Holy Eucharist: March 2007 Archives

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Following up on Pope Benedict XVI's teaching on reparation, I want to share two prayers of reparation that I found on Vincent Uher's splendid site Tonus Peregrinus. "He who has ears, let him hear" (Mt 13:9).

O LORD JESUS CHRIST, who for our salvation didst endure the outrages of those who crucified thee, and now endurest the irreverence of those who discern thee not: Rather than withhold thy Sacred Presence from our Altars, give us grace to bewail the indignities committed against thee; and to repair, as far as lies in our power, and with devout love, the many dishonours thou still continuest to receive in this Adorable Mystery; Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

O MY LORD AND MY GOD, MY GOD AND MY ALL, who hast willed to abide with us always in this Wonderful Sacrament, thus ever-glorifying thy Father by making present thy Passion in perpetual Memorial, and giving unto us thy very Self, the Food of Life: Grant us grace to grieve with a hearty sorrow for the insults offered thy Holy Mystery, and with sincere love to offer reparation for the many abuses and sacrileges thou still continuest to receive in thy Blessed Sacrament, who livest and reignest with the Father, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI on Reparation

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At a February 22, 2007 meeting of the Roman clergy with Pope Benedict XVI, Don Alberto Pacini, Rector of the Basilica of Sant'Anastasia, spoke of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and asked the Holy Father to explain the meaning and value of Eucharistic reparation, specifically with reference to sacrilegious thefts and satanic sects. For a fruitful reflection on the Holy Father's response, read it together with Pope Pius XI's treatment of the same subject in the encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor :

Eucharistic Reparation, A Difficult Topic

We are not speaking now about Eucharistic Adoration in general, which has truly penetrated our hearts and is penetrating the hearts of the people. You have asked this specific question about Eucharistic reparation. This has become a difficult topic. I remember, when I was young, that on the Feast of the Sacred Heart we prayed using a beautiful prayer by Leo XIII and then one by Pius XI in which reparation had a special place, precisely in reference, already at that time, to sacrilegious acts for which reparation had to be made.

The Reparation of Christ

I think we should get to the bottom of it, going back to the Lord himself who offered reparation for the sins of the world, and try to atone for them: let us say, try to balance the plus of evil and the plus of goodness. We must not, therefore, leave this great negative plus on the scales of the world but must give at least an equal weight to goodness.

The Weight of Infinite Love

This fundamental idea is based on what Christ did. As far as we can understand it, this is the sense of the Eucharistic sacrifice. To counter the great weight of evil that exists in the world and pulls the world downwards, the Lord places another, greater weight, that of the infinite love that enters this world. This is the most important point: God is always the absolute good, but this absolute good actually entered history: Christ makes himself present here and suffers evil to the very end, thereby creating a counterweight of absolute value. Even if we see only empirically the proportions of the plus of evil, they are exceeded by the immense plus of good, of the suffering of the Son of God.

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Every Thursday in our choir chapel (located on the second floor of the monastery and just behind the organ chamber of the Basilica) we have Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament with Adoration from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The custom in many monasteries of having Exposition and Adoration all day long every Thursday goes back to the seventeenth century. It was also not uncommon to celebrate a Votive Office of the Most Holy Eucharist every Thursday: a kindly of weekly festival of Corpus Domini.

The forthcoming Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, will promote Eucharistic Adoration. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI has already announced its publication for March 13th.

I took this photo in the choir chapel earlier today. The exquisite little monstrance is from the 1700s. Our own orto provided the luxuriant Calla Lilies: pure white trumpets announcing the presence of the King of Glory.

During the hour assigned them, our postulants quietly prayed the Chaplet of the Eucharistic Face of Christ. The Chaplet of the Eucharistic Face of Christ is a way of anchoring the heart in the silence of adoration.

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O Sacred Banquet in which Christ is received,
the memory of His passion is renewed,
the soul is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory is given us, (alleluia).

Before each decade:

My soul is thirsting for God, the strong and living God;
when shall I enter and see the Face of God? (Ps 41:3)

On the Hail Mary beads:

It is Thy Eucharistic Face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not Thy Face from me. (cf. Ps 26:8-9).

On the Glory be to the Father beads:

Behold, O God our protector,
and look upon the Face of Thy Christ. (Ps 83:10)

In conclusion, three times:

Father, glorify the Eucharistic Face of Thy Son,
that Thy Son may glorify Thee (cf. Jn 17:1)

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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