Recently in Prayers of Mine Category

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Thank You to Saint Vincent de Paul

A Supplica is a prayer of supplication composed according to a certain literary genre that remains popular in Italy to this day. The most famous of these prayers would be the Supplica to the Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompei composed by Blessed Bartolo Longo. Nearly every parish or chapel in southern Italy has a Supplica to its patron saint recited by all the people in unison on the saint's feast.

On 19 July 2011 I was inspired to write a Supplica to Saint Vincent de Paul. I asked his intercession for my monastery, trusting that he would find us a suitable permanent home. He did. Thank you, Saint Vincent de Paul. Here, then, is the Supplica to Saint Vincent that I wrote and first prayed one year ago today.

O glorious Saint Vincent de Paul,
priest of Jesus Christ,
servant of the poor,
consoler of the sorrowful,
father of orphans,
providence of the homeless,
giver of alms to the destitute,
enlightened guide of souls,
compassionate visitor of the imprisoned,
attentive nurse of the sick,
comfort of the dying,
zealous teacher of the clergy,
who can describe the innumerable works of thy charity,
and who can measure the hospitality of thy heart?

The weak and the infirm,
the wounded and the needy,
the unloved and the shamed
all find a place in the folds of thy great protecting mantle.
Never did one of Christ's poor turn to thee in distress
without receiving from thee the alms of thy mercy
for soul and body.

O thou, Apostle of Charity,
O thou, Image of Jesus Christ,
thou in whom the Heart of Christ burns
with an inextinguishable fire,
look upon us in our present need.
Consider that we too are poor, weak, and without earthly resources.
We cast ourselves upon the infinite mercy of Divine Providence,
and place our trust in thy pleading on our behalf.
We know that thou wilt obtain for us
an answer to our prayer,
a solution to our pressing plight
and, above all else,
the grace of entire abandonment to the adorable Will of God,
outside of which we desire nothing.
Amen.

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O glorious Saint Dymphna,
virgin martyr and chaste bride of Christ,
child of Ireland,
bereft of thy mother,
object of thy grief-stricken father's unlawful desires,
pure dove who, to preserve thy purity, didst fly to foreign shores,
dauntless follower of the immolated Lamb,
willing exile from thy homeland,
spiritual daughter of the holy priest Gerebernus,
traveler through the dark of unknown forests,
treasure hidden in the shadow of Saint Martin,
lover of solitude and living sanctuary of ceaseless prayer,
compassionate handmaid of the poor and afflicted,
virgin nourished by the Bread of Life,
virgin strong in thy weakness,
virgin ablaze with the fire of the Holy Ghost,
victim of thy demented father's cruel rage,
victim with the Immaculate Host,
victim mingling thy blood with the Blood of the Lamb,
turn thy gaze upon us who seek thy intercession today,
and hearken to our supplications.

Thy name, O Saint Dymphna, is spread abroad in the churches of Christ,
where the suffering faithful invoke thee
as the friend of exiles and of those in flight from persecution,
as the unfailing advocate of the mentally ill, the emotionally distraught, and the despondent,
as the light of those in the darkness of depression,
the hope of the hopeless,
the cheer and comfort of the sorrowing,
the deliverer of those in the grip of anxiety,
the courage of those stricken with panic,
the healer of confused minds,
and the solace of grieving hearts.

Confident in thy powerful intercession,
we beseech thee, Saint Dymphna
to comfort all who, burdened by mental anguish or confusion,
struggle daily to make their way in this valley of tears.
Give them a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for sadness,
and a garment of praise for the spirit of grief.
Let no one who seeks thy help today go away empty,
for thou art powerful over the heart of Christ,
and He will heed thy pleading on our behalf
with the healing of darkened minds,
the consolation of broken hearts,
and the gracious manifestation of His merciful goodness towards all. Amen.


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Painting: Regnault, Henri, Castilian Mountain Shepherd,1868, Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau

For Good Shepherd Sunday

Tomorrow, in the traditional liturgy, is Good Shepherd Sunday. How can we not pray, in a special way, for the shepherds whom Christ has set over His flock in the Church? There are stalwart shepherds, heroic in protecting the sheep, and ever-ready to go in search of the lost lamb. There are also weary shepherds, discouraged shepherds, and shepherds who have lost their way in the mist.

Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, in supplication for the sanctification of priests and in reparation for the sins that disfigure the Face of Christ the Priest in the eyes of the world, is at the heart of Silverstream Priory's mission in the Church. I am close to our Oblates, to our friends, and to the many others who are united with us in prayer. Some of you spend time before the Most Blessed Sacrament; others pray in their homes at different hours of the day and night. Still others offer their work and family life in union with our adoration. You may find this prayer helpful:

Lord Jesus Christ,
I adore Thee who art truly present here before me,
[or, in the tabernacles of Thy churches]
with all the love of my heart,
and with an immense sorrow for having offended Thee,
again and again, by all my sins.
Mindful of Thy priests in need,
I lift them up into the light of Thy Eucharistic Face,
and offer them to the fire of Thy Eucharistic Heart,
there to be illumined, warmed, and purified.

Draw them all to Thyself,
that Thou mayest hold them in the embrace of Thy Divine Friendship,
and, so, sanctify them unto Thy Father's glory
and for Thy Bride, the Church.
Save and preserve Thy priests under demonic attack.
Comfort those engaged in spiritual combat.
Raise those who have fallen.
Bring back those who have strayed.
Bind up the wounds of those who have been injured in their souls.

Be Thou a Good Shepherd, tender, merciful, and ever-loving
to Thy poor shepherds who have lost their way.
Let not one of them remain in darkness,
far from Thee, and forgetful of Thy Most Holy Mother.

Send Thy Holy Angels to Thy priests in danger,
in temptation, in darkness, and in despair,
and let not one of them fall prey to the wiles of the Evil One,
or remain in a state of impenitence.

Save all Thy priests, O Jesus,
for they are Thy chosen friends,
and each one is precious in Thy sight,
even when he has fallen into the worst sins against Thee,
harming souls, and bringing sorrow and shame upon Thy Church.
Save them all! Let not one of Thy beloved priests be lost,
that Thy Church may say in all truth, and with a holy joy:
"To me, O God, Thy friends are made exceedingly honourable."
Amen.

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Prayer to Saint Joseph for Priests

O glorious Saint Joseph,
who, on the word of the angel
speaking to you in the night,
put fear aside to take your Virgin Bride into your home,
show yourself today the advocate and protector of priests.
Guardian of the Infant Christ,
defend them against every attack of the enemy,
preserve them from the dangers that surround them
on every side.
Remember Herod's threats against the Child,
the anguish of the flight into Egypt by night,
and the hardships of your exile.
Stand by the accused;
stretch out your hand to those who have fallen;
comfort the fearful;
forsake not the weak;
and visit the lonely.
Let all priests know that in you
God has given them a model
of faith in the night, obedience in adversity,
chastity in tenderness, and hope in uncertainty.
You are the terror of demons
and the healer of those wounded in spiritual combat.
Come to the defence of every priest in need;
overcome evil with good.
Where there are curses, put blessings,
where harm has been done, do good.
Let there be joy for the priests of the Church,
and peace for all under your gracious protection.
Amen.

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Why art Thou left alone in this Most Holy Sacrament? Where are Thy adorers and Thy friends? Has Thy Church failed to announce Thy Gospel to the world, and to make Thy presence known? Why art Thou so ignored, forsaken, and left alone in Thy tabernacles, without honour and with no one to thank Thee for the gift of Thy real presence? Why is the world kept in the dark concerning Thee in this Most Holy Sacrament, when Thou art all that this world needs, and all that souls desire?

Lord Jesus Christ,
I adore Thee who art truly present here,
with all the love of my heart.
Thou who art here for me so that I may be here for Thee,
give Thou Thyself to me
so that I may give myself to Thee.

Let nothing separate me from Thee,
and let all things work together
to bring me to Thee in faith, in hope, in love,
and in adoration.

Let me believe in Thee for those who do not believe in Thee;
hope in Thee for those who do not hope in Thee;
love Thee for those who do not love Thee;
and adore Thee for those who do not adore Thee,
especially for those of Thy priests who find themselves far from Thee,
in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Go Thou in search of them, O Jesus,
and send Thy Holy Angels out to find them wherever they may be;
and bring them back to Thee
who awaitest their return to Thy altars
and to Thy Heart
in this Most Holy Sacrament. Amen.

O Thou, Innocent Lamb of God

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Over the centuries, souls have been drawn irresistibly to the mystery of the Infant Christ. Among these was the great Pierre Cardinal de Bérulle, the "Apostle of the Incarnate Word." The image I chose to illustrate this prayer of mine was originally designed to inspire devotion in souls, who, following the teaching of Cardinal de Bérulle, would offer themselves to the Infant Jesus. The prayer that I was moved to make today, as a kind of amende honorable to Jesus in His adorable innocence in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, is one, I think, that Pierre de Bérulle would have understood and made his own.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Thou, innocent Lamb of God;
Thou, pure Victim, Holy Victim, Immaculate Victim,
I adore Thee who art present here
with all the love of my heart,
and I thank Thee that, from this altar, even now,
Thou art offering Thyself to the Father
as the sacrifice of propitiation
that destroys the sin of the world
and restores poor sinners to friendship with God,
not by changing Thy Father's Heart,
but by opening the hearts of poor sinners
to receive His pardon, His mercy, and His grace.

Do Thou open hearts long closed by sin.
Do Thou deliver souls languishing in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Do Thou set free souls bound in the fetters and chains
forged by Satan and his hateful allies.
Do Thou give sight to the blind,
movement to the paralyzed,
hearing to the deaf,
and tenderness to the stony-hearted.

Unite me to Thyself,
and, by Thy Virgin Mother's prayers,
so make me one sacrifice with Thee,
that I may appear before the Father,
consumed in the flames of Thy holocaust,
and made pure in the fire of love
that ever burns in Thy Eucharistic Heart. Amen.

The Innocence of Childhood Restored

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For the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Those for whom I wrote and prayed this prayer today, on the feast of the Holy Innocents, will understand that it was written and prayed for them. Many suffer well into adulthood, and even into old age, from things suffered in childhood, and often kept secret. The innocence that was robbed can be recovered, as can the joy of a pure childhood. The King of Love, being King of every year, month, day, and hour of time, can restore what was taken, and what He restores is brighter than what was lost.

O Divine Lover of Innocence,
Thou restorest innocence to those,
who, having lost it, turn to Thee in their sorrow and shame.
Thine it is, O Jesus, King of Love,
to restore the purity and joy of a holy childhood
to men and women of all ages
robbed of both purity and joy
by acts of cruelty, perversion, or lust.

The innocence that Thou restorest,
in Thy merciful goodness,
surpassses in brightness the innocence that was never tainted,
because it is marked by the diamonds of Thy tears,
and because Thou givest it,
washed clean in Thy Most Precious Blood,
as a free gift to those who ask it of Thee.

To all who ask for it today
restore the priceless grace of a holy childhood.
Protect Thou the little ones everywhere,
lest souls be damaged and destroyed by sin,
and lest any of those whom Thou hast destined for glory in Thy Kingdom
be lost along the way. Amen.

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Among the mectildian-benedictine practices that our monastery has come to cherish is that of the Amende honorable (Act of Honourable Amendment): a prayer of adoration and reparation pronounced aloud before the Most Holy Sacrament. Here is the prayer that I offered today following Vespers.

Lord Jesus Christ,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten of the Father before the daystar,
and consubstantial with Him,
born in the fulness of time of the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee,
who art truly present here,
and, out of my own poverty and weakness,
I desire to make reparation
for those who do not adore Thee in this wondrous Sacrament,
and for those who deny the mystery of Thy real presence.

I would make reparation as well
for those who approach Thee without reverence,
for those who touch, and handle,
and receive Thy adorable Body
with coldness, with indifference,
and with little awareness of the immensity of Thy charity
burning in this Most Holy Sacrament.

Thou art here upon the altar
just as Thou wert in the cave of Bethlehem,
where, wrapped in swaddling bands,
Thou wast laid in the manger as upon an altar,
the innocent Lamb made ready for the sacrifice,
the Living Bread come down from heaven,
and set forth upon the altars of Thy Church
for the nourishment of those
whom Thou hast created to partake of Thy Flesh and Blood
and, in so doing, to become one with Thee.

Here, though Thy glory be veiled, yet is it visible,
for one cannot gaze upon the Sacred Host
without reflecting, as in a mirror,
something of the radiance of Thy glory
hidden beneath Its humble appearance.

I unite my adoration first to that of the Virgin Mother and of Saint Joseph,
desiring, in some way, to adore Thee with them
and to abide in their company.
I adore Thee in communion with the Angelic Choirs
who filled the skies of Bethlehem on that most holy night,
and I adore Thee together with the lowly shepherds
who, crossing over to Bethlehem, found there
that everything was just as the Angel told them.

Receive my adoration here,
and in every church become the true House of Bread,
by reason of Thine adorable presence,
thus prolonging the mystery of Bethlehem
through space and through time,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Bowing low before Thee,
I adore and I submit to this mystery of Thy omnipotence become so fragile,
of Thy glory so hidden,
and of Thy love so despised.

Let all that is in me surrender in faith to what I see before my eyes,
and to what I do not see,
for Thou art here,
who livest and reignest with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Ite ad Joseph

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Today, November 16th, is the 26th anniversary of my ordination to the Holy Priesthood. I am asking for a special gift from the readers of Vultus Christi. Would you, of your charity, recite the prayer to Saint Joseph given below?

Recently, a good friend counseled me to "go to Joseph" with the pressing needs of my monastery. Confident that Saint Joseph will hear our requests, I wrote this prayer today. Thank you for making it your own.

Prayer to Saint Joseph

O glorious Saint JOSEPH,
thou art our advocate and our defender,
our father and our friend,
who on the word of the angel speaking to thee in the night,
didst put fear aside to take MARY, thy Virgin Bride into thy home,
and, even in poverty and in exile,
didst provide security for JESUS, the blessed Fruit of her womb.

Thou art the good provider
upon whose resources and generosity we rely
to acquire the entire property of Silverstream;
to renovate it;
and to maintain it for years to come
in security and in peace,
in the beauty of holiness,
and in perpetual adoration
of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

O Joseph, first adorer of the Sacred Humanity of the Word,
thou art not indifferent to His designs upon Silverstream Priory
and upon those men who, by His grace alone,
must struggle to make it a school of the Lord's service,
a sanctuary of adoration for all,
and a haven of peace for priests.

Humble and powerful Saint Joseph,
who didst appear at Knock,
together with the Mother of God,
with Saint John the Beloved Disciple,
and with the Lamb of Sacrifice,
thy mission in Ireland is far from ended.
Visit Silverstream Priory, then.
Provide for our fathers and brothers there
as thou hast provided for so many in the past,
and we shall publish abroad
the wonders obtained through thy intercession
to the glory of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.


When God Answers Prayers

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I took this photograph of a moss-covered stone crucifix while visiting the Hill of Slane for the first time last October with my friend, Father J. I had come across to Ireland to explore the possibility of settling here.

Now that our monastery is taking root in Ireland, it often happens that people ask me to explain the background of our move. Just this morning I came across this prayer of mine, written in March 2010, in the wake of the Holy Father's Letter to the Catholics of Ireland.

I had completely forgotten that, after reading, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Father's letter, I was moved to intercede in my own way for the Church in Ireland, beloved of the Heart of Jesus, that has suffered so much in the past, and that has entered, in these days, into the abjection and humiliation of His Passion.

At the time there was no serious discussion of moving to Ireland, and I had no idea how things would unfold. It goes to show that God hears our prayers, that He takes them seriously, and that, often, His way of answering them surpasses by far what we could have thought or imagined.

Beloved Lord Jesus,
I adore Thee with all the love of my heart,
and I present to Thee Thy Church in Ireland,
asking Thee to illumine all the baptized of Ireland
with the radiance of Thy Eucharistic Face.

Once again, beloved Jesus,
make Ireland the isle of great saints
and of humble, faithful, heroic believers.
Give Thy Immaculate Mother
full sway over the people of Ireland,
beginning with Thy bishops and Thy priests.
Raise up in Ireland a new generation of consecrated women,
spouses of Thy Sacred Heart,
and mothers of the little, the poor, and of all who suffer.

Beloved Jesus,
hear the supplications of all the saints of Ireland,
and for their sake,
and for the sake of Thy Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart,
heal Thy Church in Ireland,
pour out abundant graces on her faithful,
sanctify her bishops and priests,
and having gathered all together
in the embrace of Thy merciful love,
make Ireland shine in the eyes of the whole world
with faith, and hope, and charity.
Amen.

Forgiveness and Reparation

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Every now and then, I find it necessary to return to the Prayer of Forgiveness and Reparation that Our Lord inspired me to write several years ago. This is not a prayer that one says once and for all; it bears repeating in the changing circumstances of life simply because it is a response of obedience to Our Lord's commands in the Gospel. A psychologist to whom this prayer was presented said that if his clients said this prayer sincerely and from the heart, he would effectively find himself out of business.

Many people have made this prayer their own and experienced the healing and blessings that begin to flow when one takes to heart Our Lord's command that we are to pray for those who persecute us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us. Is not this kind of prayer integral to true devotion to the Sacred Heart?

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who revealed the infinite mercy of Your Sacred Heart
in saying: "Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you" (Mt 5:44)
and again, "Bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you" (Lk 6:28),
give me, I beseech You,
grace to obey these commandments of yours,
and to persevere in praying daily
for those who, in any way,
have abused, cursed, hurt, or rejected me.

I pray for those who hate me,
for those who resent me
and for those who have spoken ill of me.
I beg you to bless them abundantly
and to pour into their hearts
such a profusion of healing mercies
that in them and around them
love will triumph over hatred,
friendship over resentment,
sweetness over bitterness,
meekness over anger,
and peace over enmity.
I further ask you to extend these graces
to their families and to all whom they hold dear.

In particular, I pray today for N. (and N.).
I present him/her/them
to Your Eucharistic Face,
asking You to envelop him/her/them in Its healing radiance,
dispelling whatever shadows of sin
may have darkened his/her/their mind(s)
or hardened his/her their heart(s)
in anger, hatred, or the refusal to forgive.

For my part,
with deep sorrow I confess
that I have sinned grievously against others,
causing them pain and even endangering their souls.
I pray you, O Merciful Jesus, to repair the evil I have done to others
and to heal the hurt I have inflicted on them.
In particular, I acknowledge my sins against N. (and N.)
imploring You to heal and repair the harm I have done him/her/them.

I ask you so to penetrate my heart
with the charity of Your Pierced Heart
that I will be able to forgive
those who have offended me,
to love them sincerely,
and to desire for them all that will contribute to their true happiness
in this life and in the next.

By means of a permanent intention,
I desire to renew this prayer
in every offering of Your Holy Sacrifice.
Let the light of Your Eucharistic Face
shine in the hearts of all who harbour
hatred or resentment toward me,
to bring them healing and peace.
Let Your Precious Blood
triumph over evil
in those against whom I have sinned
and in those who have sinned against me,
so that, delivered from the shadows
of this valley of tears,
we may one day praise Your Mercy together
in the sweetness of a boundless charity.
Amen.


Ik vertrouw mij toe aan Uw Genade

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To my surprise and my delight, what did I learn this morning but that a prayer of mine, a litany that I wrote some time ago, has been translated into Dutch by the kind people at Kleinood van Liefde. I hope that my dear friends at the Clarissenklooster in Eindhoven see this!

Litanie van vertrouwen in de Genade van Christus

Laat Uw Genade, o Heer, met ons zijn,
want in U hebben we ons vertrouwen gevestigd.

Voor mezelf, een arme zondaar

... ik vertrouw mij toe aan Uw Genade

Voor allen die ik gekrenkt heb
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor ieder die mij gekrenkt heeft
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor allen die Gij in mijn leven hebt gebracht
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor allen die Gij hebt toevertrouwd aan mijn gebed
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor al Uw priesters
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor mijn familie
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor de zieken
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor de stervenden
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor gevangenen
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die het verst van U zijn
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor wie U vervolgen in de leden van Uw Mystieke Lichaam
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die U doden in de ongeborenen
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die geweld plegen
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die wrok koesteren in hun hart
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die verslaafd zijn aan geld, genot en macht
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die in oneerbiedigheid, spot, en hoon, omgaan met de aanbiddelijke Mysteriën van Uw Lichaam en Uw Bloed
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die Uw Allerheiligste Naam lasteren
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die de Zondag onteren, de Dag van Uw opstanding
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die Uw Bruid, de Kerk beschimpen
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die zijn weggevallen van het Heilige katholieke geloof
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die verteerd worden door haat
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die de dood onder ogen zien in wanhoop
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die onboetvaardig blijven in hun laatste uur
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die zich van hun eigen leven beroofd hebben
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw genade

Voor alle heilige zielen in het vagevuur
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die deze dag sterven
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die niet meer geloven in genade
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor degenen die weigeren om genade te tonen
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Voor alle arme zondaars
... ik vertrouw hen toe aan Uw Genade

Laat Uw Genade, o Heer, met ons zijn,
want in U hebben we ons vertrouwen gevestigd.

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This morning, following the blessing of the statue of Jesus King of Love at the end of Holy Mass, we made the following Act of Consecration:

O JESUS, KING OF LOVE,
WITH TRUST IN THY MERCIFUL GOODNESS,

we consecrate ourselves to Thee;
and offer to Thy Sacred Heart
all that we have received from Thee:
our life itself,
our strength, and our talents,
our desires, our works, and our humble efforts.
At the same time we offer Thee
our weaknesses and our inconsistencies,
our fears, our failures, and even our sins,
for there is nothing of ours
that Thy merciful love cannot redeem, and heal,
restore, and turn to Thy Father's glory.

Thou hast come to us in Thy image,
and so we come to Thee
to offer Thee what is already Thine:
the church built to Thy glory sixty years ago,
this house and all the constructions adjacent to it,
the entire property of Silverstream,
its fields, its water, its woodlands,
and all Thy creatures therein.

By the light of Thy Eucharistic Face
and the fire of Thy Eucharistic Heart:
make Silverstream entirely Thine:
a little kingdom where Thy Love holds sway,
and in which all are subject to Thee.

O Jesus, King of Love,
make this monastery a hospital for the healing of sick souls,
a safe refuge for fearful and anxious souls,
a welcoming home for poor and restless souls.

Here, O King of Love,
let sinners be converted;
here, let the lukewarm be set ablaze;
here, reveal to Thy friends the secrets of Thy Sacred Heart.

Here, let souls receive the gifts of Thy Divine Friendship:
perseverance in prayer, peace of mind, and purity of heart.
Here, make Thy servants joyful in a shining chastity,
and ardent in an unassailable purity.
Here, raise up those who have fallen,
give light to those who are in darkness,
give courage to those beset by fear.

O King of Love,
so establish the sovereign rule of Thy Heart in this monastery and over it,
that it will become a garden enclosed,
a sanctuary of silence and of peace,
a place of tranquil order, where beauty is at home.

Cast out from this place the powers of darkness,
the enemies of our souls,
the cruel tempters of Thine anointed,
and the bodiless persecutors of those who would live for Thee alone.

Impart to all who live here,
or labour here,
or visit here,
or in any way participate in this monastery's growth,
a share in the incomparable grace of spiritual childhood,
and an unfailing light along the path of confidence
and abandonment to Thy merciful love.

O Jesus, King of Love,
meek and humble of heart,
rule over this, Thy little kingdom;
make all herein the faithful subjects of Thy Love,
the adorers of Thy Eucharistic Face,
and the friends of Thy Eucharistic Heart.

Having lived in Thine intimacy here below,
vouchsafe that we may pass from this life
to the glory of heaven,
there to praise Thy merciful goodness
in the company of Thy Immaculate Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary,
of Saint Joseph, Saint John, Thy Beloved Disciple,
Saint Benedict, Saint Thérèse, Blessed Abbot Marmion,
Thy servant Mother Yvonne-Aimée,
the Holy Angels, and all Thine elect,
forever, and unto the ages of ages.
Amen.


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Last evening, I was the celebrant at Solemn High Mass, followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament with the sung Litany of the Sacred Heart, at Saint Kevin's Church, Harrington Street, Dublin. D. Benedict served as subdeacon. Following Benediction, I gave a conference to a large group of the faithful, many of them pilgrims attending the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. After my conference, a number of people approached me at the tea in the parish hall, asking me to pray for particular persons, needs, or situations. This happens, I think, whenever a monk appears in public. I took all of these intentions, and others as well, before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus today.

O my beloved Lord Jesus,
I offer to Thy most compassionate Heart,
and to the Maternal Heart of Thy Immaculate Mother,
all the sufferings that have been made known to me
during these past days.

Thou knowest each one.
No suffering of ours is hidden from Thee,
and Thy most loving gaze enfolds
each man, woman, and child in this valley of tears.

I can only turn to Thee and to Thy Mother,
as others have turned to me,
asking for my prayers.
All these requests I received into my own heart,
though it be sinful, poor, and too small to absorb them.

Having promised to pray
for particular persons or intentions,
I place these needs now in Thy Eucharistic Heart,
entrusting them to the Immaculate Heart of Thy Mother,
and to her all-powerful supplication
in Thy sight and in the sight of Thy Father
and my Father.
Amen.

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This painting depicts Our Lord as he appeared in the Sacred Host exposed in the monstrance at the Institute of Loreto in Bordeaux, France on Septuagesima Sunday, 3 February 1822. Read about this manifestation of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus here

Lord Jesus Christ,
King who art all meek and humble,
Beloved Friend,
and Physician of souls and bodies,
I adore Thee who art present here before me,
with all the love of my heart,
and I thank Thee that Thou hast brought me
into Thy Real Presence
-- to be hidden as Thou art hidden
-- to be silent as Thou art silent,
-- to be welcoming to Thee
as Thou art welcoming to me,
-- to be poor as Thou art poor,
--and to be offered
as Thou art offered
at every moment
to the Father
in this the Sacrament of Thy Love.

O Divine Victim,
Thou art the pattern of my life,
and the very form of my consecration to the Father:
hostia pura, hostia sancta, hostia immaculata!
Let me gaze upon Thy Eucharistic Face
so as to become a reflection of Thy Eucharistic Face,
and an image in this world,
at at this hour,
of Thy perpetual oblation to the Father
and Thy fidelity to the Church, Thy Body and Thy Bride.
Amen.

On behalf of all Thy priests

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This evening here in Knock, it was very humbling, and an immense joy to hear thirty or more priests from various parts of Ireland pray together the Act of Adoration for Priests with which we begin our time of adoration in the monastery each day.

Act of Adoration for Priests

Lord Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim,
behold, I kneel before Thy Eucharistic Face
on behalf of all Thy priests,
and especially those priests of Thine,
who at this moment are most in need
of Thy grace.
(N. and N.)
For them and in their place,
allow me to remain,
adoring and full of confidence,
close to Thy Open Heart,
hidden in this, the Sacrament of Thy Love.

Through the Maternal and Immaculate
Heart of Mary,
our Advocate and the Mediatrix of All Graces,
pour forth upon all the priests of Thy Church
that torrent of mercy that ever flows
from Thy pierced side:
to purify and heal them,
to refresh and sanctify them,
and, at the hour of their death,
to make them worthy of joining Thee
before the Father in the heavenly sanctuary
beyond the veil (Hb 6:19)
where Thou art always living
to make intercession
for us (Hb 7:25). Amen.

Eucharistic Face of Jesus, sanctify Thy priests!

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Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
as we have placed our trust in Thee.

For myself, a poor sinner,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all whom I have offended,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all who have offended me,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all whom Thou hast brought into my life,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all whom Thou hast entrusted to my prayer,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all Thy priests,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For my family
I trust in Thy mercy.

For the sick,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For the dying,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For prisoners,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who are farthest from Thee,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who persecute Thee in the members of Thy Mystical Body,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who kill Thee in the unborn,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who perpetrate violence,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who harbour resentment in their hearts,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those enslaved to money, pleasure, and power,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who treat with irreverence, mockery, and scorn
the adorable Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood,

I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who blaspheme Thy Most Holy Name,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who dishonour Sunday, the Day of Thy Resurrection,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who revile Thy Bride, the Church,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who have fallen away from the Holy Catholic Faith,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who are consumed by hatred,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who will face death in despair,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who remain impenitent in their last hour,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who have taken their own lives,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who will die this day,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who no longer believe in mercy,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For those who refuse to show mercy,
I trust in Thy mercy.

For all poor sinners,
I trust in Thy mercy.

Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
as we have placed our trust in Thee.

Praying to the Father

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FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ
and my FATHER,
FATHER from whom all fatherhood takes its name
in heaven and on earth,
I adore Thee.

FATHER of infinite majesty,
I come to Thee
through the pierced Heart of Thine Only-Begotten Son.

Look upon His adorable Face,
and for the sake of the love that Thou seest upon It,
cast me not away from Thy presence
and forgive me all my sins.

When Thou lookest upon the Face of Thy Son,
see there my face;
and when Thou lookest upon me,
deign to see His.

I dare to pray thus
because Thou, Father, hast given me to Thy Son,
and because Thy Son hath given me to Thee.

Most merciful FATHER,
remove from my heart
every lack of confidence in Thy love for me,
every doubt,
every fear of being forsaken,
or cruelly punished,
or turned away.

Fill me instead with a spirit of trust in Thee,
with confidence in Thy paternal love,
and with a humble security
that nothing will be able to shake or trouble.

FATHER, I willingly abandon every plan of my own devising,
and offer myself to Thee
for the fulfillment of Thy perfect plan,
the plan conceived in love,
that is Thine.

I lay aside my will,
twisted by sin
and so often in conflict with Thy Will,
to enter with all my heart
into the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemani:
FATHER, not my will, but Thine be done.

By the inpouring of the Holy Ghost,
banish from my soul
all fear and insecurity,
all doubt and cowardice.
Fill me, instead, with a filial piety:
one that is confident, and tender, and unwavering.

To Thy mercy
I surrender my past
with its burden of sin.
To Thy glory
I offer the present moment
in thanksgiving and in praise.
To Thy sweet providence,
I entrust the future
and all it holds.

Thou art my FATHER
and Thou hast made me Thine own adopted son.
Grant that I may live, henceforth,
in the grace of this divine adoption,
by casting myself upon Thy paternal Heart,
and by experiencing
through Jesus,
with Jesus,
and in Jesus
what it is to have a FATHER Who is God,
and a GOD Who is Father.
Amen.

Triduum to Saint Thérèse

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O glorious Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and of the Holy Face,
cherished child of the Father,
virgin espoused to the Son,
humble Doctor instructed by the Holy Ghost,
We greet thee with joy
and approach thee with confidence.

The wonders wrought by thy intercession
are too many to be counted;
thou showest thyself the friend and advocate
of all who have recourse to thee in time of need.
We rely on thy childlike power over the Father's Heart.

From thy place in heaven
thou seest our afflictions
and, by a merciful disposition of Providence,
thou sendest roses of pity to those who seek thy help.

There is no mIsery of body or of soul
to which thou dost not respond with love.
Thou who didst seek to be love in the heart of the Church,
while still on earth,
art forever love in the heart of the Church
from the place that is thine in Heaven.

Descend to us, Saint Thérèse.
Hasten to us who are waiting for a rose from heaven,
a sign of thy compassion, a pledge of thy assistance.
Who hath not heard of thy errands of love
in every place and on every continent?
Walk with us, Saint Thérèse,
lest we wander from thy little way.

Change, we pray thee, our timid and faltering confidence,
into a confidence that is limitless and bold,
that by offering ourselves, as thou didst offer thyself,
to the mystery of Merciful Love,
our confidence may be perfected, as was thine,
in the contemplation of the holy and adorable Face of Jesus:
thine own heart's treasure in this valley of tears,
and thine all-surpassing joy
in the brightness of the heavenly fatherland.
Amen.

Triduum to Saint Thérèse

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I ask all the readers of Vultus Christi to join with me in saying the following prayer for the next three days for a very special intention. Thank you, thank you.

O glorious Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and of the Holy Face,
cherished child of the Father,
virgin espoused to the Son,
humble Doctor instructed by the Holy Ghost,
We greet thee with joy
and approach thee with confidence.

The wonders wrought by thy intercession
are too many to be counted;
thou showest thyself the friend and advocate
of all who have recourse to thee in time of need.
We rely on thy childlike power over the Father's Heart.

From thy place in heaven
thou seest our afflictions
and, by a merciful disposition of Providence,
thou sendest roses of pity to those who seek thy help.

There is no mIsery of body or of soul
to which thou dost not respond with love.
Thou who didst seek to be love in the heart of the Church,
while still on earth,
art forever love in the heart of the Church
from the place that is thine in Heaven.

Descend to us, Saint Thérèse.
Hasten to us who are waiting for a rose from heaven,
a sign of thy compassion, a pledge of thy assistance.
Who hath not heard of thy errands of love
in every place and on every continent?
Walk with us, Saint Thérèse,
lest we wander from thy little way.

Change, we pray thee, our timid and faltering confidence,
into a confidence that is limitless and bold,
that by offering ourselves, as thou didst offer thyself,
to the mystery of Merciful Love,
our confidence may be perfected, as was thine,
in the contemplation of the holy and adorable Face of Jesus:
thine own heart's treasure in this valley of tears,
and thine all-surpassing joy
in the brightness of the heavenly fatherland.
Amen.

Supplica to Saint Vincent de Paul

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Given that we follow the old calendar here at the monastery, it completely slipped my mind that, in the new calendar, today is the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul! It is, consequently, the feast of my very dear friend and Oblate Vincent Uher of Tonus Peregrinus. I am therefore asking everyone who reads this to say the following Supplica for Vincent.

O glorious Saint Vincent de Paul,
priest of Jesus Christ,
servant of the poor,
consoler of the sorrowful,
father of orphans,
providence of the homeless,
giver of alms to the destitute,
enlightened guide of souls,
compassionate visitor of the imprisoned,
attentive nurse of the sick,
comfort of the dying,
zealous teacher of the clergy,
who can describe the innumerable works of thy charity,
and who can measure the hospitality of thy heart?

The weak and the infirm,
the wounded and the needy,
the unloved and the shamed
all find a place in the folds of thy great protecting mantle.
Never did one of Christ's poor turn to thee in distress
without receiving from thee the alms of thy mercy
for soul and body.

O thou, Apostle of Charity,
O thou, Image of Jesus Christ,
thou in whom the Heart of Christ burns
with an inextinguishable fire,
look upon us in our present need.
Consider that we too are poor, weak, and without earthly resources.
We cast ourselves upon the infinite mercy of Divine Providence,
and place our trust in thy pleading on our behalf.
We know that thou wilt obtain for us
an answer to our prayer,
a solution to our pressing plight
and, above all else,
the grace of entire abandonment to the adorable Will of God,
outside of which we desire nothing.
Amen.

Supplica to Saint Thérèse

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A Supplica is a prayer of supplication composed according to a certain literary genre that remains popular in Italy to this day. The most famous of these prayers would be the Supplica to the Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompei composed by Blessed Bartolo Longo. Nearly every parish or chapel in southern Italy has a Supplica to its patron saint recited by all the people in unison on the saint's feast.

Our dear Oblate Brother Vincent Uher asked me to write a Supplica to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. We are asking her intercession for our monastery, trusting that she will find us a suitable permanent home. Here is my Supplica to Saint Thérèse.

O glorious Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and of the Holy Face,
cherished child of the Father,
virgin espoused to the Son,
humble Doctor instructed by the Holy Ghost,
We greet thee with joy
and approach thee with confidence.

The wonders wrought by thy intercession
are too many to be counted;
thou showest thyself the friend and advocate
of all who have recourse to thee in time of need.
We rely on thy childlike power over the Father's Heart.

From the thy place in heaven
thou seest our afflictions
and, by a merciful disposition of Providence,
thou sendest roses of pity to those who seek thy help.

There is no mIsery of body or of soul
to which thou dost not respond with love.
Thou who didst seek to be love in the heart of the Church,
while still on earth,
art forever love in the heart of the Church
from the place that is thine in Heaven.

Descend to us, Saint Thérèse.
Hasten to us who are waiting for a rose from heaven,
a sign of thy compassion, a pledge of thy assistance.
Who hath not heard of thy errands of love
in every place and on every continent?
Walk with us, Saint Thérèse,
lest we wander from thy little way.

Change, we pray thee, our timid and faltering confidence,
into a confidence that is limitless and bold,
that by offering ourselves, as thou didst offer thyself,
to the mystery of Merciful Love,
our confidence may be perfected, as was thine,
in the contemplation of the holy and adorable Face of Jesus:
thine own heart's treasure in this valley of tears,
and thine all-surpassing joy
in the brightness of the heavenly fatherland.
Amen.

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This painting by Guido Reni, dating from 1625, shows the Infant Jesus asleep on the Cross with the Crown of Thorns and the Nails on the ground before Him. He is, moreover, naked, just as He will be naked on Calvary. He sleeps; it signifies the sleep of the New Adam upon the nuptial bed of the Cross, during which the New Eve, the Church, comes forth from His Sacred Side, washed clean in the water and the blood of His Sacred Heart. This is a theme not uncommon in the art of the Catholic Reformation. Was Caryll Houselander influenced by one of these images when she wrote The Passion of the Infant Christ?

Saint Benedict's Teaching

Marianna, a reader of Vultus Christi wrote me the other day, asking me the meaning of Saint Benedict's words in the Prologue of the Holy Rule, "sharing in the sufferings of Christ through patience, so as to share also in his kingdom." (RB Pro: 50)

Patientia

Patience derives from the Latin patior, meaning to suffer, to undergo, to bear, or to endure. The connotation of Saint Benedict's patientia is a humble acceptance of the hard and painful things that come upon us, motivated by a desire to imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ and to be united to Him in His love of the Father and in His obedience to the Father's will. Saint Benedict is telling us that by accepting the weaknesses, losses, detachments, and other sufferings that come upon us in the course of a day or a lifetime, and by uniting our acceptance of these painful things to the Passion and Death of Christ, we will, at length, come to share in the glory of HIs Kingdom.

With Christ Priest and Victim

Saint Benedict's teaching is consoling to all those who ask if suffering can have any meaning or value. He is, in fact, echoing the teaching of the Apostle Saint Paul who, in Colossians 1:24, writes: "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church." Saint Paul is writing here of the sufferings of the whole Christ, Head and Members. Christ continues to suffer in His the members of His Mystical Body. Our sufferings are His and His are ours. Christ the Head of the Mystical Body, and our Eternal High Priest, associates His members, and all the sufferings they endure in union with Him, to His Sacrifice and to His triumph. Every suffering accepted in union with Our Lord's obedient love for the Father becomes, by the grace of Holy Spirit, meritorious and fruitful for the whole Church.

The Morning Offering

The so-called Morning Offering is a simple way of freely choosing to "share in the sufferings of Christ through patience" -- that is, through the painful or costly things that may come upon us in the course of a day -- and of giving to those sufferings a supernatural worth. Thus do we begin to live in communion with Christ, Priest and Victim. This is why I pray, and invite others to pray each day:

The Morning Offering for Priests

Father most holy, *
I offer Thee the prayers, works,
joys, and sufferings of this day *
by placing them in the holy and venerable hands
of Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, *
and by saying, as He did upon entering the world, *
"Behold, I come to do Thy will" (Hebrews 10:9). *

For the sake of all His priests, *
[and in particular for Fathers N. and N.,]
I entreat Thy beloved Son to unite my offering
to the Sacrifice of the Cross,
renewed upon the altars of Thy Church *
from the rising of the sun to its setting (Malachy 1:11).

Most merciful Father, *
look upon these men chosen by Thy Son
to show forth His death until He comes (1 Cor 11:26); *
keep them from the Evil One (John 17:15) *
and sanctify them in the truth (John 17:17).

Bind them by a most tender love
to the Virgin Mary, their Mother *
that, by her intercession, *
they may be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35)
in every act of their sacred ministry; *
thus may their priesthood reveal
the Face of Jesus and the merciful love of His Heart, *
for the fruitfulness of His spouse, the Church. *
and the praise of Thy glory. Amen.

For the Church in Ireland

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After reading, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Father's beautiful letter to the faithful of Ireland, I was moved to intercede in my own way for the Church in Ireland, beloved of the Heart of Jesus, that has suffered so much in the past, and that has entered, in these days, into the abjection and humiliation of His Passion.

Beloved Lord Jesus,
I adore Thee with all the love of my heart,
and I present to Thee Thy Church in Ireland,
asking Thee to illumine all the baptized of Ireland
with the radiance of Thy Eucharistic Face.

Once again, beloved Jesus,
make Ireland the isle of great saints
and of humble, faithful, heroic believers.
Give Thy Immaculate Mother
full sway over the people of Ireland,
beginning with Thy bishops and Thy priests.
Raise up in Ireland a new generation of consecrated women,
spouses of Thy Sacred Heart,
and mothers of the little, the poor, and of all who suffer.

Beloved Jesus,
hear the supplications of all the saints of Ireland,
and for their sake,
and for the sake of Thy Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart,
heal Thy Church in Ireland,
pour out abundant graces on her faithful,
sanctify her bishops and priests,
and having gathered all together
in the embrace of Thy merciful love,
make Ireland shine in the eyes of the whole world
with faith, and hope, and charity.
Amen.

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O glorious Saint Joseph,
who, on the word of the angel
speaking to you in the night,
put fear aside to take your Virgin Bride into your home,
show yourself today the advocate and protector of priests.
Guardian of the Infant Christ,
defend them against every attack of the enemy,
preserve them from the dangers that surround them
on every side.
Remember Herod's threats against the Child,
the anguish of the flight into Egypt by night,
and the hardships of your exile.
Stand by the accused;
stretch out your hand to those who have fallen;
comfort the fearful;
forsake not the weak;
and visit the lonely.
Let all priests know that in you
God has given them a model
of faith in the night, obedience in adversity,
chastity in tenderness, and hope in uncertainty.
You are the terror of demons
and the healer of those wounded in spiritual combat.
Come to the defence of every priest in need;
overcome evil with good.
Where there are curses, put blessings,
where harm has been done, do good.
Let there be joy for the priests of the Church,
and peace for all under your gracious protection.
Amen.

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My Jesus, only as Thou willest,
when Thou willest,
and in the way Thou willest!
To Thee be all glory and thanksgiving,
Who rulest all things mightily and sweetly,
and Who fillest the earth with Thy manifold mercies. Amen.


One who prays in this way, allows Our Lord to deploy His grace and manifest His munificence in all places and in all the circumstances of one's life. Our Divine Lord desires to heap blessings upon us. He asks only that we give Him the freedom to act upon us, and around us, and through us, as He wills.

When more souls give Our Lord this freedom to act as He wills, His Church will begin to know the springtime of holiness that is His burning desire for her, and these souls, by their entire submission to all the dispositions of His providence will be the ones to usher in His kingdom of peace and holiness on earth.

Look at Mary, the most pure Mother of the Lord. This was her way, and this was her life: nothing but His will and the will of His Father, in complete submission to the Holy Spirit. Let us imitate Mary, then, and so too will we bring the presence of Christ into a world that waits for Him.

The image is of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Tomorrow will be the third anniversary of my memorable pilgrimage to Manoppello with three dear friends.

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I am preparing for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by repeating each day the Prayer of Forgiveness and Reparation that Our Lord inspired me to write several years ago. This is not a prayer that one says once and for all; it bears repeating in the changing circumstances of life simply because it is a response of obedience to Our Lord's commands in the Gospel. A psychologist to whom this prayer was presented said that if his clients said this prayer sincerely and from the heart, he would effectively find himself out of business.

Many people have made this prayer their own and experienced the healing and blessings that begin to flow when one takes to heart Our Lord's command that we are to pray for those who persecute us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us. Is not this kind of prayer integral to true devotion to the Sacred Heart?

Prayer of Forgiveness and Reparation

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who revealed the infinite mercy of Your Sacred Heart
in saying: "Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you" (Mt 5:44)
and again, "Bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you" (Lk 6:28),
give me, I beseech You,
grace to obey these commandments of yours,
and to persevere in praying daily
for those who, in any way,
have abused, cursed, hurt, or rejected me.

I pray for those who hate me,
for those who resent me
and for those who have spoken ill of me.
I beg you to bless them abundantly
and to pour into their hearts
such a profusion of healing mercies
that in them and around them
love will triumph over hatred,
friendship over resentment,
sweetness over bitterness,
meekness over anger,
and peace over enmity.
I further ask you to extend these graces
to their families and to all whom they hold dear.

In particular, I pray today for N. (and N.).
I present him/her/them
to Your Eucharistic Face,
asking You to envelop him/her/them in Its healing radiance,
dispelling whatever shadows of sin
may have darkened his/her/their mind(s)
or hardened his/her their heart(s)
in anger, hatred, or the refusal to forgive.

For my part,
with deep sorrow I confess
that I have sinned grievously against others,
causing them pain and even endangering their souls.
I pray you, O Merciful Jesus, to repair the evil I have done to others
and to heal the hurt I have inflicted on them.
In particular, I acknowledge my sins against N. (and N.)
imploring You to heal and repair the harm I have done him/her/them.

I ask you so to penetrate my heart
with the charity of Your Pierced Heart
that I will be able to forgive
those who have offended me,
to love them sincerely,
and to desire for them all that will contribute to their true happiness in this life and in the next.

By means of a permanent intention,
I desire to renew this prayer
in every offering of Your Holy Sacrifice.
Let the light of Your Eucharistic Face
shine in the hearts of all who harbour
hatred or resentment toward me,
to bring them healing and peace.
Let Your Precious Blood
triumph over evil
in those against whom I have sinned
and in those who have sinned against me,
so that, delivered from the shadows
of this valley of tears,
we may one day praise Your Mercy together
in the sweetness of a boundless charity.
Amen.


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Tomorrow, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is the 46th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In his message for this occasion Pope Benedict XVI writes:

The exhortation of Jesus to his disciples: "Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38) has a constant resonance in the Church. Pray! The urgent call of the Lord stresses that prayer for vocations should be continuous and trusting. The Christian community can only really "have ever greater faith and hope in God's providence" (Sacramentum Caritatis, 26) if it is enlivened by prayer.

The following prayer, presented both in traditional and contemporary language, is a response to the Holy Father's pressing invitation to prayer for vocations. Although written for the Spiritual Mothers of Priests of my own diocese of Tulsa, I am happy to make it available to all who might wish to use it. Pastors might want to print it in the parish bulletin for The Year of the Priest.

A Prayer for Vocations

Traditional Language

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who callest to Thy service whomsoever Thou wilt,
let the light of Thy Face and the tenderness of Thy Heart
rest upon the young men of our own parishes and families.
Grant that those whom Thou hast chosen from among us
may hear Thy invitation and respond to Thy call
with generosity and courage.
For our part, we are resolved
to welcome and support priestly vocations in our midst
with gratitude, humility, and joy.
We promise to pray tirelessly
for those whom Thou hast set apart to preach Thy Word,
to offer Thy Sacrifice, and to nourish, heal, and comfort our souls.
Confident that Thou hast already heard our prayer,
we entrust the future priests among us
to the Immaculate Heart of Thy Virgin Mother
that, for each one, she may be a guiding star in the night
and, day by day, a perpetual help.
Amen.

Contemporary Language

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who call to Your service whomsoever You will,
let the light of Your Face and the tenderness of Your Heart
rest upon the young men of our own parishes and families.
Grant that those whom You have chosen from among us
may hear Your invitation and respond to Your call
with generosity and courage.
For our part, we are resolved
to welcome and support priestly vocations in our midst
with gratitude, humility, and joy.
We promise to pray tirelessly
for those whom You have set apart to preach Your Word,
to offer Your Sacrifice, and to nourish, heal, and comfort our souls.
Confident that You have already heard our prayer,
we entrust the future priests among us
to the Immaculate Heart of Your Virgin Mother
that, for each one, she may be a guiding star in the night
and, day by day, a perpetual help.
Amen.

A Prayer for Priests

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O LORD JESUS CHRIST, Who hast commanded
that the men whom Thou hast called
and set apart for the service of Thy holy altars,
should themselves be holy:
give them such holiness
that in them Thy Father may take delight
and Thy Bride, the Church, find consolation.

Send Thou upon them the promised Paraclete,
to keep them firm in their faith
in the midst of an unbelieving world;
to keep them ardent in their love
among those that love Thee not;
to keep them pure amidst the impure;
and to keep them Thine amidst those who are as yet not Thine,
but whom Thou, O gentle Shepherd,
didst come to seek and to save.

And give them grace,
through the intercession of our most gracious Lady and Queen,
Thy Mother, Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin,
so to serve Thee
among all the changes and chances of this passing world,
that hereafter they may be ready
to enter in with Thee, O Eternal High Priest,
to the sanctuary not made by human hands
where Thou livest for ever to make intercession for us,
and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost,
one God, world without end. Amen.

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There have been more than 40 million abortions in the United States since 1973.

HEART OF JESUS,
formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
have mercy on the nations soaked in the blood of the innocent.

May that vast army of infants slaughtered mercilessly in their mothers' wombs
raise their voices and plead before Thy throne in glory
for an end to the crime of abortion
that has so rightly merited Thy Father's wrath
and caused the nations to become an abomination in His sight.

Do what Thou must, O merciful Heart of Jesus,
to reveal to all the horror of this sin
and to bring us to repentance.

Immaculate Virgin Mary,
thou who didst bear Thy Son for nine months
in the inviolate sanctuary of Thy womb,
intercede for all who, confident in thy maternal protection,
seek to defend the life of unborn children.
Amen.

Adoro Te

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A Sunday Adoration


I adore Thee who art present here before me.
I adore Thee with all the love of my heart.
I adore Thee humbly.
I adore Thee in faith.
I adore Thee because Thou art God ever worthy of all adoration,
and because Thou hast called me to adore Thee
in this the Sacrament of Thy Redeeming Love.

Here is Thy Blessed Passion,
here Thy immolated Flesh,
here Thy Precious Blood,
here Thy holy and glorious wounds,
here Thy pierced side,
here Thy Sacred Heart all-burning with love,
here Thy merciful priesthood exercised eternally on behalf of poor sinners,
here Thy adorable Face, so humiliated and disfigured in Thy bitter sufferings,
and now so ineffably radiant and divinely beautiful.
All of this I adore
so often as I bow low before the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

I adore Thee to thank Thee, insofar as I am able,
for all the benefits that flow from this Most Holy Sacrament
and, in particular, for those graces of purity, healing, and holiness
that Thou reservest here for Thy priests.

All that Thou givest Thy priests, beloved Lord Jesus,
redounds to Thy glory, because through them, as through "other selves" of Thine,
Thou dost sanctify and speak to souls.
Through Thy priests Thou prolongest Thy saving sacrifice in the world
from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof.
Through thy priests Thou givest pardon to the sinner,
healing to the sick,
hope to the despondent,
and peace to those whose hearts are troubled.

I adore Thee, too, to make reparation
for those who do not adore Thee present in this the Sacrament of Thy Love.
I adore Thee in reparation for those priests of Thine who,
though charged with the Sacred Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood,
have lost all sense of wonder, and rarely remain, freely and willingly,
before Thy Eucharistic Face, close to Thy Eucharistic Heart.

I adore Thee, O Silent Word, in reparation for the noise and lack of reverence
that so often fills Thy sanctuaries,
and for the indifference and neglect that has befallen Thee
in so many tabernacles where Thou art present, but forsaken.

I adore Thee, O Lamb of God, in reparation for my own innumerable sins
and for the sins of my brother priests,
trusting utterly in Thy boundless mercy
and in Thy readiness to restore by Thy grace whatever we have lost by sin.

I adore Thee, Radiant Splendour of the Father, because in approaching Thee,
I approach Thy Father,
and because in adoring Thee
I glorify Thy Father Who so loved the world
that He sent Thee into it,
that by Thy Sacrifice all creation might be cleansed
and all things made new.

I adore Thee, Victim and Priest,
begging Thee to unite me to Thy own oblation.
Draw me to Thy Open Heart by the action of Thy Holy Spirit,
that through Thee, and with Thee, and in Thee,
I may pass already from before this altar
where I contemplate Thee hidden beneath the sacramental veils
into the glory of Thy Kingdom
where the praise of Thy Father in the Holy Spirit is perfect and unending.
Amen.

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"But I tell you, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute and insult you." (Matthew 5:44)

Prayer of Forgiveness and Reparation

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who revealed the infinite mercy of Your Sacred Heart
in saying: “Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44)
and again, “Bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you” (Lk 6:28),
give me, I beseech You,
grace to obey these commandments of yours,
and to persevere in praying daily
for those who, in any way,
have abused, cursed, hurt, or rejected me.

I pray for those who hate me,
for those who resent me
and for those who have spoken ill of me.
I beg you to bless them abundantly
and to pour into their hearts
such a profusion of healing mercies
that in them and around them
love will triumph over hatred,
friendship over resentment,
sweetness over bitterness,
meekness over anger,
and peace over enmity.
I further ask you to extend these graces
to their families and to all whom they hold dear.

In particular, I pray today for N. (and N.).
I present him/her/them
to Your Eucharistic Face,
asking You to envelop him/her/them in Its healing radiance,
dispelling whatever shadows of sin
may have darkened his/her/their mind(s)
or hardened his/her their heart(s)
in anger, hatred, or the refusal to forgive.

For my part,
with deep sorrow I confess
that I have sinned grievously against others,
causing them pain and even endangering their souls.
I pray you, O Merciful Jesus, to repair the evil I have done to others
and to heal the hurt I have inflicted on them.
In particular, I acknowledge my sins against N. (and N.)
imploring You to heal and repair the harm I have done him/her/them.

I ask you so to penetrate my heart
with the charity of Your Pierced Heart
that I will be able to forgive
those who have offended me,
to love them sincerely,
and to desire for them all that will contribute to their true happiness in this life and in the next.

By means of a permanent intention,
I desire to renew this prayer
in every offering of Your Holy Sacrifice.
Let the light of Your Eucharistic Face
shine in the hearts of all who harbour
hatred or resentment toward me,
to bring them healing and peace.
Let Your Precious Blood
triumph over evil
in those against whom I have sinned
and in those who have sinned against me,
so that, delivered from the shadows
of this valley of tears,
we may one day praise Your Mercy together
in the sweetness of a boundless charity.
Amen.

Adoro Te Devote

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Yearning, I adore you, wondrous hidden God,
Bread of Life by bread concealed, speaking heart to heart.
Give me now the faith that sees darkly through the veil,
Let your presence draw me in where my senses fail.

Seeing, touching, tasting, fail to grasp you, Lord.
Hearing only stirs up faith; faith clings to your word.
This is truth enough for me: all that you have said.
Faith alone discerns your Face, radiant Living Bread.

Seeing you upon the Cross, flesh and blood I find;
Here your flesh and blood are hid, veiled in sacred signs.
Trusting in your mercy, like the dying thief,
I confess you, God and Man; this is my belief.

Unlike Thomas touching, probing hands and side,
I see not but name you still God and Prince of Life.
Hold me in your presence, stronger make my faith,
Bolder make my hope in you, fire me with Love’s flame.

Wonderful memorial of the Crucified!
Sacred Banquet, Bread from heav’n, Wellspring gushing light!
Let your life be life to me, feed and feast my mind,
Be to me the sweetness I was meant to find.

In the wounded Pelican, faith sees something more.
She with blood sustains her young; you your blood outpoured
All the world to cleanse of sin. Bathe me in that tide,
Though a single drop makes pure those drawn to your side.

Jesus, here your Face is hid, from my sight concealed,
How I thirst to meet your gaze gloriously revealed!
After life’s obscurity, let me wake to see
Beauty shining from your Face for eternity. Amen.

Original Latin text: Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
English translation: Father Mark Daniel Kirby, O.Cist., 2004

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It must have been forty years ago -- or more -- that I opened the Latin-English missal published by the Abbey of Saint-André-de Bruges and found a stunning woodcut of a chalice turned upside down with the Precious Blood of Christ falling like a gentle rain into purgatory to bring refreshment and deliverance to the Holy Souls.

The offering of the Precious Blood of Christ for the Holy Souls is a mighty form of intercession on their behalf. Given that I am a firm believer in the value of repetitive prayer, of simple invocations repeated over and over again in the form of a chaplet or rosary, I began to pray for the Holy Souls in this way. Readers of Vultus Christi may want to make this prayer their own during the month of November, even on a daily basis. It is prayed on an ordinary rosary.

On the large beads:

V. Eternal Father,
I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Thy Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Lamb without blemish or spot (1 P 1:19) --
R. For the refreshment and deliverance of the souls in Purgatory.

(One can add here, especially those of my family, or of my ancestry, or of priests. The Holy Spirit sometimes moves one to pray for particular groups of Holy Souls.)

Ten times on the small beads:

V. By Thy Precious Blood, O Jesus --
R. Purify and deliver their souls.

After having said five decades, one concludes with:

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Bonjour, chers amis!

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Dear readers of Vultus Christi,

After a long hiatus, I am able today to connect to the internet and give you some news. I am writing from the home of Jean-Baptiste and Thérèse Garnier, friends of the Monastère Saint–Benoît in Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne. Jean–Baptiste and Thérèse have DSL, and were kind enough to invite me to their home to update Vultus Christi.

I have been in France since 12 September, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. For the first few weeks I stayed at the Monastère Saint-Benoît in Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne. After giving a conference at the General Chapter of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified at Brou-sur-Chantereine on Saturday, 29 September, I went to Subiaco, a dependence of the Monastère de l'Incarnation in Saint-Loup-sur-Aujon.

On Wednesday 3 October, the feast of Blessed Columba Marmion, I arrived at the monastery of the Benedictines du Saint-Sacrement in Craon (Mayenne) to make a personal retreat of adoration and discernment. The monastery of Craon, steeped in adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist, is a blessed place indeed. My retreat there was life-changing.

The day before leaving for my retreat I received a book in the mail. I had not solicited this book, but the librarian of a certain Benedictine monastery, knowing "the interests of my heart" sent it without knowing that I was about to begin a retreat of adoration and discernment. The book, published in 1930, was La Sainte Messe, échelle de la sainteté, by Dom Eugène Vandeur (1875-1967). The evening before my retreat I opened the book at random and read:

Let me be wholly and entirely thy priest, like John, thy beloved disciple, standing at the foot of the Cross, the Tree of Life.

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I was astonished. This one sentence sums up my personal vocation and the thrust of my life for the past thirty years. There was still more. At the end of the book, I read:

O Mary, Virgin and Mother of priests,
I will place myself close to thee, today and all the days of my life,
there, in the very place where stood Saint John, the disciple whom Jesus loved,
the preferred Priest of His love;
I will remain there, with thee, facing the cross, and I will gaze upon Him,
this Jesus Crucified, the only science that a priest need know, love, and preach.
"To know only Jesus and Him crucified" (1 Cor 2:29). . . .

O Mary, teach this priest of Jesus this folly of the Cross,
true Wisdom in the sight of God
and the solemn manifestation of His power.
Teach me how one passes into Jesus Crucified;
how, following the example of the Apostle,
one comes to bear in oneself the wounds of the Lord Jesus.
"I, for my part, bear in my body the wounds of the Lord Jesus" (Gal 6:17).

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Thou dost answer me, O Mother,
saying that I will learn this at the holy altar,
the mountain of myrrh and the hill of incense (Ct 4:6),
that, each morning, I will ascend with thee
to enter into the wounds of Jesus Crucified.

There is much more that I could share about this retreat, but my time is limited. The signal grace of the retreat was a call to live in adoration and reparation for all my brother priests, and to allow my soul to be "johannized," that is to say, to consent to become, by the merciful goodness of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit, another Saint John, a beloved disciple for His Heart and for the Heart of His Mother.

The desire of the Heart of Jesus is that there should be priest adorers and reparators: priests who will adore for those who do not adore, priests who will make reparation for those who do not. Our Lord asks me — and will ask other priests as well — to remain in adoration before His Eucharistic Face, offering all the priests of the Church to His Open Heart present in the Sacrament of His Love.

Our Lord asked me to consecrate every Thursday (day of the Eucharist and of the Priesthood) to this particular mission of adoration and reparation for priests.

Let each Thursday find me close to the Sacrament of Thy Body and Blood,
deep in adoration, and offering Thee the reparation Thou askest of me
in the name of all Thy priests.
Make me an entirely Eucharistic priest,
according to the desires of Thy Sacred Heart
and the designs of Thy merciful goodness upon my life.
I desire nothing else.
I want to love Thee more each day;
I want to be the faithful adorer of Thy Eucharistic Face
and the consoling friend of Thy Sacred Heart
hidden in the tabernacles of the world,
where it beats, wounded by love, forgotten, forsaken,
and waiting for the adoration and for the love of even one priest.

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O Lord Jesus Christ present in this wonderful sacrament,
I desire at this hour to make reparation to Thy Eucharistic Heart
and to open myself to Thy Love
for the sake of those who refuse or ignore it.

Increase Thou my faith,
that I may believe firmly in the truths and mysteries Thou hast revealed to Thy Church,
for the sake of those who do not believe.

By my attention to Thy Eucharistic Heart, I desire to make up for indifference to Thy Love,
for coldness, and for irreverence in Thy sacramental presence.

By my gratitude to Thy Eucharistic Heart, I desire to make up for ingratitude toward Thee
Who remainest hidden and forgotten in the tabernacles of so many locked churches.


By my trust in Thy Eucharistic Heart, I desire to make up for those who do not trust Thee,
for those are afraid to trust Thee, and for those whose trust in Thy Love
has been weakened by sins of scandal, by the weight of life’s hardships, or by painful loss.

By my hope in Thy Eucharistic Heart, I desire to help those tempted to despair of Thy Mercy.
Allow me, I beseech Thee, to hope for those who have no hope
and, because Thou didst pour out Thy Blood for them, let not one of them be lost.

In spite of my weakness and inconstancy, I desire, by this humble act of reparation
to obtain for all who yearn for Thy friendship,
a share in the unspeakable sweetness experienced by Thy beloved disciple Saint John
when he rested his head upon Thy Heart
on the night before Thy Sacred Side was opened by the soldier’s lance.

Let my desire to be open to the Love of Thy Eucharistic Heart
serve to repair the brokenness of the most wounded and fragile members of Thy Mystical Body.

By the mysterious workings of Thy Holy Spirit and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
let the reparation and adoration Thou hast inspired me to offer in Thy presence
bring reconciliation to those alienated from Thy Church,
healing to souls in need of Thy mercy,
and choice graces to Thy priests. Amen.

I find this painting of Saint Joseph and the Most Holy Trinity (Antoni Guerra, 1699) extraordinary. The Eternal Father is pointing to Saint Joseph, indicating that Joseph is His mystical shadow, the icon of His paternity on earth. Joseph has eyes only for the Infant Jesus. The Word Made Flesh smiles and tugs at Saint Joseph's beard. The Holy Spirit hovers over Saint Joseph's head. Joseph too, I think, had his "overshadowing" by the Holy Spirit to prepare and sustain him for his role in the plan of salvation. The little angel, expressing wonder and delight, is taking in the whole scene. There are two other little details in the painting. Note that there are two feet: one belonging to the Eternal Father, and one to Saint Joseph. Think about that! And in the lower left hand corner is the lily, the symbol of Saint Joseph's purity.

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Prayer to Saint Joseph for Priests

O glorious Saint Joseph,
who, on the word of the angel
speaking to you in the night,
put fear aside to take your Virgin Bride into your home,
show yourself today the advocate and protector of priests.
Protector of the Infant Christ,
defend them against every attack of the enemy,
preserve them from the dangers that surround them
on every side.
Remember Herod's threats against the Child,
the anguish of the flight into Egypt by night,
and the hardships of your exile.
Stand by the accused;
stretch out your hand to those who have fallen;
comfort the fearful;
forsake not the weak;
and visit the lonely.
Let all priests know that in you
God has given them a model
of faith in the night, obedience in adversity,
chastity in tenderness, and hope in uncertainty.
You are the terror of demons
and the healer of those wounded in spiritual combat.
Come to the defence of every priest in need;
overcome evil with good.
Where there are curses, put blessings,
where harm has been done, do good.
Let there be joy for the priests of the Church,
and peace for all under your gracious protection.
Amen.

Praying for One's Enemies

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The first time I said this prayer of mine publicly was during a homily on 17 May 2006. After Holy Mass I offered copies of it to those who wanted them. One of the copies found its way to the office of a psychologist who, upon reading it, made copies for his patients. Interesting.

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Prayer of Forgiveness and Reparation

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who revealed the infinite mercy of Your Sacred Heart
in saying: “Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44)
and again, “Bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you” (Lk 6:28),
give me, I beseech You,
grace to obey these commandments of yours,
and to persevere in praying daily
for those who, in any way,
have abused, cursed, hurt, or rejected me.

I pray for those who hate me,
for those who resent me
and for those who have spoken ill of me.
I beg you to bless them abundantly
and to pour into their hearts
such a profusion of healing mercies
that in them and around them
love will triumph over hatred,
friendship over resentment,
sweetness over bitterness,
meekness over anger,
and peace over enmity.
I further ask you to extend these graces
to their families and to all whom they hold dear.

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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