Holy Eucharist: October 2008 Archives

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I rejoice to celebrate the Votive Office and Mass of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Thursday whenever the rubrics permit it. At Matins I read Saint Ambrose (De Sacramentis 4:4); he is astonishing in his simplicity and clarity. How I love this text!

And yes, dear readers, that is a beehive resting on the book next to Saint Ambrose! So gifted was he at extracting spiritual honey from the Scriptures, and so sweet was his preaching to the palate of souls, that, in his iconography, he came to be depicted with bees and beehives.

The same symbolism is associated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the Doctor Mellifluus (Honey-flowing Doctor) and "the last of the Fathers."

"Ergo non otiose, cum accipis,
tu dicis: Amen;
jam in spiritu confitens,
quod accipias corpus Christi.
Dicit tibi sacerdos: Corpus Christi:
et tu dicis: Amen.
Hoc est, verum.
Quod confitetur lingua,
teneat affectus."

"Therefore it is not idly that,
when thou art a-receiving, thou sayest: "Amen";
testifying in thine heart that
That which thou art taking is the Body of Christ.
The priest saith unto thee: "The Body of Christ!" and thou answerest: "Amen"
That is to say: "It is true." What then thy tongue confesseth, let thine heart hold to."

O Hostie rayonnante!

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On the feast of Corpus Christi, la Fête-Dieu, 1931, Mother Marie des Douleurs (1902-1983) wrote a meditation in the form of a dialogue with Jesus, the Divine Host, for her daughters. It is evident from the vocabulary she used that a strong call to Eucharistic reparation marked her life at that time: Host, High Priest, Victim, sacrileges, profanations. One detects the influence of Mother Mechtilde de Bar with whose writings she was certainly familiar.

You will remark that Mother Marie des Douleurs relates the agony of Jesus in Gethsemani to the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist that preceded it in the Cenacle. She sees the "Holy Hour" practiced on Thursday evenings as an act of Eucharistic reparation for sins of indifference, for the lack of response to the Gift of His Body and Blood, and for sacrileges and profanations.

Echoing the messages of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial, she hears Our Lord lament the superficiality of so many Christians, even of consecrated souls, It grieves Our Lord that so few priests offer Holy Mass without realizing that, in so doing, they hand themselves over to be immolated for souls with Himself, the Victim. Mother Marie des Douleurs alludes to the role of Saint Veronica, and hears Our Lord ask that a veil of heartfelt compassion be placed upon His Holy Face.

The last line of this brief meditation is extraordinary. The young foundress is compelled to want to place her own heart between the Heart of Jesus and sin. In effect, she prays to absorb, insofar as possible, the coldness, ugliness, indifference, and violence directed toward that Eucharistic Heart that so loves men. The translation is my own.


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High Priest and Victim

O Hostie rayonnante, notre Pontife et notre Victime, nous aurions voulu savoir vous louer, nous aurions voulu vous faire un chemin bien plus triumphal que ce chemin de fleurs. Que faut-il donc et que pouvez vous demander à nous, si petites parmi les creatures?

O radiant Host, our High Priest and our Victim, we would have wanted to know how to praise You, we would have wanted to make You a much more triumphal path than this path of flowers. What do You need, and what can You ask of us, so little among Your creatures?

I Thirst for the Love of Souls

Je demande, à chacune d'entre vous, de se livrer à moi, sans retour, sans restriction, jusqu'à vouloir continellement vous anéantir, parce que j'ai soif de l'amour des âmes et que je veux, lorsque vous serez vraiment miennes, faire de vous, de chacune de vous, des étincelles qui iront dans le monde des âmes propager l'incendie. Ne vous refusez plus à mon désir, j'ai besoin de vous, j'ai besoin de votre amour pour compenser l'indifférence. J'ai besoin de vous souffrances pour ceux qui me haïssent.

I ask that each one amongst you surrender herself to me, without having second thoughts, without restriction, until you arrive at wanting to nullify yourselves continually, because I thirst for the love of souls, and because, when you will be truly mine, I want to make you -- each one of you -- sparks that will go forth into the world of souls to set them all ablaze. Refuse my desire no longer. I need you. I need your love to make up for indifference. I need your sufferings for those who hate me.

Sins Against the Most Holy Eucharist

J'ai besoin de vous, il faut que vous soyez là près de moi pendant l'agonie où je vois distinctement quel est le petit nombre des âmes qui viendront à l'Eucharistie, où je vois chacun des sacrileges, chacune des profanations, et où mon Coeur se brise.

I need you. You must be there, close to me during the agony in which I see distinctly how few souls will come to the Eucharist, in which I see the sacrileges, and each profanation, and in which my Heart breaks.

Priests at the Altar

De quelle tristesse suis-je étreint lorsque je vois qu'au don total que je fais de moi-meme la plupart des hommes , la plupart aussi des âmes consacrées ne répondent que par des actes superficiels. Où sont les âmes eucharistiques? celles qui ne vivent que par l'Hostie, celles qui s'identifient avec mon état de Victime? Il y a si peu de prêtres qui, chaque matin, lorsqu'ils montent à l'autel, pensent qu'ils vont à l'immolation de tout leur être pour les âmes.

What sorrow holds me in its grip when I see that even the greater number of men, the greater number also of consecrated souls respond with nothing more than superficial acts to the total gift I make of myself. Where are the Eucharistic souls? Where are those who will live only by the Host, those who will identify themselves with my victimal state? There are so few priests who, each morning, when they ascend the altar, consider that they are going to be entirely immolated for souls. I ask you to suffer all of that with me; the tender compassion of your hearts will be for mine like the veil of Veronica upon my Face covered with sweat, with dust, and with blood.

Hearts Set Between the Heart of Jesus and Sin

O mon Dieu, vous êtes adorablement bon, vous nous traîtez comme vos épouses. Vous nous donnez ainsi un peu de votre souffrance. Mon Dieu, nous la recevons humblement et avec action de grIaces: c'est la part que nous avons choisie et nous ne savons plus comment nous pourrions supporter l'exil si nous ne pouvions pas, tant que nous vivrons, mettre nos coeurs entre le vôtre et le péché.

O my God, You are adorably good, You treat us as Your spouses. Thus do You give us a little of Your own suffering. My God, we receive it humbly and with thanksgiving; it is the part that we have chosen. We know not how we shall ever bear this exile, so long as we shall live, if we cannot set our hearts between Yours and sin.

Look to Him and Be Radiant

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O my beloved Jesus,
Son of the Father and His Eternal High Priest,
offering Thyself to Him perpetually in the sanctuary of heaven
and here in the Sacrament of Thy Redeeming Love,
I adore Thee.

I praise Thee that here I find Thy Eucharistic Heart,
open, ever-beating with love,
and covering with a flood of Blood and of Water
those who draw near to Thee in this Sacrament.

I praise Thee that here I behold Thy Eucharistic Face,
filling the shadows of this world with Thy deifying light,
and shining into the hearts of those who approach Thee
in faith, in hope, and in love.

I pray to Thee for Thy priests,
without whom this valley of tears would be
devoid of the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar,
without the adorable mysteries of the Thy life-giving Body and Blood,
and without Thy abiding real presence in the tabernacles of the world.

Sanctify thy priests, O Jesus!
Wash them in the Blood and Water gushing at every moment
from Thy Sacred Side
Heal them in the light of Thy Eucharistic Face and,
to do this, draw them all into Thy sacramental presence.

Let thy tabernacles magnetize their souls,
and the desire to abide before Thy Eucharistic Face
hold sway over their hearts.
Let Thy Sacred Body exposed in the monstrance
exercise over them the most compelling of all attractions.

Look today upon those priests who, for whatever reason,
have forgotten the way to Thy tabernacles
and rarely, if ever, stop all else
to rest their tired bodies and still their minds
before Thy Eucharistic Face,
and to adore Thee simply because . . . Thou art there.

Save thy priests in danger of falling into sin,
and lift those who have fallen,
so that, having confessed their faults and received absolution,
they may return to Thine altar and to the joy of their youth.

Let not one of Thy priests remain outside the radiance of Thy Eucharistic Face.
Draw them all out of this world's darkness
into Thy wonderful light,
that with the psalmist they might say not once,
but again and again:
"Look to Him and be radiant
and on your faces there will be no trace of shame."
Amen.

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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