Thursdays of Adoration and Reparation for Priests: December 2007 Archives

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I was speaking this afternoon with a friend who carries in his heart the needs of priests: their sanctification, their healing, and reparation for their sins. Our conversation moved me to translate two texts of Mother Marie des Douleurs Wrotnowska (1902-1983), the foundress of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified. Mother Marie des Douleurs was not given to half-measures. She held her daughters accountable, in some way, for the falls of certain priests, and so called them to task. She wrote the first of these texts in 1932. The clergy in France were affected, at the time, by the controversy surrounding the Action Française, and also by the defection, and subsequent excommunication, of certain "modernist" priests.

There exists no vocation higher or more divine than the priestly vocation. It is a grace that cannot be measured, and we will never be able to thank the Divine Master enough for having willed that, to continue it, there should be priests among us.

We must, however, also think that if the soul of a priest is something very great and very beautiful, it is also — as are all human creatures — something that is very weak. There is nothing more irremediable, more scandalous, and more shameful than the fall of the soul of a priest into sin, and yet, there is in their nature nothing that keeps them away from this forever.

There is where our duty lies: the essential reason for our religious life, which exists only for the priesthood. We must surround priests with our continual prayer so that this prayer may be a barrier between them and the spirit of the world in which they live, and against which it is our duty to protect them.

What purity must be our own, and what supernatural spirit must be ours, in view of this very lofty task which God has given us. We were chosen to help the elect of the Lord, those who give life to the world. We will be able to fulfill this vocation only if we ourselves live purely for God, truly handed over, without falling back on ourselves. We are responsible for the sanctity of many priests; the Lord, having chosen us to help them, we must do it, and we know that the only way we can help is by sanctifying ourselves more and more each day so as to lead souls after us into the furrow of fire that ought to mark our lives in the sight of the angels.

And in 1933 Mother Marie des Douleurs wrote:

Our ministry, belonging to us, is to pray for the sanctification of priests. What are we then doing that this horrible thing of certain priests being excommunicated can happen? We are there, in spite of that, to prevent such scandals that rend the heart of our Mother the Church and the Heart of her Spouse. At least, let these terrible falls call us back to the generous fidelity that we ought to put into the least acts of our lives.

We have come together in the religious life so as to become each day more surrendered to the will of God and more stripped of ourselves, so as to be less unworthy of being offered as holocausts in reparation for such outrages. We must not allow the conviction of our responsibilities to become attenuated, nor let ourselves become drowsy and tepid while the Lord is counting on us. We ought to be such reservoirs of charity and humility for priests! Alas, while Jesus begs us, in vain, to show Him pity, the angels can sometimes, even now, see us rather sadly turned in on ourselves, occupied with our fatigues or with our imperceptible ailments.

Our Lord to a Priest

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Ici en ma présence, je te comblerai, pas seulement pour toi-même, mais aussi pour tous ceux à qui tu auras à transmettre mes messages d’amour et de miséricorde. Je veux aussi que tu leur parles de ma solitude au tabernacle. Certains esprits forts en riront. Ils oublient que je ne suis pas là comme un objet inanimé. C’est mon Cœur qui vous attend au tabernacle ; c’est mon regard qui, depuis le tabernacle, se pose, plein de tendresse, sur ceux qui s’en approchent. Je n’y suis pas pour moi-même. J’y suis pour vous nourrir et pour vous combler des joies de ma présence. Je suis Celui qui comprend la solitude de tout homme, surtout celle de mes prêtres. Je veux partager leur solitude pour qu’ils ne soient pas seuls avec eux-mêmes, mais seuls avec moi. Là je leur parlerai au cœur comme je te parle. Je brûle d’être pour chacun de mes prêtres l’Ami qu’ils cherchent, l’Ami avec qui ils pourront tout partager, l’Ami à qui ils pourront tout dire, l’Ami qui pleurera sur leurs péchés sans, pour un moment, cesser de les aimer.

Here in my presence, I will fill you full, not only for yourself, but also for all those to whom you will have to transmit my messages of love and of mercy. I also want you to speak to them of my loneliness in the tabernacle. Certain "sophisticated" spirits will laugh at that. They forget that I am not there like an inanimate object. It is my Heart that waits for you in the tabernacle; it is my gaze that, from the tabernacle, poses itself, full of tenderness, on those who draw near to it. I am not there for myself. I am there to feed you and to fill you with the joys of my presence. I am the One who understands the loneliness of every man, and especially that of my priests. I want to share their solitude so that they will no longer be alone with themselves, but alone with Me. There I will speak to their hearts as I speak to you. I burn to be for each one of priests the Friend whom they seek., the Friend with whom they can share everything, the Friend to whom they can tell everything, the Friend who will weep over their sins without, even for a moment, ceasing to love them.

C’est dans l’Eucharistie que je les attends comme médecin et remède. S’ils sont malades dans leur corps ou dans leur âme, qu’ils viennent me trouver et je les guérirai des maux qui les affligent.

It is in the Eucharist that I wait for them as physician and remedy. If they are sick in their bodies, or in their soul, let them seek me out and I will heal the ills that afflict them.

Beaucoup de prêtres n’ont pas une foi réelle et pratique en ma présence Eucharistique. Ne savent-ils pas que l’Eucharistie renferme pour eux tous les mérites de ma Passion ? Qu’ils retrouvent la foi de leur enfance. Qu’ils viennent me trouver là où je les attends et moi, j’opérerai en eux des merveilles de grâce et de sainteté.

Many priests do not have a real and practical faith in my Eucharistic presence. Do they not know that the Eucharist contains for them all the merits of my Passion? Let them recover the faith of their childhood. Let them come to Me where I wait for them and I will work wonders of grace and of holiness in them.

Ce que je veux surtout, c’est que mes prêtres soient saints, et pour cela je leur offre ma présence dans l’Eucharistie. Oui, c’est le grand secret de la sainteté sacerdotale. Il faut que tu le leur dises, il faut que tu répètes ce que je te dis pour que les âmes en soient réconfortées et stimulées à chercher la sainteté. Mon Cœur a soif de l’amour des saints. À ceux qui viennent à moi, je donnerai et l’amour et la sainteté. Et mon Père en sera glorifié. Et cela se fera par l’action intime de mon Esprit. Là où je suis dans le Sacrement de mon Amour se trouve aussi l’Esprit du Père et du Fils. C’est par l’Esprit Saint que ma présence Eucharistique est ma présence glorieuse au Père dans le ciel, et c’est par l’Esprit Saint que ma présence Eucharistique rejoint les âmes qui l’adorent pour les unir à moi, et les porte jusque devant la Face de mon Père.

What I want above all is that my priests be saints, and for that I offer them my presence in the Eucharist. Yes, this is the great secret of priestly holiness. You must tell them this, you must repeat what I say to you so that souls may be comforted and stimulated to seek holiness. My Heart thirsts for the love of saints. To those who come to Me I will give both love and holiness. And my Father will be glorified by this. And this will happen by the intimate action of my Spirit. There where I am present in the Sacrament of my Love, the Spirit of the Father and the Son is also present. It is by the Holy Spirit that my Eucharistic presence reaches the souls who adore it to unite them to me, and carries them even before the Face of my Father.

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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