I took this photograph of a moss-covered stone crucifix while visiting the Hill of Slane for the first time last October with my friend, Father J. I had come across to Ireland to explore the possibility of settling here.
Now that our monastery is taking root in Ireland, it often happens that people ask me to explain the background of our move. Just this morning I came across this prayer of mine, written in March 2010, in the wake of the Holy Father's Letter to the Catholics of Ireland.
I had completely forgotten that, after reading, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Father's letter, I was moved to intercede in my own way for the Church in Ireland, beloved of the Heart of Jesus, that has suffered so much in the past, and that has entered, in these days, into the abjection and humiliation of His Passion.
At the time there was no serious discussion of moving to Ireland, and I had no idea how things would unfold. It goes to show that God hears our prayers, that He takes them seriously, and that, often, His way of answering them surpasses by far what we could have thought or imagined.
Beloved Lord Jesus,
I adore Thee with all the love of my heart,
and I present to Thee Thy Church in Ireland,
asking Thee to illumine all the baptized of Ireland
with the radiance of Thy Eucharistic Face.
Once again, beloved Jesus,
make Ireland the isle of great saints
and of humble, faithful, heroic believers.
Give Thy Immaculate Mother
full sway over the people of Ireland,
beginning with Thy bishops and Thy priests.
Raise up in Ireland a new generation of consecrated women,
spouses of Thy Sacred Heart,
and mothers of the little, the poor, and of all who suffer.
hear the supplications of all the saints of Ireland,
and for their sake,
and for the sake of Thy Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart,
heal Thy Church in Ireland,
pour out abundant graces on her faithful,
sanctify her bishops and priests,
and having gathered all together
in the embrace of Thy merciful love,
make Ireland shine in the eyes of the whole world
with faith, and hope, and charity.