Florilegium: September 2006 Archives

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"And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them" (Mark 9:36).

We have depicted Jesus as Child and as King
in order to attract souls to Him more easily
and to give them confident trust and hope.
We also wanted to recall that it is by His Divine Heart,
full of mercy and of love for humanity
that we shall obtain peace in the world.
(Mother Yvonne-Aimée)

Today's Gospel is, in some way, an invitation to make known the Little Invocation that has changed so many lives, healed so many hearts, and set so many souls in the way of ceaseless prayer. Some time ago, a certain monk who had tried for many years to practice the ceaseless prayer of the heart came upon a biography of Mother Yvonne-Aimée (1901-1951), and learned of the prayer, "O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in thy merciful goodness." One day, kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, he realized that the prayer was repeating itself ceaselessly and effortlessly in his heart. He found himself praying the Little Invocation at every waking moment and even during the night, in a way similar to the "Jesus Prayer" of monks of the Eastern Church. Over the years, the grace of ceaseless prayer by means of the Little Invocation has not abated. It is always there: a gentle murmur of confidence bubbling up from the depths of the heart.

Individuals from all walks of life, having received the Little Invocation as a penance in Confession, attest to the graces received: graces of inner healing, of victory over persistent and deeply rooted habits of sin, of trust in the mercy of Christ, and of a ceaseless prayer of the heart.

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That is exactly what His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII did on June 11, 1899 in his Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He called this "the great act" of his pontificate.

The Holy Father presented his intentions to the Catholic world in the encyclical Annum Sacrum on May 25, 1899:

"But shall We allow to slip from Our remembrance those innumerable others upon whom the light of Christian truth has not yet shined? We hold the place of Him who came to save that which was lost, and who shed His blood for the salvation of the whole human race. And so We greatly desire to bring to the true life those who sit in the shadow of death. As we have already sent messengers of Christ over the earth to instruct them, so now, in pity for their lot with all Our soul we commend them, and as far as in us lies We consecrate them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In this way this act of devotion, which We recommend, will be a blessing to all."

Then, on June 11, 1899, in communion with the bishops of the world, he prayed:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race . . . Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry and Islamism, and refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God.

Intra vulnera tua absconde me

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Pope Benedict XVI invites priests to contemplate the glorious wounds of Christ: We ourselves, the priests, whether young or mature, must learn the necessity of suffering, of crisis. We must endure and transcend this suffering. Only in this way does life become rich. For me, the fact that the Lord bears his stigmata for all eternity has a symbolic value. An expression of the atrocity of suffering and death, they are now the seals of Christ’s victory, of the full beauty of his victory and of his love for us. (31 August 2006)

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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