Eucharistic Novena: January 6-14

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S Jn-M Vianney et S PJ Eymard.jpg

For the Year of the Priest: a painting of Saint John Mary Vianney with his friend, Saint Peter Julian Eymard

Saint Peter Julian Eymard is one of the principal patrons of the work of the Cenacle here in Tulsa. On the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1857 Saint Peter Julian Eymard inaugurated the solemn exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament by which the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament came to life. This week's move to a leased house in Tulsa better suited to a life of prayer and hospitality, and the need for funds to build the new Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle, dedicated to Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of priests, compel me once again to propose the following novena for those who care to make it with me from January 6-14. It would be grand if those making the novena would leave a word in the comment box letting me know it!

Some readers of Vultus Christi may recall that on October 26, 2007 I wrote:

The desire of the Heart of Jesus is that there should be priest adorers and reparators: priests who will adore for those who do not adore, priests who will make reparation for those who do not. Our Lord asks me -- and will ask other priests as well -- to remain in adoration before His Eucharistic Face, offering all the priests of the Church to His Open Heart present in the Sacrament of His Love.

This inspiration was confirmed by the splendid letter of Cardinal Hummes, published on December 7, 2007, inviting to adoration and reparation for priests.

A Daunting Proposition

The Church is blessed with any number of communities of fervent Benedictines, who glorify Our Lord according to the gifts imparted to them, but nowhere does Our Lord find a house of priest-adorers to keep Him company in the Sacrament of His Love, and to offer themselves for their brother priests. The establishment of a new monastery is a daunting proposition. I might be tempted to lose heart, were it not for Our Lord's assurance that the measure of one's weakness is the measure of the deployment of His grace.

The Gospel tells us: God is the highest priority. If anything in our life deserves haste without delay, then, it is God's work alone. The Rule of Saint Benedict contains this teaching: "Place nothing at all before the work of God (i.e. the divine office)". For monks, the Liturgy is the first priority. Everything else comes later. In its essence, though, this saying applies to everyone. (Pope Benedict XVI, Christmas 2009)

Work for Priests

The traditional Benedictine framework and the commitment to the choral liturgy will protect the life of adoration and the work for priests: the interior work of self-oblation in all things, and the exterior works of hospitality, spiritual counsel, and availability to priests in their times of need and inner darkness.

Assent to the Divine Friendship

At the heart of this special vocation is the assent to Our Lord's Divine Friendship, the "yes" to His merciful love uttered on behalf of all priests through a prolonged daily presence in adoration before His Eucharistic Face.

Our Lord desires with an immense desire to purify, and heal, and sanctify His priests. This He does, and will do, by drawing them into the radiance of His Eucharistic Face and the warmth of His Eucharistic Heart. We priests all too easily forget that Our Lord Jesus Christ is present in the Sacrament of His Love to offer us all the good things that come from friendship: companionship, conversation, joy, comfort, hospitality, strength and, above all, love.

Friends of His Heart

Our Lord is hidden in the Blessed Sacrament; His Face is veiled by the sacramental species and His Heart, too, is hidden. He is, nonetheless, really present as True God and True Man, alive, seeing all, knowing all, and burning with desire that all should come to His tabernacles but, first of all, the priests whom He has chosen to be His intimate friends, the friends of His Heart.

A priest who, in adoration, assents to the friendship of Christ, will want for nothing and will make great strides along the path of holiness. Virtue is not difficult for one who abides in the friendship of Christ. The friendship of Jesus for His priests needs to become the subject of conversations, of reflection, of study, and of preaching; more than anything else it needs to become the lived experience of every priest.

Our Lady and Saint John

A priest who abides in the friendship of Christ will accomplish great and wonderful works for souls. This is the secret of a fruitful priesthood. From her place in heaven, Our Blessed Lady is entirely devoted to keeping priests faithful to the Divine Friendship. Saint John, the Beloved Disciple, also intercedes for priests, that they might persevere in the way of friendship with Our Lord and find their joy in the love of His Heart.

The Remedy

Priests who come to adore the Eucharistic Face of Jesus will quickly discover His Heart and, in His Heart they will discover the friendship for which He created them and to which He calls them. The single greatest deficiency of the clergy is that so many priests are ignorant of the tenderness and strength and fidelity of Our Lord's friendship for them. How can this deficiency be remedied? By adoration before the Eucharistic Face of Christ. This is the raison d'être of my work in the Diocese of Tulsa. Pray, then, that the radiance of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus will reach an ever greater number of priests, until, in all the Church, the Priesthood of Christ shines with all the splendour of His own holiness.

Epiphany Novena in Honour of Saint Peter Julian Eymard
January 6 -- 14, 2010

Recited after Lauds:

Antiphon: And when they were come into the house,
they found the Child with Mary His Mother,
and fell down and adored Him.

V. Arise, shine, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come.
R. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Let us pray.

O God, who by the leading of a star,
didst manifest Thine Only-Begotten Son to the Gentiles,
mercifully grant that we,
having been led unto Him by the light of faith,
may, with grateful hearts,
ceaselessly adore Him present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar,
Who is our Mighty King, our Great High Priest, and our Immaculate Victim,
and Who liveth and reigneth with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
Amen.

Recited after Vespers:

Antiphon: The Priests shall be holy;
for the offerings of the Lord made by fire,
and the bread of their God, they do offer,
therefore they shall be holy.

V. Pray for us, Saint Peter Julian.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, Who through the preaching and example of Saint Peter Julian Eymard,
didst renew the priesthood of Thy Church in holiness
and inflame many souls with zeal
for the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar;
we beseech Thee, through his intercession,
to gather priests of one mind and one heart,
from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof,
to keep watch in adoration before the Eucharistic Face
of Thine Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ
and to abide before His Open Heart,
in reparation for those who forsake Him, hidden in the tabernacles of the world,
and in thanksgiving for the mercies that ever stream
from the Sacred Mysteries of His Body and Blood.
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
Amen.

24 Comments

Dear Fr. Mark,

Thank you for the invitation to pray the novena with you. Saint Peter Julian Eymard is very dear to my heart! I gratefully join you in this novena, for you, this budding monastery, for the priests in our own archdiocese of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, and for all priests till the end of times. Our own holiness depends on yours. Yet, priests need our prayers and love to be faithful to their call. May God bless you and our Mother keep you. Wishing you a holy year 2010!

Marjolaine

My heart was broken today on the feast of St. John Neumann.
I attend a neighboring church called SJN from time to time and told the priest this morning that I had offered my Holy Communion for him so that he would just once do a Forty Hours. He said to me: "That will never happen," When I asked him why he said that he had never grown up with this devotion and that the devotion was "ethnic". As a black man in a predominantly black area he was not exposed to this form of adoration and worship. I guess that is why we have a church with "contemporary spirituality". This makes me so sad.

Dear Fr. Mark,
I will be honored to pray the novena with you and with others throughout the world.
In Christ,
Dave Craig
Connecticut

Dear Fr.Mark,
I am very happy to have the opportunity to pray with You this Novena, and as I live in Rome, I'll surely take it to the tomb of St.P.J.Eymard, the saint that I discovered thanks to Your blog.
Thank You for all Your beautiful posts.
Happy and blessed New Year!
Linda

Father Mark,
Thank you for this invitation to pray the novena with you. I will do so for your intentions as well for all our priests.
May God continue to bless you and your priesthood.

Dear Father Mark,

Thank you for the invitation to prayer this Novena with you.

Pamela

Dear Fr Mark

Thank you for the invitation to pray this beautiful Novena with you.

Thank you for your Blog, it is inspiring and I have learnt so much from the content.

Assuring you of my prayers.

In Christ

Mary Davies Ireland

I will pray this novena. God bless the Holy Catholic Church.

Dear Fr Mark,
Thank you from Beijing. I shall join in the Novena for my two brothers,for you and for all the priests of the world.

Still Waters Farm will participate. Please explain what is required for us recent converts.

Father, thanks for this and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton information. I am so glad you are blogging. You can reach so many people and I very much enjoy visiting your site. God bless you.

Dear Fr Mark,

Thank you for the invitation to pray this novena with you, I will happily do so.

Sharon
Australia

Dear Father Mark,

Thank you for the opportunity to join with you and others in praying this Novena, which I will start now as it is the 6th here in New Zealand already.
I read your website daily and find it a great source of inspiration. Thank you and God Bless you.
With Prayers, Diane - New Zealand

Father Mark,

I will definitely be praying this novena with you.Please pray for the priests of the Archdiocese of Toronto Ontario,Canada and our Archbishop Thomas Collins. I have spoken to him about the Congregation for the Clergy's initiative of Spiritual Motherhood for Priests and he was very positive. Pray that we can begin it before the Year of the Priest is over.Thank you for inspiring us with your beautiful works and words. Count on my prayers.
Ilona, Toronto,Canada


Father Mark,

Thank you for the invitation to pray the novena with you.

Count on my prayers.
God bless you !

I will join you in this novena and I will pray that God's blessing be upon this new monastery! May outreach to our brother priests be both comforting and challenging...

Dear Father Mark,

I will pray the Novena with you during my live-in discernment experience at a Visitation monastery. I already offer my daily adoration always using your prayer for priests.

Thank you.I will certainly pray this novena with you.
God Bless!

Dear Father Mark,

I am so blessed to have happened upon this Novena in time to begin prayer with you and all for our priests. For many years I've been compelled to pray especially for my parish pastor and all pastors in my diocese, often with much pain, spiritual warfare and lonliness. It is a blessing to pray now and know that I am praying with you and others of like heart and spirit.

I will join you in this Novena! May the Lord bless you and keep all priests tucked in His Sacred Heart!

Thank you for posting this. I am happy to pray with you!

I will continue to pray this daily - it is beautiful.

I still say this prayer daily. Is it for private use only?

Dear Mary, Thank you for continuing to say this prayer. It is, of course, not a liturgical prayer, but one of private devotion. That does not mean tht it cannot be said aloud in a group; it simply means that it cannot be used in the context of the Sacred Liturgy or be presented as a prayer of the Church. It is, rather, the expression of the faith, hope, charity, and piety of the individual or group who pray it. Saint Peter Julian Eymard is one of my Lenten companions.

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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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