Christ's First Mandate to His Priests

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Watch and Pray with Me

The first thing I asked of my priests, my newly-ordained apostles, and of these, the three closest to My Heart, was to watch and pray with Me. I did not send them out immediately, nor did I entrust them with any priestly task apart from keeping watch with Me in prayer, lest they fall in the hour of trial.

I wanted them close to Me to console Me, to comfort Me in My agony by their union with My prayer of obedience and abandonment to the Father. This was their first priestly action, their first mandate as priests of the New Covenant: not to preach, not to teach, not to heal, nor even to baptize, but to watch and pray with Me.

I wanted them to understand by this that unless a priest keeps watch and perseveres in prayer, all else will be in vain. He will dispense the substance of My mysteries, but without the sweetness of a heavenly unction, without the fire and light of a personal experience of My Divine Friendship. This is why I beg My priests to become adorers: to begin to keep watch and pray close to Me in he Sacrament of My Love.

If you could have heard the urgency and sorrow of My plea to Peter, James, and John! I did not merely ask them to watch and pray, I begged them to do so. In needed their prayer at that hour, just as I need the prayer of all My priests in this final hour that is coming, and that is already upon my Church.

Only the prayer of My priests, made in union with the prayer of My Heart to the Father, will be able to preserve and console My Church in the darkness that lies ahead. I beg for the prayer of My priests, for a prayer of adoration, of reparation, and of supplication. I ask them for a prayer that is sincere and persevering, for a prayer that will become in their hearts a ceaseless murmur rising to the Father as a spiritual offering.

When will my priests begin to pray as I have asked them for so long -- lo, all these centuries -- to pray? I want priests who will watch and pray with Me. I need such priests. Without their prayer, my mystic agony will be prolonged and be without consolation from the friends whom I have chosen to abide with Me in the trials that will soon beset My Church, my poor, frail Bride.

The crisis in My priesthood will continue and will even grow worse unless My priests -- the chosen friends of My Heart -- forsake this passing world's vanities and empty pursuits to become adorers in spirit and in truth.

I pleaded with My apostles to watch and pray; and they slept. Still do I plead with my priests to watch and to pray, and still they sleep, even at this hour when My Church invites them to stay with Me, to linger close to My real presence, and not to forsake Me in the darkness and terror of this night.

Where are My priests? I wait for them. I call to them. I desire that they leave all else to offer Me their companionship, their presence, their wordless love, and their tears.

Those who are responding to My plea, and to the first mandate given to My Apostles, are still too few. Offer yourself so that others may find their way to My altars and learn that there is no sweetness, no comfort, and no presence like the sweetness, the comfort, and the presence that I offer them in the Most Holy Sacrament, which they themselves consecrate for My Church.

Share . . . this desire of My Heart for priests who will keep watch close to My altars, and abide in My presence, even if this means forsaking things that are, in themselves, innocent, and good, and gratifying. The hour is late. Soon there will be no time left to offer Me the prayer and companionship that I have always sought and still seek from my priests. I say this not to cause panic or fright, but because priests must begin to realize that what I asked of My Apostles in Gethsemani perdures -- and it is My request, here and now -- and it is no less urgent today than it was in that awful night in Gethsemani.

Let them begin to carry out the first request I made to My priests, the first mandate I gave them: to watch and to pray. Only then will they live to see the splendour of My glory on the day of My return.

From In Sinu Iesu, the Journal of a Priest

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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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