Prayers of Mine: December 2012 Archives

O Thou, Innocent Lamb of God

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Bérulle Enf Jésus132.jpg

Over the centuries, souls have been drawn irresistibly to the mystery of the Infant Christ. Among these was the great Pierre Cardinal de Bérulle, the "Apostle of the Incarnate Word." The image I chose to illustrate this prayer of mine was originally designed to inspire devotion in souls, who, following the teaching of Cardinal de Bérulle, would offer themselves to the Infant Jesus. The prayer that I was moved to make today, as a kind of amende honorable to Jesus in His adorable innocence in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, is one, I think, that Pierre de Bérulle would have understood and made his own.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Thou, innocent Lamb of God;
Thou, pure Victim, Holy Victim, Immaculate Victim,
I adore Thee who art present here
with all the love of my heart,
and I thank Thee that, from this altar, even now,
Thou art offering Thyself to the Father
as the sacrifice of propitiation
that destroys the sin of the world
and restores poor sinners to friendship with God,
not by changing Thy Father's Heart,
but by opening the hearts of poor sinners
to receive His pardon, His mercy, and His grace.

Do Thou open hearts long closed by sin.
Do Thou deliver souls languishing in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Do Thou set free souls bound in the fetters and chains
forged by Satan and his hateful allies.
Do Thou give sight to the blind,
movement to the paralyzed,
hearing to the deaf,
and tenderness to the stony-hearted.

Unite me to Thyself,
and, by Thy Virgin Mother's prayers,
so make me one sacrifice with Thee,
that I may appear before the Father,
consumed in the flames of Thy holocaust,
and made pure in the fire of love
that ever burns in Thy Eucharistic Heart. Amen.

The Innocence of Childhood Restored

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For the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Those for whom I wrote and prayed this prayer today, on the feast of the Holy Innocents, will understand that it was written and prayed for them. Many suffer well into adulthood, and even into old age, from things suffered in childhood, and often kept secret. The innocence that was robbed can be recovered, as can the joy of a pure childhood. The King of Love, being King of every year, month, day, and hour of time, can restore what was taken, and what He restores is brighter than what was lost.

O Divine Lover of Innocence,
Thou restorest innocence to those,
who, having lost it, turn to Thee in their sorrow and shame.
Thine it is, O Jesus, King of Love,
to restore the purity and joy of a holy childhood
to men and women of all ages
robbed of both purity and joy
by acts of cruelty, perversion, or lust.

The innocence that Thou restorest,
in Thy merciful goodness,
surpassses in brightness the innocence that was never tainted,
because it is marked by the diamonds of Thy tears,
and because Thou givest it,
washed clean in Thy Most Precious Blood,
as a free gift to those who ask it of Thee.

To all who ask for it today
restore the priceless grace of a holy childhood.
Protect Thou the little ones everywhere,
lest souls be damaged and destroyed by sin,
and lest any of those whom Thou hast destined for glory in Thy Kingdom
be lost along the way. Amen.

Caravaggio, Adorazione dei pastori.jpg

Among the mectildian-benedictine practices that our monastery has come to cherish is that of the Amende honorable (Act of Honourable Amendment): a prayer of adoration and reparation pronounced aloud before the Most Holy Sacrament. Here is the prayer that I offered today following Vespers.

Lord Jesus Christ,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten of the Father before the daystar,
and consubstantial with Him,
born in the fulness of time of the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee,
who art truly present here,
and, out of my own poverty and weakness,
I desire to make reparation
for those who do not adore Thee in this wondrous Sacrament,
and for those who deny the mystery of Thy real presence.

I would make reparation as well
for those who approach Thee without reverence,
for those who touch, and handle,
and receive Thy adorable Body
with coldness, with indifference,
and with little awareness of the immensity of Thy charity
burning in this Most Holy Sacrament.

Thou art here upon the altar
just as Thou wert in the cave of Bethlehem,
where, wrapped in swaddling bands,
Thou wast laid in the manger as upon an altar,
the innocent Lamb made ready for the sacrifice,
the Living Bread come down from heaven,
and set forth upon the altars of Thy Church
for the nourishment of those
whom Thou hast created to partake of Thy Flesh and Blood
and, in so doing, to become one with Thee.

Here, though Thy glory be veiled, yet is it visible,
for one cannot gaze upon the Sacred Host
without reflecting, as in a mirror,
something of the radiance of Thy glory
hidden beneath Its humble appearance.

I unite my adoration first to that of the Virgin Mother and of Saint Joseph,
desiring, in some way, to adore Thee with them
and to abide in their company.
I adore Thee in communion with the Angelic Choirs
who filled the skies of Bethlehem on that most holy night,
and I adore Thee together with the lowly shepherds
who, crossing over to Bethlehem, found there
that everything was just as the Angel told them.

Receive my adoration here,
and in every church become the true House of Bread,
by reason of Thine adorable presence,
thus prolonging the mystery of Bethlehem
through space and through time,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Bowing low before Thee,
I adore and I submit to this mystery of Thy omnipotence become so fragile,
of Thy glory so hidden,
and of Thy love so despised.

Let all that is in me surrender in faith to what I see before my eyes,
and to what I do not see,
for Thou art here,
who livest and reignest with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

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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