Holy Eucharist: May 2008 Archives


This image of the Sacred Heart is a detail of the painting in the apse of the Chapel of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial. I had the joy of going there on pilgrimage last October 16th for the feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.

O Heart of God’s Eternal Word,
Creation’s origin and end:
How great the mystery of your love
To make of man, mere dust, your friend.

O Heart of flesh, which has sustained
The wound we on ourselves inflict:
How great the mystery of your love
Outpoured on us the blind and sick.

O Heart of Jesus, strong and sure,
Obedient to the bitter end:
How great the mystery of your love
To suffer Golgotha’s torment.

O Sacred Heart whose burning love
Craves to set all the world ablaze:
You yearn for us to share your life:
What can we offer but our praise?

O Heart of God the Father’s joy,
O Heart of Christ, the Spirit’s lyre,
What else have we in heaven but you,
Our morning praise is all desire. Amen.

A Hymn for Lauds of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
M.D.K., O.Cist.
8. 8. 8. 8.

The Amen For Which He Waits

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Remember all the desert way
through which the Lord your God has brought you:
forty years of willful wandering.
Remember the affliction and the testing.
Remember the great and terrible wilderness
wherein there was the serpent burning with his breath,
and the scorpions.
Remember the thirsty ground where there was no water.
Remember who brought you water out of the flinty rock.
Remember who fed you in the wilderness
with manna which your fathers did not know (cf. Dt 8:15-16).
Remember, and out of your remembering
give voice to the Eucharistic amazement
that is what we have in common — O joy! — with all the saints.

Remember the sustenance in full ears of wheat, his gift to you.
Remember the honey dripping from the rock to your heart’s content (cf. Ps. 80:17).
Remember, and out of your remembering
let praises spring high and sweet and clear.
Praises to fill full the church, but even that is not enough.
Praises pouring out the doors,
praises streaming in procession,
touching every blade of grass and every leaf.
Praises stretching into the vastness of the sky overhead,
praises sinking deep into the earth,
praises sent like sparks to the East and to the West, to the North and to the South,
praises to inflame the cosmos with Eucharistic fire.

Remember, Mother Church, the holy and venerable hands,
the hands that, taking bread, broke and gave it,
the hands that have strengthened the bolts of your gates,
the hands that blessed your children within you (cf. Ps 147:12).
Remember the voice of him whose word runs swiftly,
blessing and saying, “Take and eat, this is my Body”;
“This chalice is the new testament in my Blood” (cf. 1 Cor 11:24-25).
Remember the Crucified, the Risen One, the Lord of glory
whose Face alone plants peace in your borders,
whose Heart would save your souls from death,
and feed you in time of famine (cf. Ps 32:19).
Remember his hands, his Face, and his Heart,
remember his words on the night before he suffered,
and out of your remembering, let praise come to flower on your lips.
Praise to fill that Upper Room,
praise to fill the Church,
praise to fall like a balm on every heart that has forgotten
the language of the Great Thanksgiving.

Remember the cup of blessing
and adore the Blood of Christ.
Remember the bread that we break
and adore the Body of Christ.
Remember the one Bread by which we, though many, are made one (cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17).
Remember the chalice of the Blood
in which every tear of yours dissolves into joy.
Remember the broken Bread by which every brokenness of yours is made whole.
Remember the chalice offered to those who have nothing to offer.
Remember the Bread given to those who have nothing to give.
Remember, and into your remembering
welcome the immensity of a silence that seeks only to adore.
Tacere and adorare!

Adoring silence: liturgy of the angels, language of the prophets, poem of the saints.
Adoring silence: Eucharistic amazement too deep, too wide, too high for words.
Adoring silence spread like a mantle over the sighs and groans of a world
that has forgotten to be still in the presence of the Word.
Adoring silence, well-kept secret of a ceaseless jubilation.
Adoring silence, hidden from the learned and the clever.
Adoring silence cherished by the little ones.
“Yes, Father, for such is your gracious will” (cf. Lk 10:21).

Remember the living Bread, which came down from heaven
and eating that Bread, be assumed even now into future glory.
Remember the Flesh of the Word given
in a mystery of word and Spirit, handed over in the Upper Room
Remember the Flesh of the Word lifted to the Father from the altar of the Cross.
Remember the Flesh of the Word drawing all flesh to itself
divine Flesh for the children of Adam,
healing Flesh for Eve’s sorrowing children,
God’s very Flesh for the life of the world.
Remember, and adore.

Remember the chalice that flows and overflows,
the chalice of salvation, the cup of your surpassing joy.
Remember the Blood gushing with the water
from the Open Side.
Remember the Heart’s Blood that to your hearts carries life.
Remember the Chalice that leaves on every tongue the taste of eternity,
and on your lips the lingering sweetness of the Kiss of the Mouth of God.
Remember the fire-filled Chalice,
the Chalice spilling Spirit into every open mouth.
Remember Him on whom you feed;
see him held before your eyes,
raised to the Father in the Holy Spirit,
held out to you, his hunger meeting yours.
Remember, and pronounce the “Amen” for which he waits.
The Amen of your amazement,
the Amen of your joy,
the Amen of your adoring silence.
And listen closely.
To that Amen of yours the Angels add their Alleluia.

Amen, Alleluia.
O Eucharistic adoration of heaven and of earth!
Amen, Alleluia.
Saying all that can be said.
Amen, Alleluia.
O Eucharistic song!

Amen, Alleluia.
Song of angels praising
and of archangels shining together with thrones;
song of dominations bowing low,
and of the awestruck powers;
song of the incandescent seraphim,
and of the heavenly hosts of every rank adoring.
Amen, Alleluia.

Song of the Church today.
song of the saints dazzling with Christ-Beauty,
song of the least of his brethren
summoned today to stand in his presence,
driven by the Spirit to walk before him,
compelled by love to kneel and to adore.
Corpus Christi. Amen, Alleluia.


I find my consolation in the one and only companion who will never leave me, that is, our Divine Saviour in the Holy Eucharist. . . .

It is at the foot of the altar that we find the strength necessary in this isolation of ours. Without the Blessed Sacrament a position like mine would be unbearable. But, having Our Lord at my side, I continue always to be happy and content. . . . Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the most tender of friends with souls who seek to please Him. His goodness knows how to proportion itself to the smallest of His creatures as to the greatest of them. Be not afraid then in your solitary conversations, to tell Him of your miseries, your fears, your worries, of those who are dear to you, of your projects, and of your hopes. Do so with confidence and with an open heart.

Blessed Damien de Veuster, SS.CC.

A Priest–Icon of the Suffering Christ

The saints, all of them, are living illustrations of the power of the Holy Spirit. The saints are the masterpieces of the Divine Iconographer who, in every age, writes in souls the whole mystery of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Finger of God’s Right Hand tracing on hearts of flesh the likeness of the Heart of Jesus. In Blessed Damian of Molokai the Church sets before us a priest fashioned by the Holy Spirit in a special way into the image of the suffering Christ, “despised and rejected by man, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Is 53:3).

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.

Donations for Silverstream Priory