This magnificent Face of Christ is a detail of the 12th century ivory crucifix of Canosa di Puglia, Italy. Of Byzantine origin, the crucifix is masterpiece of extraordinary beauty and theological significance. It presents the Cross, not as the gibbet, but rather as the royal throne of Love Crucified. The kingship of Christ shines through the Face marked by suffering and, yet, radiant. The eyes are closed, but the effect is one of majesty. The hair and beard are depicted with great attention. The halo bears the sign of the Cross.
The Benedictines of Silverstream Priory have a special “vocation within a vocation” to keep watch before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus and to console His priestly Heart. Every Thursday calls us into the Cenacle where Jesus, Priest and Victim, offered Himself to the Father and consecrated His Apostles into the mystery of His own victimal priesthood. We prolong our hours of adoration of Thursday by replacing one another before the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the monstrance.
O my beloved Jesus,
I adore Thee and confess Thee truly present here before my eyes
in this, the Sacrament of Thy Love.
Let me adore Thee for those of Thy priests who do not adore Thee.
Let me believe in Thy real presence for those whose faith has grown weak.
Let me love Thee for those priests of Thine whose hearts have grown cold towards Thee in this Sacrament.
And let me hope in Thee for those whose lives are dark with hopelessness.
Turn upon them all, O Jesus, the light of Thy Eucharistic Face.
Let not a single priest of Thine remain in the outer darkness
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Send to them Thy holy Angels to guide their steps to Thy sanctuaries
and to lead them to the foot of Thy tabernacles,
where Thou waitest for them,
ready to heal them,
to cleanse them of their sins,
and to grace them with the sweetness of Thy Eucharistic Friendship.
Though we are few, beloved Jesus,
receive our hours of adoration for the sake of all Thy priests,
and by the prayers of Thy Most Holy Mother,
deign to make fruitful the time Thou givest us to spend before Thy Eucharistic Face,
close to Thy Open Heart.
Take the little we offer Thee, Lord Jesus,
and multiply its effects for the sanctification of Thy priests,
for the joy of Thy Church,
and for the glory of Thy Father. Amen.