Your Advocate, Your Comforter, Your Refuge

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In a letter dated 28 February 1882, written from Dundrum, to a friend about to be ordained in Rome, the young Father Joe Marmion (Blessed Columba Marmion) speaks of his own loneliness as a newly ordained priest, and of the temptation to look for compensation, diversion, and gratification in society. "The life of a priest," he writes, "is very much more lonely than we anticipate. I have often been for days without opening my lips to a mortal. This may seem very strange, but it is true, and if we can't find our pleasure before Gesù sacramentato, we will, inevitably, go for consolation into society, and then. . . ." Father Marmion left his sentence unfinished. It is significant to me that he saw intimacy with Gesu sacramentato -- Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament -- as indispensable to the happiness of the priest.

You and so many of your brother priests
do not know Me as I would have you know Me.
Many of you are strangers to My Heart.
Come close to Me.
Remain in My presence.
Seek My Eucharistic Face.
Learn of My love for you and you will begin to trust in it.
I am not harsh.
I am not a taskmaster.
I am your Divine Friend.
I am your Advocate, your Comforter, your Refuge in every trial.
Those who persevere in seeking My Eucharistic Face
will begin to read there all the secrets of My Heart,
that is, the unsearchable depths of My love for souls
and, in the first place, for My priests.

This is the root of the evil that eats away at the priesthood from within:
a lack of experiential knowledge of My friendship and love.
My priests are not mere functionaries;
they are My chosen ones,
the friends whom I chose for myself
to live in such communion of mind and heart with Me
that they prolong My presence in the world.
Each priest is called to love My Church
with all the tender passion of a bridegroom,
but to do this, he must spend time in My presence.
He must experience Me personally as the Bridegroom of his soul.

I want you to call priests to the experience of My friendship.
Show them how to remain before My Eucharistic Face
by giving them an example of adoration and reparation.
Draw near to My open Side in the Sacrament of My Love
for them and in their place,
and they will begin to follow you there.
Reach out to My priests, not so much by speaking to them,
but rather by reaching out to Me for their sake.

I tell you again: I want you to be My priest-adorer,
the priest-adorer of My Eucharistic Face
and of My Heart hidden in the Sacrament of My Love.
My Heart is wounded even in My glory.
It is My wounded Heart that you find
when you approach Me in the Most Holy Eucharist.
And from My wounded Heart
there flows a ceaseless torrent of merciful love
to purify souls, to strengthen, heal, sanctify, and glorify them.
The mystery of My Sacred Heart hidden in the Sacrament of My Love
is still so little known.
I want all My priests to know
that in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar
there beats for them a living Heart,
a Heart all aflame with the most tender love.

There is no need for My priests to go through life
isolated, lonely, and friendless.
I want to be the Faithful Companion of their days and of their nights.
I want to be their solace and their rest.
I want to be their Friend, ever ready to listen to them,
to welcome them, to heal them, and renew their hope.
Oh, if only they would seek Me out
in those tabernacles where I wait for them,
in those tabernacles where no one joins Me
in My ceaseless prayer to the Father.

Never miss an opportunity to greet Me,
to adore Me, to remain with Me, even if only for a moment,
in the Sacrament of My Love.
In eternity you will see
the inestimable value of every moment
spent in My Eucharistic presence.

From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest


Deo gratias!
I just wanted to share with you, Father Prior, my thanksgiving for a beautiful and very Eucharistic priest I have come to know while on vacation in Corsica. His name is abbe Frederic Constant. Not a Mass or speaking opportunity goes by without his mentioning the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, or the importance of visiting the Lord frequently in the Tabernacle, or the weekly Adoration held in the local church in Porto Vecchio on Thursdays... But what touched me most was to witness his personal gesture of adoration upon passing before the altar : he kneeled for a very long moment, looking straight at the Tabernacle with sincere longing...before rising again to continue his task at hand. That may sound silly, but I had never witnessed quite such an external sign of pious devotion from a priest, not like his. Please ask the Lord to bless him especially in his ministry... Because he truly repairs the wounds of many other brother priests , those who do not yet have a personal and inimate friendship with the Eucharistic King . Yes, this friendship is outwardly visible as radiant Charity, like upon the face of Moses. May all who enter his parish church (many,many tourists) be blessed to experience the grace of the Tent of Meeting...or like upon Tabor, be Transfigured in the Eucharistic face of Jesus . AMEN!

I have been drawn to Bl. Columba Marmion for years, and read nearly all his books including Life of the Priest, I was so touched to read your above note about his early years. Thanks! I am enjoying going back through these posts of yours, God bless you for keeping this up. Spiritual direction is hard to find and you have found a good way to help those who seek to learn...bless you and keep writing whatever Jesus inspires you to....

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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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