Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram

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TRASFIGURAZIONE.jpg

"La Trasfigurazione" by Marco Pino, 1578

Among the many days in the liturgical calendar that direct our gaze to the holy and glorious Face of Jesus, the feast of the Transfiguration is the one I love most. Holy Mass will open today with the sublime Third Mode Introit, Tibi dixit:

Tibi dixit cor meum, quaesivi vultum tuum,
My heart has said to Thee, I have sought Thy Face,
vultum tuum, Domine, requiram:
Thy Face, O Lord, will I seek,
ne avertas faciem tuam a me.
Turn not Thy Face from me.

V. Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea:
The Lord is my light and my salvation:
quem timebo?
whom shall I fear?

No other chant better expresses the Benedictine vocation, for what Saint Benedict requires, before all else, of one who would become a monk, is that one truly seek God. And where is the God-seeking soul to direct his gaze, if not toward the Face of Jesus? "The light of the knowledge of the glory of God," says the Apostle, is "in the Face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor 4:6). Rightly, then, did we sing this morning at Matins:

R. God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts,
* To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,
in the Face of Jesus Christ.
V. Unto the godly there ariseth up light in the darkness;
he is merciful, loving, and righteous.
* To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the Face of Jesus Christ.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
* To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the Face of Jesus Christ.

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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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