare His deeds among the Gentiles. (Ps 104: 3, 4, 1)

The Joy That Shines on the Face of Christ

One who, as Saint Benedict says, "seeks God truly," will know the joy that never grows old, the joy that never loses its savour, the joy that neither induces ennui nor dulls the spirit. One who seeks God truly -- even, no, especially, if that search begins by weeping over His feet and kissing them -- will be directed by the Holy Spirit to discover the joy that shines upon the Face of Christ. This is the joy of which He said on the before He suffered: "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled." (Jn 15:11).

From Virtue to Virtue

One who "seeks God truly" will grow stronger as the search intensifies. The search for God is not wearisome. It doesn't deplete the energies of the soul; it refreshes them and increases them. As the psalmist says, "they shall go from virtue to virtue" (Ps 83:8).

The last phrase of the Introit is unforgettable, especially when one sings it in its Second Mode chant melody, or hears it sung: quaerite faciem eius semper. This is the great imperative of the monastic journey.

The Monastic Vocation

Commenting on today's liturgy, Blessed Ildefonso Schuster writes:

Saint Benedict, in his Regula Monachorum, makes this searching after God the watchword of his foundation, the one condition by which is to be judged the vocation of aspirants to the religious life. He regards neither the birth nor the age, nor the acquirements of the novice; his is concerned only in discerning his spirit, as to whether he is, in reality, seeking after God, and if in so doing he is following the same road of humility and obedience as was marked out by Christ. There is no other true road but this one.

Postulants on the Horizon

In a fortnight I will be welcoming the first two postulants to the spiritual chantier (construction site) of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle. They will not find anything in the way of majestic buildings with long silent cloisters. They will not find a well-practiced choir of seasoned monks. They will find poverty, littleness, weakness and, undoubtedly, struggles. But if they "seek God truly," they will find joy. That, I can guarantee.

2 Comments

May God bless this new seed with growing and fruitfulness :)

Seeking the Holy Face of the Lord, they will find the most genuine joy of their lives.

I continue to pray for you and your work in Tulsa with all my heart. Today it is beginning in Tulsa but I pray even now for it to flourish around the world and wherever the Blessed Trinity and Our Lady desire it to grow and bless the Church.

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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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