Holy Week 2012: April 2012 Archives

Only those wounded by Me

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I who am here before you,
I am the Word.
No book, however beautifully written,
can speak to your heart as do I,
for I am Eternal Wisdom,
and Infinite Love,
and Uncreated Beauty
in dialogue with your soul.
My words are not like the words of men,
My words surpass even the words of My saints,
though I often speak through them
and continue to touch souls through their writings.
My words are like arrows of fire shot into the heart
and wounding it
so as to inflame it,
and heal it with Divine Love.

Make yourself vulnerable to My words.
Allow Me to speak to you in such a way as to wound you
with the piercing of Divine Love.
When you come before Me and wait upon Me in silence,
you are, in effect, waiting upon Me and allowing Me,
when I choose and in the way I choose,
to wound you with an interior word
and to set you on fire with a communication of Divine Love.
Expect Me, then, to speak to you,
to console you, and to enlighten you,
but also to wound you.
Unless I wound you in this way,
you will be incapable of withstanding the attacks of the enemy
and of bearing witness to Me in the midst of darkness and tribulation.

In the spiritual battle that is coming,
only those wounded by Me will emerge victorious.
This is why I call all My priests to seek and to accept the healing wounds of My Love. Those who keep watch before My Eucharistic Face
will be among the first to be so wounded.
I have called you to adoration because I desire to wound you not once,
but again and again, until your whole being is wounded
and so, purified and set ablaze with the fire of My Love.
Were that your soul were wounded
as many times as I was wounded in My Body for love of you
in the combat of My most bitter Passion.
Allow Me, then, to pierce you through and through
until, wounded by Divine Love,
you are wholly sanctified and made fit for My purposes and designs.

This I desire not only for you, but also for all My priests.
I would wound each one again and again with My burning love
so as to purify the whole priestly order in My beloved Church,
and present it to the eyes of the world as a victimal priesthood
made holy in the holocaust of Divine Love.

Until My bishops and My priests allow Me to wound them
with the fiery arrows of My Divine Love,
their own wounds -- wounds of sin -- will continue to fester
and to spread a filthy infection of corruption and of impurity in the Church.
Let each one beg Me to wound him,
for in wounding My beloved priests,
I will heal them, and in healing them,
I will sanctify them, and in sanctifying them,
I will offer glory to My Father
and fill the world with the radiance of My own Face
and the love of My own Heart."

This is, in truth who you are:
a sinner held fast in the embrace of My Divine Friendship.
When I withdraw this grace of conversation with Me for a time,
it is so that you will not mistake it for the product of your own imaginings,
and also, so that you will not grow accustomed to My words
and so, little by little, fail to take them to heart and to treasure them.
I speak to you so that you might share My words
when the occasion arises to do so.
Share My words humbly, with no thought for yourself.
Remain hidden in Me:
I will hide you from the observations of men in the secret of My Face,
I will prepare for you a secret place deep within the sanctuary of My pierced side.
There you can go to remain hidden and silent,
sharing My words freely and without the fear of being noticed or praised.
Ask Me to hide you in My wounds.
There is a place for you in each of My five wounds;
each of them represents a refuge against the temptations that threaten you,
and the traps set by the devil,
who would ensnare you and rejoice to see you fall.

The wound in My right hand
is your refuge from sins of disobedience and self-will.
Take refuge there
when you are tempted to take the path that is easy and broad.

The wound in My left hand
is your refuge from sins of selfishness,
from directing all things to yourself, and grasping the attention of others
by seeking to take to yourself what your right hand has given Me.

The wound in My right foot
is your refuge from sins of inconstancy.
Take refuge there when you are tempted to be inconsistent,
and when you waver in your resolutions
to love Me above all things,
and to place Me first in your affections and in your desires.

The wound in My left foot
is your refuge against sins of sloth and of spiritual lethargy.
Take refuge there when you are tempted to give up the struggle
and to consent to despair and discouragement.

Finally, the wound in My side
is your refuge from every false love
and every fleshly deceit promising sweetness,
but giving bitterness and death instead.

Take refuge in My pierced side
when you are tempted to look for love in any creature.
I have created you for My love,
and My love alone can satisfy the desires of your heart.
Enter, then, the wound in My side
and, penetrating even into My Heart,
drink deeply of the springs of love that will refresh and delight your soul,
and wash you in preparation for the wedding of your soul with Me,
for I am the Bridegroom of your soul,
your Saviour from all that would defile you,
and your God who is love and mercy
now and unto the ages of ages.

From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest


I am close to you now, and you are close to Me in the Sacrament of My Love.
I accept your presence here tonight
as an offering of friendship and reparation
for the sake of all My priests, your brothers.

Tonight I look for them.
I wait for each one to seek Me out.
I continue to hope that My chosen ones,
even those who have allowed their hearts to grow hard against Me,
will be converted tonight
and find their way to My tabernacles where I wait for them.

There are graces destined for My priests
in this the night of My agony and of My betrayal
that are not given at any other time.
I am bound tonight.
I have already been taken,
and My captors led Me away as a lamb to the slaughter.
I am silent but My Heart watches and waits for My priests.
If only they would come to Me, I would undo the bonds that hold them in slavery.
I would give them light in the spiritual darknesses that oppress them.
I would speak to them words of comfort and of compassion.

Your being with Me tonight
allows Me to touch the souls of many priests who have stayed away from Me.
You are here only because My grace has worked within you,
changing your heart,
and drawing you into the grace of My abiding friendship.
What I have done in My infinite mercy for you,
I would do for every one of My priests.

I am about to renew the priesthood of My Church in holiness.
I am very close to cleansing My priests of the impurities that defile them.
Soon, very soon, I will pour out graces of spiritual healing upon all My priests.
I will separate those who will accept the gift of My Divine Friendship
from those who will harden their hearts against Me.
To the first I will give a radiant holiness
like that of John and of My apostles in the beginnings.
From the others I will take away even what they think they have.
It must be so.
I want the priests of My Church clean in heart
and faithful in responding to the immense love
with which I have loved each one of them
and chosen each one for Myself
and for the realization of the designs of My Heart.
Those who do not live in My friendship betray Me and impede My work.
They detract from the beauty of holiness
that I would see shine in My Church.
I weep over their hardness of heart
and My Immaculate Mother, their sorrowing Mother, weeps with Me over them.

The renewal of My priesthood in the Church
will begin from the fire of love that blazes in the Sacrament of My Body and Blood.
I call all priests to seek My Eucharistic Face and to abide in My presence.
I want all My priests to discover My open Heart,
My living Heart beating with Love for them,
and pouring forth a purifying stream of Blood and of Water for their holiness,
and for the life of the world.
I summon all My priests into My Eucharistic presence.
They must learn that in My company is the fullness of joy.
They must discover in the Sacrament of My Love
the sweetness and strength of My Divine Friendship.

Many, so many, have forsaken Me in the Sacrament of My Love,
but I will not forsake a single priest who comes to Me in the Sacrament of My Love.
There I wait for My priests.
There I offer them My Divine Embrace.
There I would draw them to My open Side,
and through the wound in My Side, into the sanctuary of My Sacred Heart.

Adore Me for the sake of your brother priests who do not adore Me.
Let Me give you what I would give each of them.
Accept My Love.
Receive the gift of My Divine Friendship.
Make My Eucharistic Presence the very heart of your life
and the centre to which you return
for warmth, for healing, for comfort, and for light.
Seek My Eucharistic Face, and invite others to do the same.

In the light of My Eucharistic Face great things take place in souls.
You have only to present yourself before Me,
and the light of My Countenance,
veiled in the Sacrament of My Love,
begins at once to work in your soul.

From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest

Pascha Est Cor Liturgiae

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Signs of Passion.jpg

The Pasch of the Lord: Heart of the Liturgy

The heart of the liturgy is the Paschal Mystery of Christ's death, Resurrection and Ascension, accomplished once and for all in Christ the Head and extended by means of the liturgy to all His members throughout history. All Christian worship is but a continuous celebration of the Pasch of the Lord: the sun, dawning each day, draws in its course an uninterrupted train of Eucharists; every celebration of Holy Mass makes present the Paschal Sacrifice of the Lamb. Each day of the liturgical year, and within each day, every instant of the Church's sleepless vigil, continues and renews the Pasch of Christ.

The Heart of Theology and of Piety

In repeating the enactment of the liturgy, the Church has access to the "unique, unrepeatable mystery of Christ"; day after day, week after week and year after year, the Church is caught up in the transforming glory of the Paschal Mystery. Through the sacred liturgy, the Paschal Mystery irrigates and transforms all of human life, healing those who partake of the sacraments and drawing the Church, already here and now, into the communion of the risen and ascended Christ with the Father in the Holy Spirit. Because it is the heart of the liturgy, the Pasch of the Lord is the heart of theology, and the heart of Christian piety as well.

The Sacred Triduum

The annual celebration of "the most sacred Triduum of the crucified, buried and risen Lord" is the liturgical, theological and spiritual center of the Church's life and "the culmination of the entire liturgical year." The Paschal Triduum begins with the Vesperal Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday, continues through the Friday of the Lord's Passion, reaches its summit in the Solemn Paschal Vigil, and comes to a close with Sunday Vespers of the Lord's Resurrection.

Gregorian Chant

As an integral element of the Sacred Triduum, Gregorian Chant takes its place in the complexus of sacred signs by which the Paschal Mystery is rendered present to the Church, and the Church drawn into the Paschal Mystery. The chant of the Church is thus essentially related to the Paschal Mystery and to the new life which it imparts. The transcendent value of liturgical chant, especially during the annual celebration of the Paschal Triduum, is properly theological and spiritual. The chants of the Paschal Triduum constitute therefore a point of reconciliation and unity "between theology and liturgy, liturgy and spirituality." What Father Alexander Schmemann wrote concerning the Paschal Triduum of the Byzantine liturgy and its hymnography is also true, mutatis mutandis, of the liturgy of the Roman Rite and of its proper chants:

The liturgy of the Paschal Triduum -- Holy Friday, Great and Holy Saturday and Sunday -- reveals more about the "doctrines" of Creation, Fall, Redemption, Death and Resurrection than all the other "loci theologici" together; and, let me stress it, not merely in the texts, in the magnificent Byzantine hymnography, but precisely by the very "experience" -- ineffable yet illuminating -- given during these days in their inner interdependence, in their nature; indeed as epiphany and revelation. Truly if the word mystery can still have any meaning today, be experienced and not merely "explained," it is here, in this unique celebration which reveals and communicates before it "explains"; which makes us witnesses and participants of one all-embracing Event from which stems everything else: understanding and power, knowledge and joy, contemplation and communion.

The Whole Person in the Whole Church

Participation in the sacred liturgy makes "witnesses and participants" of those who thus experience the Paschal Mystery as something revealed and communicated, men and women capable of saying, "We have seen the Lord" (Jn 20:24). Paradoxically, while each worshiper must enter personally into the Paschal Mystery, making a personal profession of faith at Baptism, and uttering a personal Amen to the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, the effect of such a personal engagement is participation in the Body of Christ and the unity of the Holy Spirit. The saving mystery of Christ's death and Resurrection embraces and sanctifies the integral human person within the communion of the Church. The symbolic language of the liturgy therefore engages the human person bodily, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.

The Power of the Paschal Liturgy

A Holy Week entry from the 1910 diary of Pieter van der Meer de Walcheren, written while the author was yet an unbeliever, attests to the experiential impact of the Paschal liturgy as epiphany and revelation, and to one person's passage out of isolation into the communion of faith in the Church.

The liturgy is a holy magnificence. I am well aware that it is absurd to speak words of admiration. All too evident is the beauty of this worship that expresses the inexpressible and causes the pure splendor of a flame to burn upright and bright in life’s blackness. Art is so superficial and poor; it appears so empty next to these sublime chants, next to these biblical words chanted, next to these holy texts, next to these prayers of mourning, these poems of extreme joy! I still hear the chant of the end of Lauds: Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis"; to which is added on the third night; "propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum et dedit illi nomen quod est super omne nomen. The music of it, the slow plaintive, desperate music laden with every sorrow and with every mystery! How shall I ever forget the Lamentations of Jeremiah at the first Nocturn of Tenebrae? And the Ecce lignum crucis of Friday . . . ? And the Reproaches, divine reproaches of a crucified God to his people?
On Holy Saturday the new fire is kindled. The priest, advancing slowly towards the altar, sings the thrice-repeated words at equal intervals: Lumen Christi, each time on a higher tone; and the light increases until it becomes an immense interior fire. One senses in one's soul a tangible deliverance. Where can one find a thing more lovely, more sublime than the chant of the Exultet jam angelica turba caelorum, in which, by the words and by the music, the desire of an incommensurable joy lifts itself up and erects a kind of rainbow stretching from earth to heaven? And the Preface that follows, with its sublime cries: O certe necessarium Adae peccatum! . . . O felix culpa! . . . Oh, to be able to believe, to be unshakably certain that this is not an empty spectacle, not a beautiful dream, but signs and symbols which are but the reflection of an inexpressible divine reality. I am shaken in the very depths of my soul. Illusion and appearance could never make me weep like this. I sense that behind all that I see and hear are luminous roads leading towards God.

Such is the power of the liturgy of the Paschal Triduum over the human heart. The chants of the Paschal Triduum do not disclose their theological significance as isolated fragments, separately analyzed and removed from their context. The Mystery is one, and its radiance suffuses the Paschal liturgy in all its parts.

Maundy Thursday

Beginning on the evening of Maundy Thursday, the liturgy sings of the glorious Cross of Christ and of the effects of Christ's priestly sacrifice, mediated by the sacraments of the Church, and translated into lives of sacrificial love and humble service. The chants sing of ancient types and shadows, fulfilled in the Pasch of Christ, preparing the mystery of the Eucharist, and pointing already to the eschatological "marriage supper of the Lamb" (Apoc 19:9).

Good Friday

In the chants of Good Friday, Christ, the immolated Lamb and the Bridegroom of the Church, prays and offers himself to the Father, drawing the Church into his prayer, into his sacrifice and into his glorious exaltation. The chants of the adoratio Crucis reveal the Cross as the locus of Christ's glorification and the throne of mercy towards which the Church addresses bold supplication for her own needs and for those of all people. The Cross is the Tree of Life planted in the midst of the Church, the abiding sign of the Father's mercy, of the Son's crucified love, and of the Holy Spirit's lifegiving action.

The Paschal Vigil

In the celebration of the Paschal Vigil, the cantica, or intervenient chants of the Liturgy of the Word, interact with the readings and orations, evoking a vast array of figures and types that in the Pasch of Christ and the sacraments of the Church find their ultimate theological meaning and fulfillment. Readings, chants and orations function together as a final preparation for the sacramenta paschalia. With the Alleluia and the intonation of Psalm 117 emerges a current of joy that overflows into the Mass of Easter Day.

Holy Pascha

On Easter Day, the Church's liturgy is quiet and contemplative. The risen Christ introduces into his ineffable conversation with the Father all those who, by means of the sacraments, share in his death and Resurrection. The shadowy images of Exodus 12, introduced at the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, are brought into the morning light of Christ's Paschal sacrifice in the Alleluia Pascha nostrum and in the Communion antiphon. The circle is thus completed, demonstrating that the Paschal Mystery is indeed "a single celebration in which the individual parts . . . make the whole visible both in its parts and as a whole."

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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April 2012: Monthly Archives