Blessed Marmion Novena: Day Four

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Marmion by Br Claude of Mt Angel.jpg

The icon of Blessed Columba Marmion was written by the hand of Brother Claude, O.S.B., monk of Mount Angel Abbey.

Blessed Columba Marmion and the Word of God

Those who had the happy privilege of hearing Blessed Columba Marmion preach were struck by the abundance of the Word of God that, stored up in his heart, came to flower spontaneously in his discourse. Dom Columba Marmion was thoroughly steeped in the Sacred Scriptures. His familiarity with the Bible came, not so much through systematic study, as through the monastic life's daily round of choral liturgical prayer. Dom Marmion heard, and received, and held in his heart, all that the Sacred Liturgy put on his lips.

His Preaching

It was often remarked that Dom Marmion's preaching had about it a certain divine anointing, a penetrating quality that touched the heart of his hearers. When questioned about this, he would attribute it to the large place that he gave to the Word of God in his preaching and spiritual conferences. He was convinced that a copious and apt use of Scripture, informed by the Sacred Liturgy, invests a priest's preaching with a supernatural efficacy and with the power to move souls.

The Fourth Day of the Novena
Monday, 25 January 2010

O Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and the Son,
establish Thyself as a furnace of love in the centre of our hearts
and bear constantly upwards, like eager flames,
our thoughts, our affections, and our actions
even to the bosom of the Father.

A priest taken up with his ministry has not much time at his disposal for supplementary study, but could he not apply himself every day to spiritual reading, to the lectio divina, as St. Benedict calls it? He will be astonished when he realizes after some time how much this daily application, even in small doses, can do to fill his intelligence with great thoughts, to warm the heart, and to maintain the soul in precious contact with the divine mysteries.
Holy Scripture, carefully read, and even learned by heart, will always be like a living fountain in the heart of the priest.
In the Eucharist the Divine Word hides Himself under the sacred species, clothed in majestic silence; in the Scriptures He communicates Himself to us under the form of human speech, which expresses itself according to the manner of our expression.
The Word of God in Himself is incomprehensible. Is He not infinite? In HIs Son the Father gives expression to all that He is and all that He knows. In the Scriptures we read only one small syllable of that incommunicable Word pronounced by the immensity of the Father. In heaven we shall contemplate this living Word, we shall be introduced into its secret, but even here on earth we must keep our intellect in a state of respectful attention to what has been revealed and to that portion of divine Wisdom which has been made known by the Holy Writings.
If you want to touch the hearts of your people, and do good, I cannot repeat to you too often the advice of Saint Paul: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly" (Col 3, 16).

V. Pray for us, Blessed Columba Marmion.
R. That our lives may be hid with Christ in God.

Let us pray.

O God, Almighty Father,
who, having called the blessed abbot Columba
to the priesthood and to the monastic way of life,
wonderfully opened to him the secrets of the mysteries of Christ,
grant, in Thy goodness,
that, strengthened by his teachings
in the spirit of our adoption as Thy sons,
we may pray to Thee with a boundless confidence,
and so obtain, through his intercession,
a favourable answer
to the petitions we place before Thee.
[Express your intentions and requests.]
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
who liveth and reigneth with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.
R. Amen.

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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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