Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle: September 2009 Archives

Beginning with Mary

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Madre dei sacerdoti.jpg

Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary and of the Cenacle
September 29 to October 7, 2009

I invite the kind readers of Vultus Christi to join me in praying this novena in preparation for the arrival of CJ and Diego who will present themselves as postulants for the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Our Lady of the Rosary,
Queen of the Cenacle,
and Mother of all who unite themselves
to your Immaculate Heart
in a prayer that is persevering and full of confidence,
look graciously upon the beginnings of this little monastery
dedicated to you,
and set apart for the adoration of your Divine Son,
hidden in the Sacrament of His Love.

Intercede for the men whom you have chosen
to live in the radiance of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus,
and to abide close to His Open Heart
together with you and with Saint John the Beloved Disciple.
Let nothing discourage them
as, day by day, they seek the Face of your Son,
and through Him offer themselves to the Father,
by the grace of the Holy Spirit,
for the healing and sanctification of priests.

Keep them humble and joyful in fidelity to the wisdom of Saint Benedict
and to the teachings of his Holy Rule.
Fill their dwelling with the sweet fragrance of your virginizing presence
so that all who enter there
may experience the happiness of the pure in heart
and the joy of those whose sins have been blotted out
in the Blood of the Lamb.

Be to them a Mother of Perpetual Help,
ready at every moment to assist them in their needs,
both spiritual and material,
so that with you, they may magnify the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
Whose mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him,
and Who, even in our day, does wonders for His lowly servants. Amen.

Three Hail Marys.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for them.
Our Lady of the Cenacle, pray for them.
Mediatrix of all graces, pray for them.

Saint Michael and all Angels, pray for them.
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, pray for them.
Blessed Columba Marmion, pray for them.

Quaerite faciem eius semper

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Seek His Face Evermore

My plan was to write a little commentary on the splendid liturgical texts of this Ember Friday, but, as so often happens, the day was very full and I hadn't a minute to sit at my desk. Just a wee word then, at this late hour, about today's Introit, Laetetur cor.

Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord:
seek ye the Lord and be strengthened:
seek His Face evermore.
V. Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His Name:
declare His deeds among the Gentiles. (Ps 104: 3, 4, 1)

The Joy That Shines on the Face of Christ

One who, as Saint Benedict says, "seeks God truly," will know the joy that never grows old, the joy that never loses its savour, the joy that neither induces ennui nor dulls the spirit. One who seeks God truly -- even, no, especially, if that search begins by weeping over His feet and kissing them -- will be directed by the Holy Spirit to discover the joy that shines upon the Face of Christ. This is the joy of which He said on the before He suffered: "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled." (Jn 15:11).

From Virtue to Virtue

One who "seeks God truly" will grow stronger as the search intensifies. The search for God is not wearisome. It doesn't deplete the energies of the soul; it refreshes them and increases them. As the psalmist says, "they shall go from virtue to virtue" (Ps 83:8).

The last phrase of the Introit is unforgettable, especially when one sings it in its Second Mode chant melody, or hears it sung: quaerite faciem eius semper. This is the great imperative of the monastic journey.

The Monastic Vocation

Commenting on today's liturgy, Blessed Ildefonso Schuster writes:

Saint Benedict, in his Regula Monachorum, makes this searching after God the watchword of his foundation, the one condition by which is to be judged the vocation of aspirants to the religious life. He regards neither the birth nor the age, nor the acquirements of the novice; his is concerned only in discerning his spirit, as to whether he is, in reality, seeking after God, and if in so doing he is following the same road of humility and obedience as was marked out by Christ. There is no other true road but this one.

Postulants on the Horizon

In a fortnight I will be welcoming the first two postulants to the spiritual chantier (construction site) of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle. They will not find anything in the way of majestic buildings with long silent cloisters. They will not find a well-practiced choir of seasoned monks. They will find poverty, littleness, weakness and, undoubtedly, struggles. But if they "seek God truly," they will find joy. That, I can guarantee.

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