Eucharistic Face of Christ: March 2010 Archives

Letter to a Brother Priest

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Dear Father X,

You asked me the other day to write something that would encourage you to be faithful to your daily Eucharistic adoration. Here then are a few thoughts that came to me while at prayer. I share them with you simply, as one priest to another.

When you come into Our Lord's presence to adore Him, and when you prefer Him to the countless other things that solicit your attention and make claims upon your time, Jesus is consoled and glorified. The proof of friendship is the choice of one's friend over all else. Our Lord wants you to prefer Him, to give Him time that could be given to other persons and things. In so doing, you will show Him your love and offer Him the consolation of a true friendship.

The Lord Jesus asks this preferential love of all His priests. Friendship, if it is to thrive, must be practiced. This is as true of friendship with Our Divine Lord as it is of human friendships. Jesus waits for the companionship of His priests. With them He holds His priesthood -- and His victimhood -- in common. This is what makes the friendship of His priests so precious to His Sacred Heart.

With us priests Jesus shares the purest joy of living in the presence of His Immaculate Mother and of experiencing her maternal care in all the circumstances of priestly life. Given that friendship is based on treasured things held in common, Our Lord's friendship with His priests is unlike His friendship with other souls. The more we priests come to Him and linger in His presence, the more will He share with us the secrets and the treasures reserved for us in His Sacred Heart.

We priests are sometimes fearful of finding ourselves silent and alone in Our Lord's presence. When we come to adore Him and to offer Him the consolation of our company, He doesn't require that we speak to Him; it is enough that we remain in the radiance of His Eucharistic Face, allowing our hearts to go out to His Eucharistic Heart. If you have experienced this movement -- this leap -- of the heart to His Eucharistic Heart, and I trust you have, you will know of what I speak. Words are not always necessary. The engagement of the heart, on the other hand, is indispensable.

Weariness and fatigue are no obstacle to a fruitful time of adoration. They are incidental; what matters is the desire to seek the Eucharistic Face of Jesus and to abide in His company.

For one who loves, the time in Our Lord's presence passes quickly, storing up immense treasures of merit for souls. If you are offering your adoration in reparation and intercession for our brother priests, Our Lord considers the merits of your adoration as belonging to the neediest and most broken among them. Is that not the meaning of the prayer by which we begin our adoration here at the monastery?

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 Sorrowful 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.

Father, you will not see in this life the good done to the souls of Christ's beloved priests, our brothers, by your fidelity to adoration, but in heaven it will be revealed to you, and this revelation will cause you an indescribable increase of delight in His presence.

Be the adorer of Jesus' Eucharistic Face, and draw other souls, those whom He will send you, into its radiance. Thus will your priesthood bear fruit, fruit that will last.

In lumine vultus Iesu,

Father Mark

Where our paths converge

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Learn From the Saints

Yes, Our Lord would have you learn from His saints. It is good to study the saints and receive their teachings. Draw inspiration from their friendship with the Lord Jesus, but don't try to imitate them slavishly on every point. Each of Our Lord's friends arrives at union with Him by the path traced for that particular soul by the Holy Spirit. Even when two paths may appear similar, they are not identical. All of these paths converge in union with Our Lord in the light of His Face, and all of them lead to the open door of His Sacred Heart.

A Secret of Love

Certain souls are called into the way of adoration. Our Lord asks them to abide before His Eucharistic Face and to make it possible for others to do the same. Even when many souls are called to the same way of life, each soul has her own secret of love, a way of experiencing the friendship of Christ most intimately, that can be shared with no one else.

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A Personal Love

Jesus' love is a personal love. He loves each soul that He has created as if that soul were the only soul in the universe, and He adapts His infinite love to the particular sensibilities and needs of that soul with all the wisdom and tenderness of His Divine Heart.

Humility and Trust

Trust in the path that Christ has opened before you and be faithful to it. Allow His love to direct all things. Remain little and humble. Allow Him to direct and determine the course of events and the growth of His works. The more faithful you are to adoring Him in the Sacrament of His Love, the more will He be faithful to you in manifesting the wonders of HIs providence.

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Remain Before Him

Fatigue and distractions in adoration are no impediment to His action in the depths of your soul. Go before Him and remain before Him even when you feel that your adoration is no more than a struggle and a failure to remain attentive in love and focused on His Eucharistic Face.

In the prayer of adoration, your feelings are of no importance. What matters in Jesus' sight is your humility and your willingness to endure distractions, fatigue, and even sleepiness while adoring Him from the heart of your heart. Know that even when you feel that your adoration has been a waste of time, in His plan it is something fruitful and very pleasing to Him. He does not see things as you see them nor does He measure their value as you measure it.

The images depict Saint Paschal Baylon, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, and the Servant of God, Father Augustin-Marie du T. S. Sacrement (Hermann Cohen).

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I sometimes wonder if those of you who keep watch before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus for the sake of His priests, really grasp the significance of your adoration. Allow me on this Lenten First Friday of March to suggest something of what you are doing, and of what Our Lord is doing through you, when you persevere in prayer close to the tabernacle or in the radiance of the monstrance containing His adorable Body and Blood.

A Divine Work

You are participating in a divine work, in a work of grace. You are before Our Lord's Eucharistic Face as an empty vessel to be filled with the power and sweetness of the Holy Spirit, so that souls might drink of His Love and, drinking, know that His Love is sweeter than any earthly delight.

Intercession

You are before Our Lord's Eucharistic Face as an intercessor in whose soul the Holy Spirit is sighing with ineffable groanings, and obtaining from the Father, through Christ, the Eternal High Priest, all that the Father desires to give His priests in this world and in the next.

Reparation

You are a reparator opening yourself to receive the love that so many others ignore, refuse, or treat with indifference, coldness, and disdain. By offering yourself to the Lord Jesus in an adoration of reparation, you console His Eucharistic Heart, which burns with love and so desires to fill souls with His tender mercy.

Friendship

When you are before HIs Eucharistic Face, you are the privileged friend of His Heart, keeping Him company in His loneliness and allowing Him to share with you His sorrows, His grieving over sin, and His designs for a priesthood made pure and radiant with holiness.

Victimhood

When you are before Our Lord's Eucharistic Face, you are with Him a victim of love, handed over and bound to remain at your place before the altar with no desires or plans other than to love, to adore, to make reparation, and to represent all priests in a prayer that simple, and confident, and life-changing.

The Work of Christ the Priest

When you are in adoration before His Eucharistic Face, you are are not idle; you are working in a way far more efficacious than any human undertaking can be. This is your work and it is Christ's work in you. This is a work that many will criticize and not understand. You are before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus in a divinely active collaboration with Him, who from the Sacrament of His Love, continues His priestly mediation before the Father on behalf of poor sinners.

Never Doubt

Never doubt of the value of your hours of adoration. It is this that Our Lord is asking you to do, and He will draw from your presence in the sanctuary a great good and a superabundance of graces for His priests.

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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