Holy Eucharist: April 2013 Archives

Adoration and Rejuvenation

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"When I am in adoration, what matters is not my capacity to be lucid for an hour, but rather the fact that in accounting for life, I have chosen that all of myself should be His. I am not there with my head, nor with my senses, but I am there, and I am there, my God, because I have chosen to be there with you. Whether I succeed or do not succeed at this is your business. The important thing is that -- even if I lose my initial lucidity -- I must recall the days of my youth. The youth that we must recall before God is not our biological youth, but rather the youth of the "Yes" we said to God. To rejuvenate means to be always young before God."
Antonino Grimaldi, La sfida del puro amore, Itinerario umano e spirituale di Madre Mectilde de Bar (1614-1698) (Portalupe Editore, 2006, p. 131).

It is not for nothing that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar of the Tridentine Missal begin with the words, Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam, "I will go up to the altar of God, to God who makes glad my youth" (Ps 42:4).

Spiritually, we grow old and stiff-jointed when we forget the "Yes" that first brought us to the foot of the altar in adoration. The recovery of a youthful spirit -- not to be confused with an impulsive and immature spirit -- but of the freshness and wisdom of spiritual childhood is intrinsically related to the recovery of adoration.

Communities (and individuals) grown old, and stiff, and resistant to change, that is, to conversion, can recover their youth, their suppleness, and the élan of their initial "Yes" by exposing themselves to the glorious Body of Christ in Eucharistic adoration.

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In response to Thy presence, O Lord,
I offer Thee my presence.
In response to Thy silence,
I offer Thee my silence.
In response to the gaze of Thy Eucharistic Face,
I offer Thee my eyes.
In response to Thy Eucharistic Heart,
I offer Thee every heartbeat of mine.
In response to the mystery of Thy Eucharistic poverty,
I offer Thee my poverty.
My one desire is to remain before Thee
even as Thou remainest before me
in this the Sacrament of Thy Love.

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Constrained by the Holy Spirit

Abba Agapios lingered in church after the Holy Oblation whilst his disciple Theophilos waited for him to begin the meal. When, after some time, the venerable elder arrived, the disciple made a profound reverence and said, "Forgive me, Reverend Father, but what detaineth thee so after the Holy Mysteries? Why dost thou not return straightaway that together we might break bread after the fast?" Abba Agapios crossed his hands over his breast and, with downcast eyes, replied, "No sooner do I partake of the Body and Blood of Christ than the Spirit of God fills my heart, constraining me to say again and gain, 'O Jesus, live Thou in me that I may live in Thee.' And so do I pray until He Whom I have received biddeth me depart in peace."

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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