Blessed Scalabrini on Eucharistic Adoration

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Beato Scalabrini.jpg

I have great admiration for Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint Charles for Immigrants. A little known facet of Blessed Scalabrini's spirituality is his extraordinary zeal for Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament by priests. This is what he writes:

Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament by Day and by Night

In some parishes of the diocese -- and I say this with keenest satisfaction -- a society for daytime adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament has already been instituted. I would love to see it take root in all the other parishes, too. Where there are many people, this will be easy. But if a parish has only a few parishioners and cannot have daily adoration, could there not be adoration at least two or three times a week, especially on Sundays and holy days? I trust in
the zeal of my excellent co-workers and in the solicitude the beloved people of my diocese have always shown toward Eucharistic worship.

No Such Thing As Impossible

But if it is so comforting to spend time before Jesus during the day, it is also delightful to keep vigil at the his feet in the silence and stillness of the night! In this way, we imitate the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, who never cease celebrating the glories of the Lord (...). So, brothers and beloved sons and daughters, try to understand the importance of nocturnal adoration, to set it up in your parishes and to have it at least once a year (...). In anything that has to do with the Eucharist, I do not want to hear from your lips that insipid expression: this is impossible. There is no such thing as impossible, except for those who run away from self-denial and sacrifice.

Pardon and Peace in the Radiance of the Sacred Host

Before that Host of pardon and peace, the tumult of our earthly desires subsides, our obsession with worldly matters calms down, pride loosens its grip on us, love and compassion for our brothers and sisters quickens, a holy rivalry in good works heats up, and the longing for a holier life intensifies.

Don't you hear a voice coming from that Tabernacle, a voice that ennobles and dignifies your very sufferings, assuring you that the tears you shed at the altar are counted by him who takes care of the lily of the field, of the bird in the forest and of the least hair of our head? Oh, indeed, here our spirit finds strength in the power of resignation and hope. Here, where confidence in God soars, nothing is hopeless. Here we are all sons and daughters of God. He who comes here to draw the strength that wells up from that divine Tabernacle is not at the mercy of fate or of enemies (...).

The temple is the refuge of the poor, the asylum of the troubled and the burdened! Here all of us feel -- sincerely, not hypocritically -- that we are brothers and sisters. Here, before our common Father, all distinctions based on ostentation, riches and human power disappear. Here we claim to be equal and all do feel equal at the common banquet of Jesus. Here before the spectacle of a God who in the Blessed Sacrament lowers himself equally before the small
and the great and raises all things to his loftiness, we consecrate not the false democracy of the world but the true democracy of all the redeemed.

So That the Holy Eucharist Will Never Be Neglected

So, you must unite in a holy alliance around Jesus, the divine victim, in a spirit of faith, of reparation and love. If you are united with him, you will all feel like brothers and sisters, all together in an alliance, an alliance to love one another and to work for each other's good. From this will come that harmonious fellowship that will make you share joys as well as sorrows, smiles as well as tears, and spread far and wide the balm of resignation and Christian hope. Get together and organize yourselves into societies of adorers for the different hours of the day, so that the Holy Eucharist will never be neglected.

Perpetual Adoration and Reparation by Priests

Something else is very close to my heart. I would very much want all of you, venerable brothers, to be enrolled in the Pious Society of Priests for Perpetual Adoration, which has been instituted in our diocese. If all the faithful must repay Jesus love for love and make reparation for the offenses that wicked and evil Christians commit against him, you, in a very special way, must shed tears in his presence and come between the altar and sinners, as ministers of peace and pardon.

Close to the Tabernacle

You, more than anyone else, must live the Eucharistic life and delight in staying close to the tabernacle, where you will draw strength to sacrifice yourselves and to die for Jesus, for the glory of God and the good of souls. This is the only ideal of authentic priests.

A Proposal

I propose that every diocese establish perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament for priests who are willing to commit themselves to an hour of adoration every certain number of days (...). How moving it is to think that, at every hour of the day or night, a priest is lying prostrate before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to pray for himself, for his confreres, for the Church, for
her august Head, for the preservation of the faith, for the final perseverance of repentant sinners, and for those who are close to the judgment of God (...).

The Adorer-Apostle

A priest, who is a fervent adorer of the Most Blessed Sacrament, will quickly become its most eloquent apostle and will tirelessly and constantly champion it. He will be creative in coming up with a thousand little ploys, all his own, to revive and propagate this devotion among the faithful. Yes, the zeal of such priest, of such a bishop, will be blessed; it will be all-powerful.

2 Comments

Grazie!!! You know how much this means to me, my dear Father :)

Thank you for this posting Father Mark, I found it very inspiring and comforting. Fulton Sheen was a great promoter of Eurcharistic Adoration and he personally did an hour each day of his priestly life. Look at him! What elequence, grace and beauty. His Priesthood shone and attracted his brothers and sisters to the true Faith and to follow in his footsteps. God Bless You

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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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