Writings from Tulsa 2008—2012: July 2008 Archives


July 24th to August 1st 2008

Antiphon: The Priests shall be holy;
for the offerings of the Lord made by fire,
and the bread of their God, they do offer,
therefore they shall be holy. (Leviticus 21:6)

V. Pray for us, Saint Peter Julian.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, Who through the preaching and example of Saint Peter Julian Eymard,
didst renew the priesthood of Thy Church in holiness
and inflame many souls with zeal
for the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar;
we beseech Thee, through his intercession,
to gather priests of one mind and one heart,
from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof,
to keep watch in adoration before the Eucharistic Face
of Thine Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ
and to abide before His Open Heart,
in reparation for those who forsake Him, hidden in the tabernacles of the world,
and in thanksgiving for the mercies that ever stream
from the Sacred Mysteries of His Body and Blood.
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.

The Friendship of the Saints

I invite the readers of Vultus Christi to join me in making this Novena to Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the Apostle of the Eucharist. I have chosen Saint Peter Julian as one of the patron saints of the Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It would be more accurate to say that in some mysterious way, Saint Peter Julian Eymard has chosen to help me.

Years ago, while reading the biography of Père Jean-Baptiste Muard, the founder of the Benedictine abbey of La-Pierre-Qui-Vire, I came upon a line that so struck me that I have never forgotten it. Père Muard said something like this: "It is not we who choose this or that saint to be our friend; it is, rather, the saints who choose those whom they wish to befriend. The saints choose us, and this, in the light of God's wisdom and providence."

The Priest, an Adorer

Saint Peter Julian is sympathetic, I am sure, to my new Eucharistic mission in the Diocese of Tulsa. His own Eucharistic vocation unfolded amidst sufferings of the heart and painful detachments. God called him out of the religious family he loved -- the Marist Fathers -- to begin a new work, a Cenacle entirely devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. From the beginning Saint Peter Julian Eymard's Eucharistic work comprised priests, consecrated women adorers, and laity. He challenged his little family of adorers to set souls ablaze with Eucharistic fire.

O Taste and See

Bishop Slattery has asked me to help his clergy rediscover that "the secret of their sanctification lies precisely in the Eucharist . . . The priest must be first and foremost an adorer who contemplates the Eucharist." (Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, 18 September 2005). My essential work in Tulsa will be to abide before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus in adoration, reparation, thanksgiving, and intercession, and to share with my brothers in the priesthood and diaconate the fruits of my own contemplation by saying, "O taste and see!" (Psalm 33:9).

The Gift Accompanied by the Gift of All Else

A number of very concrete questions arise. For example: Will sufficient funds be donated for the construction of the Cenacle? Will the necessary support be forthcoming? To all of my questions, Our Lord has but one answer, the only one necessary: "Trust me." Does He not say in the Sermon on the Mount, "Make it your first care to find the Kingdom of God, and His approval, and all these things shall be yours without the asking. Do not fret, then, over to-morrow; leave to-morrow to fret over its own needs; for to-day, to-day's troubles are enough"? (Matthew 6, 33-34). My intention is to make this Novena with confidence, in thanksgiving and in peace. To adapt the words of Saint Paul in Romans 8, 32: "The Father gives us His own Son in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist; must not that gift be accompanied by the gift of all else?"

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Like Saint Peter Julian, I cannot conceive of this Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus without the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first Adorer of the Eucharistic Face, the Mother of Priests, and the Mediatrix of All Graces. Saint Peter Julian called her Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. "Eucharistic souls," he wrote, "who wish to live only for the Blessed Sacrament, who have made the Eucharist your centre and His service your only work, Mary is your model, her life your grace. Only persevere with her in the breaking of the bread (Acts 2, 42)."

Looking Round for Pity

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Heart-broken with that shame, I pine away, looking round for pity where pity is none, for comfort where there is no comfort to be found.
They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.
(Psalm 68, 21, Offertory of the Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

The Sufferings of a Love Wounded and Spurned

Our Lord, when He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, foresaw outrages and sufferings: the sufferings of a Love wounded and spurned. He still waits for a little compassion from priests, from His priests. Today more than ever, Jesus is looking for priest consolers, that is to say, priest adorers who will make reparation. To one priest He said:

I Want Priest Adorers and Reparators

I want priests who will adore for priests who do not adore, [I want] priests who will make reparation for priests who do not make reparation, not for themselves, nor for others. I want priest adorers and reparators.

All Heaven Weeps

My Father, too, is grieved by the coldness and indifference with which I who am His Beloved Son, His Eternal Priest, His Immaculate Victim ceaselessly offered in the sanctuary of heaven, am treated on earth. This comes not from strangers, but from my very own, from those whom I chose, out of love, to share in my priesthood, to abide in my presence, to nourish my people with the mysteries of my Body and Blood. All heaven weeps over the sins of my priests. For every sin there is mercy in the Blood and Water that flow from my wounded Side, but the sins of my priests call for reparation. Make reparation for your brother priests by adoring me, by remaining before my Eucharistic Face, by offering the love of your heart purified by my great mercy.

I Love My Priests

My Sacred Heart is divinely sensitive to the coldness and indifference of my priests. I ask you to make reparation to me for them. Allow me to love you as I would love each of them. Allow me to heal you, to comfort you, to sanctify you, just as I would heal, comfort, and sanctify any one of my priests. I love my priests -- but few of them believe in my love for them. You, believe in my love for you. I am your Friend. I have chosen you to be in life and in death the privileged friend of my Sacred Heart.

Console Me

I ask you to console me by remaining before my Face. I ask you to console me by staying close to my Heart, pierced for love of you and for all sinners. Be my priest adorer. Console me and make reparation for those who spurn my love, for those who mock my wounds, my Blood, my sacrifice.

Time Before My Eucharistic Face

I want you to learn to remain before my Eucharistic Face, silent, adoring, listening to me, and loving me for those who do not adore me, those who do not listen to me, those who never express their love for me in this way. If only my priests would spend time before my Eucharistic Face, I should heal them, purify them, sanctify them, and change them into apostles set all ablaze with the Living Flame that consumes my Heart in the Blessed Sacrament. But they stay away. They prefer so many other things, vain pursuits and things that leave them empty, bitter, and weary. They forget my words, "Come to me . . . and I will refresh you." My priests will be renewed in holiness and in purity when they begin to seek me out in the Sacrament of my Love.

The Desires of My Heart

How it grieves my Heart when the unique love I offer a soul is spurned, or ignored, or regarded with indifference. I tell you this so that you may make reparation to my Heart by accepting the love I have for you and by living in my friendship. Receive my gifts, my kindnesses, my attention, my mercies for the sake of those who effuse what I so desire to give them. Do this especially for my priests, your brothers. I would fill each one of my priests with my merciful love, I would take each one into the shelter of my wounded Side, I would give to each one the delights of my Divine Friendship, but so few of my priests accept what I desire to give them. They flee from before my Face. They remain at a distance from my open Heart. They keep themselves apart from me. Their lives are compartmentalized. They treat with me only when duty obliges them to do so. There is no gratuitous love, no desire to be with me for my own sake, simply because I am there in the Sacrament of my Love, waiting for the companionship and friendship of those whom I have chosen and called from among millions of souls to be my priests and to be the special friends of my Sacred Heart. Would that priests understood that they are called not only to minister to souls in my Name, but even more to cling to me, to abide in me, to live in me and for me, and by me and no other. I want you to tell priests of the desires of my Heart.

A Company of Priest-Adorers Making Reparation

Oh, how my Heart longs to raise up a company of priest-adorers who will make reparation for their brother priests by abiding before my Eucharistic Face. I will pour out the treasures of my Eucharistic Heart upon them. I want to renew the priesthood in my Church, and I will do it beginning with a few priests touched to the quick by my friendship, and drawn into the radiance of my Eucharistic Face.

I am indebted to my friend, Father Scott Bailey, C.SS.R. for this poignant image of the Eucharistic Face and Heart of Jesus.

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.

Donations for Silverstream Priory