Thursday, February 8, 2018

Let not your heart be troubled

Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me.       (John 14: 1) 
Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

You must have no anxiety at all and let nothing disturb your interior quiet.  Do not try to control, manage or manipulate the realities of your daily life.  Rather, entrust yourself to the Providence of God.  You will be put to the test; if only to lead you to let go of the things that you tend to prefer more than His love.  Know that the Lord sees all of your needs more clearly than you do and there will be many occasions when you discover that your plans are foreign to His. You press to have your own designs fulfilled prematurely rather than according to God's mind and will.  

The call you have received from God is beautifully simple - to adore Him; but you seek to fill your days and nights with things and activities that bring you no closer to fulfilling His designs for you.  You must give first place to adoration and let the Lord accomplish what He desires in your life and the life of others.

Consecrate yourself to the time of prayer in the "rule" the Lord has given you.  This is how you cling to God and through this He can accomplish the impossible in you.  Place the things that weigh upon you the most or cause you the greatest anxiety in His hands, especially those individuals who cause you the greatest distress.  Otherwise work quietly in His presence through the day until you return to Him once again in prayer.  He will "order all things mightily and sweetly."
A troubled heart is always an indication of one’s lack of trust in Me. Trouble, interior disquiet, comes from wanting to control and manage the things that are better left to My Father’s providence. At every moment, I provide you with occasions to trust Me and to abandon to Me the things that you would prefer to see other than they are. Whenever you come up against something that contradicts your plans or fails to meet your expectations, give that thing, that situation, that disappointment to Me. Entrust it to My Heart, and then relinquish all worry over it. 

I am not distant from you nor am I removed from your life and all that makes up your days. Not a hair falls from your head without My Father permitting it. Make frequent acts of trust and abandonment. Let go of the things that you cling to most tightly. Come to Me with empty hands. Hold on to nothing, not even to your own plans and desires for good things. If the things that you want for yourself are good, know, beyond any doubt, that the things I want for you are infinitely better. 

When you find something difficult, or beyond your strength, ask Me to do it in you or even to leave it undone as I see fit. There are things that you would want to do that are alien to My plans, and there are things that I would have you do that you, of yourself, would never think of doing. It is your attachment to doing what you want that impedes the rapid fulfilment of My perfect designs for you and for this place. 

I called you here to adore Me. You have found other things to fill your days and your nights, but none of these will advance My plans, nor will they contribute to the unfolding of what My Heart has conceived for you. Give the first place to the adoration that I have asked of you, and still ask of you, and you will see wonders. 

The doing must be Mine. Yours it is to trust Me, to wait upon Me, to abide close to My Heart like the beloved disciple. When you are to do something that springs from My plan for you, you will find that thing easy to do, for I will give you light and strength and perseverance in the doing of it. 

Consecrate to Me the hours of prayer that I have asked of you. Follow your Rule, and all else will fall into place. When you are close to Me in the Sacrament of My love, you are working with Me, and I am working in you, and this in a way that is divinely efficacious and supernaturally fruitful. When the time to end your adoration comes, take leave of Me with the same freedom and joy with which you came into My presence. By following your Rule, you do not forsake Me; you cleave to Me and allow Me to speak, to act, to do in you things that would otherwise be impossible for you. 

The things that weigh upon you most heavily, the things that cause you the most anxiety and distress, are the very things that I want you to abandon to Me. When a particular people become for you a cause of worry and distress, give them to Me and represent them before My Eucharistic Face. You will see changes in them that only My grace can produce. When something becomes a cause of anguish, or makes you fearful, or robs your heart of peace, give that thing to Me immediately, and once you have given it to Me, think of it no more. I order all things mightily and sweetly. Carry out your duties with freedom and simplicity. Do one thing after another. Give all things to Me upon beginning them, and offer all things to Me upon completing them. Work quietly in My presence, and then return to My presence here in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar to find rest for your soul and to console My Heart with your friendship.

In Sinu Jesu
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

sink into the ground of adoration

But Jesus answered them, saying: “The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour.” John 12: 23–26 
Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Are you willing to follow the Lord into the hiddenness of prayer; allowing yourself to sink into the darkness of an absolute faith?  More, are you willing to completely die to self and to lose yourself in adoration?  For you must let go of all that the senses cling to and that to which reason and understanding hold fast for security; forgoing what even seems to be soundness and stability of mind.  

For it is only in imitation of your Beloved, by allowing yourself to be buried in the rich ground of faith, by dying to any sense of yourself outside of Him, will you bear much fruit. Can you let yourself consent to disappear, to become what you contemplate, to be forsaken by all and wrapped in silence?  It is only then that you will enter into the Silence that is Life and the glory that is not of this world.

There is a very real sense in which the prayer of adoration is a loss of one’s life. It is a kind of falling into the ground to die. Remember this when you come to adore Me. Look at the Sacred Host and see Me, who am the grain of wheat fallen into the ground and risen to life, and become the food of a vast multitude of souls, and this until the end of time. The grain of wheat that I was has become the Host that I am. 

When you adore Me, forgetting yourself and forsaking all things for Me, you imitate Me, for adoration is a kind of death. It is a passing out of everything that solicits the senses and a cleaving to Me alone in the bright darkness of faith. So it will be in the hour of your death. 

The more deeply you sink into adoration, the more deeply are you planted in the earth, there to die, and there to sprout, and finally to bring forth much fruit. 

Sink into the ground of adoration. Consent to disappear, to forsake appearances, and to die. Enter into the silence of the Host. Become by grace what you contemplate in faith. Here, I am hidden, silent, and forsaken by all, save a very few whom I have chosen to enter into My hiddenness, My silence, and My solitude. If you would serve Me, follow Me into My Eucharistic state. Lose all that the world counts as something and become with Me something that the world counts as nothing. 

“Where I am, there also shall my servant be.”  You are here because I am here and was here before you. Adoration is the humblest and, at the same time, the most fruitful expression of service. To adore Me is to serve Me, and “if anyone serve Me, my Father will honour him.”  When you adore Me, you serve Me, and in serving Me, you are united to Me who hide Myself, and give Myself, and reveal Myself in this Sacrament. This is the life of adoration: it is the mystery of the grain of wheat buried and hidden in the darkness of the earth. It is the promise of life in abundance and a foretaste of the face-to-face vision that awaits you in glory.

In Sinu Jesu
A Journal of a Priest at Prayer

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Know what you pray for Daughters!

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

You must understand well what it is that you pray for in order that you give yourself over fully to the life of Adoration and Reparation.  You must grasp in a way that even few priests do the significance of their calling and the magnitude of their identity.  Not only has the priesthood been stripped of its dignity in recent years, dimming the Face of Christ the Eternal Priest, but the impact of this on the life of the Church and the loss for the faithful has been incalculable.  The reflections below from In Sinu Jesu capture not only the beauty of the priesthood and the gift that it is for the Church but also the commitment and grace that is needed for men to be conformed to Christ in every way.  

Contrary to the attempts of the world to diminish the priesthood and make it invisible or absent altogether, the priest must give his whole self to God and allow himself to be shaped as God wills.  He must chose definitively to turn away from the vanities of the world and have eyes only for Christ and the holiness to which He has called Him.  A priest must live for the Blessed Sacrament as Christ keeps Himself present for us always in the Tabernacle.  A priest must truly put on the mind of Christ and live in complete docility to the Spirit of Lord in order that He might truly act and speak through him.  

A priest is not a functionary but rather an "alter Christus", an other Christ, in and through whom the Lord continues to speak to and heal His people.  He makes Christ present to others not in an abstract way but through his touching souls and comforting them.  The recent scandals may make many priests shrink back from making themselves so radically present to others, from loving them, and so build the walls high to protect themselves.  Yet they must not hide themselves and their identity from others but make themselves visible and vulnerable.  As Spiritual Mothers, you are poised to understand the importance of and the world's need of true fathers - fathers who heal the wounds of abuse and neglect and provide souls in their care with love, comfort, direction, guidance and courage.  The absence of true fathers has left so many with a distorted view of God and the world. And so you, Daughters, must bear priests in your hearts as you come before the Lord in Adoration and through your asceticism and sacrifices until through God's mercy the souls of true spiritual fathers are reborn.

Leave aside the things that distract you from Me. I am the one thing necessary to you in this life. Save your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your hands, and your heart, your whole being for Me, and I will unite you to Myself. Close your eyes to vanities, and your ears to flattery and deceit. Open your mouth to praise Me, to sing My glory, to speak of Me, and to speak good things to your neighbour. Keep yourself for Me, as I keep Myself for you in the Sacrament of My love. 
Know that I wait for you. There is a consolation that only you can give Me. It is your friendship that My Heart desires, and this friendship of yours cannot be replaced by any other. You are Mine and I am yours. Abide in Me and I will abide in you, speaking through you, and touching souls through your words. 
Allow Me to be the physician of souls and bodies through you. I want to live in you and pursue on earth all of those things that I did out of love and compassion when I walked among men in My flesh. You are My flesh now, and you are My presence in the world. It is through you that I make Myself visible to men. It is through you that I will speak to them, and comfort them, and heal them, and draw them to My Father in the Holy Spirit. 
There is nothing that I will not do for souls through My priests. Let them be visible and present in the world that needs them and, without knowing it, seeks them and waits for a word from them: a word of life, a word of hope, a word of compassion, a word of forgiveness. Let My priests be visible, not in order to make themselves seen and admired by men, but in order to make Me seen, and known, and loved in them and through them. 
The world is looking for fathers, and in My priests I have given souls the fathers whom they need. There are false fathers who would abuse souls and lead them along, and exercise seduction and power over them. These are not the fathers whom I am sending into the world. The fathers whom I send to souls are men in My own image and likeness: humble, meek, self-sacrificing, tender, and strong. I will give to these fathers, chosen and sent out by Me, a wisdom and a courage that the enemies of My Cross will not be able to confound. 
Let My priests forsake all selfishness and worldly aggrandisement, and so become fathers to souls in need of love, comfort, direction, guidance, and courage. It is through My priests—fathers in whom the tenderness and mercy of My own Father will be revealed to His children in this valley of tears—that the world will be healed of the sufferings inflicted upon it by the absence of true fathers. Let My priests be fathers! Let them beg Me for the grace of spiritual fatherhood, and I will give it to them in abundance.

Your prayers, Daughters, must be made with the clarity and courage of the Mother of our Lord; for you must desire that the hearts of the priests you support be shaped by the same self-emptying love of Christ.  In other words, you must pray that they be willing and able to become both priest and victim.  You must pray that they abandon themselves so completely to the embrace of Christ that they stretch themselves out with Him on the Cross.  They must bear within their bodies the marks of the Christ crucified.  In offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, they must allow the immolation of the Lamb to be renewed in their bodies and souls each day.  It is for this reason that they are ordained - to become living icons of the Christ crucified.  

It is normal that a priest be stigmatised; what is not normal, in fact, is that he not be. The real union with the Crucified each day at the altar should leave the traces of His holy wounds in his hands, in his feet, and in his heart. In offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest is totally assimilated to Jesus crucified. This the Father sees; this the angels see; it is only men who do not see it. 
The depth of the impression of the wounds of Jesus in the heart and in the soul of the priest is proportionate to his degree of abandonment to the embrace of Jesus, who desires only to unite him to Himself. In some, the interior impression is so strong that it manifests itself even in the flesh of the priest; in others, the identification with the Crucified remains all interior and hidden; in still others, it is barely sketched in the soul of the priest, because he rebels against the idea of letting himself be crucified with Christ, and wants to keep his life for himself. 
To ascend to the altar to offer there the Holy Sacrifice is already to offer oneself to the piercing of the nails and of the lance, and to the crown of thorns. To offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is already to risk the secret interior stigmatisation that the Father sees, who sees in secret, and the angels who are admitted to contemplate the immolation of the Lamb renewed in the body and in the soul of a man. 
To offer oneself to the interior stigmatisation is entirely in the logic of priestly ordination. In some men, God permits it to be manifested visibly, with outpourings of blood. In others, the same mystery is lived in secret, without any outward manifestation. It remains that every priest is chosen to bear the marks of the Passion of Christ, and to be the living icon of His immolation each day upon the altar.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

to bear the wounds of Love

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

To make reparation is to bear the wounds of Love, to willingly and freely make yourself vulnerable to the word God speaks to you in the silence of prayer.  You must approach Him not only with the hope of being consoled but to console.  You must seek not only the strength, grace and forgiveness that flows from your Beloved's wounds but unite yourself so completely to Him so as to accept all that was inflicted upon Him in His most bitter Passion as your own.  Let yourself be made holy in the holocaust of divine love so that the world may be filled with the radiance of His Face and the priesthood would be healed by the love of His own Heart.

This you must do humbly and without the observation of others.  Enter, as your patron St. Philip Neri tells you, into His open side; so deeply as to never find your way from this hidden sanctuary.  There, in each of His wounds, you will find refuge from all evil.  Drink deeply of the springs of love that will refresh and delight your souls.

I who am here before you, I am the Word. No book, however beautifully written, can speak to your heart as I do, for I am eternal Wisdom, 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, 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 on behalf of My priests 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. Would 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 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 of you beg Me to wound her, for in wounding you, I will heal My beloved priests, 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, in truth, is 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.

In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer 
A Benedictine Monk

Sunday, October 22, 2017

When you are before Me

You do not yet understand the value and the meaning of what you are doing when you abide in adoration before My Eucharistic Face.  You are participating in a divine work, in a work of grace.  You are before Me as an empty vessel to be filled with the power and sweetness of the Holy Spirit, that souls might drink of My love and, drinking, see that My love is sweeter than any earthly delight.

You are before Me as the intercessor in whose soul the Holy Spirit is sighing with ineffable groaning and you are obtaining from My Father, through Me, all that the Father desires to give My priests in this world and in the next.

You are the reparator opening yourself to receive the love that so many others ignore, refuse, or treat with indifference, coldness, and disdain.  By offering yourself to Me in an adoration of reparation, you console My Eucharistic Heart, which burns with love and so desires to fill souls with My tender mercy.

When you are before Me, you are the privileged friends of My Heart, keeping Me company in My loneliness and allowing Me to share with you My sorrows, My grieving over sin, and My designs for a priesthood made pure and radiant with holiness.

When you are before Me, you are with Me a victim of love, handed over and bound to remain at your place before the altar with no desires or plans other than to love, to adore, to make reparation, and to represent all priests in a prayer that is simple, confident, and life-changing.

When you are in adoration before My Eucharistic Face, you are not idle; you are working in a way far more efficacious than any human undertaking can be.  This is your work and it is My work in you.  This is a work that many will criticize and not understand.  You are here in a divinely active collaboration with Me, who from the Sacrament of My love continue My priestly mediation before the Father on behalf of poor sinners.

Never doubt of the value of your hours of adoration.  It is this that I have asked you to do, and I will draw from your presence in the sanctuary a great good and a superabundance of graces for My priests.  Now, by giving Me the better part of the day, you are beginning to realize that for which I called you here, and that for which I set you aside long ago.

O my beloved Jesus, show me how Thou wouldst have me spend this hour in Thy presence.

I leave you free.  You need not do anything.  You need not say anything.  All I desire is that you should be present, focused on My presence, and allowing Me to act in your soul.

I am pleased by every effort, no matter how humble or simple.  I prefer prayers of the humble and simple heart, prayer made without presence, in faith, hope, and in charity.

Learn from My saints.  Study them. Receive their teachings.  Draw inspiration from their friendship with Me.  But do not try to imitate them.  Each of My friends arrives at union with Me by the path traced for her by the Holy Spirit.  Even when two paths may appear similar, know that they are not identical.  All of these paths converge in union with Me, in the light of My Face, and all of them lead to the open door of My Sacred Heart.

Yours is the way of adoration.  I have called you to abide before My Eucharistic Face and to make it possible for others to follow that same vocation.  Even when many souls are called to the same way of life, each soul has its secret love, a way of experiencing My friendship most intimately, that can be shared with no one else.

My love is a personal love.  I love each soul that I have created as if that soul were the only soul in the universe, and I adapt My infinite love to the particular sensibilities and needs of that soul with all wisdom and tenderness of My divine Heart.

Trust in the path that I have opened before you and be faithful to it.  You are the first of a family of Daughters who will grow and flourish in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face.

Allow My love to direct all things.  Remain little and humble.  Prefer to stay in the background, allowing Me to direct and determine the course of events and the growth of this work of Mine.  The more faithful you are to adoring Me in the Sacrament of My love, the more will I be faithful to you in manifesting the wonders of My providence.

Your fatigue and your distractions in adoration are no impediment to My action in the depths of your soul.  I have assure you of this before.  Come before Me and remain before Me even when you feel that your adoration is no more than a struggle and a failure to remain attentive in love and focused on My Eucharistic Face.

Here, your feelings are of no importance.  What matters in My sight is your humility and your willingness to endure distractions, fatigue, and even sleepiness while adoring Me from the heart of your heart.  Know that even when you feel that your adoration has been a waste of time, in My plan it is something fruitful and it is very pleasing to Me.  I do not see things as you see them nor do I measure their value as you measure it.

In Sinu Jesu
Journal of a priest at prayer

Friday, September 22, 2017

Abide in Me, suffer in Me, love in Me

 When I asked Our Lord about my physical weaknesses, my pain, and fatigue:

Accept these things and offer them to the Father in union with My Passion for the sanctification of priests and the healing of those whom you have offended or wounded by your sins.

My beloved Jesus, attach me to Thyself, even as Your Mother and Magdalene were attached to Thee.

Abide in Me, suffer in Me, love in Me, and I will use all that you do and suffer to repair the evil you have done and to bring healing and peace to those whom you have injured.  Trust Me with your past and with its heavy burden of sin; give Me all that you have: the present moment.  Offer the present to Me, and I will attend to repairing your past and to preparing your future.  Your future is to be united with Me eternally in heaven by means of the same love with which you will have loved Me during these remaining years on earth.

Do you not see how much I have been calling you to trust in Me?  Trust is the key that opens all the treasures of My merciful and infinitely loving Heart.  I am touched by a single act of trust in My merciful love more than a multitude of good works.  The soul who trusts Me, by that very fact, removes the obstacles of pride and self-determination that impede my freedom of action.  There is nothing I will not do for the soul who abandons herself to Me in a simple act of trust.

Do Thou in me and through me, O my beloved Jesus,
all that Thou desires to find in me and do through me,
so that, in spite of my miseries, my weaknesses, and even my sins, 
your holy priesthood may be a radiance of Thine,
and the face of priests reflect the merciful love that ever shines 
      on Thy Holy Face
for souls who trust in Thee and abandon themselves 
      to Thy Divine action.

Will you allow Me to suffer in you, to complete in your flesh and in your heart that portion of My Passion reserved for you by My Father from all eternity?  I will send upon you the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, so that you may be able to suffer joyfully and in the peace of a complete submission to all the designs of My Heart upon your life.

I need your sufferings and I ask for them for the renewal of My priesthood in the Church and for the spiritual regeneration of priests weakened by sin and held in bondage to evil.  By your submission to My Father's will and by your humble participation in My Passion, many priests will be healed and purified, and restored to holiness.  Will you give Me your "yes"?  Will you consent to this work of Mine in you and through you?  Trust.

My Jesus, how can I refuse Thee anything?  All my trust is in Thee.  In Thee is all my hope.  I am all Thine, and Thy friendship is my assurance of happiness and of Thy unfailing grace.  I give Thee my heartfelt "yes."  I am all Thine, beloved Jesus: a spiritual mother for Thine own priesthood and a victim with Thee in Thy pure, holy, and spotless oblation to the Father. Amen.

Look to My Eucharistic Face and I will strengthen you in all your sufferings.  You will suffer not as one defeated by the forces of evil, but as one already united to Me in the triumph of My resurrection. I will suffer in you, giving to everything you endure out of love for Me and for My beloved priests a value far exceeding what can be measured in human terms.

My Heart will beat in yours and yours in Mine.  This is the union to which I am leading you.  This is the ultimate meaning of your passage on earth.  I am preparing you now for an eternal union with Me in the glory of heaven.  There you will find the home that I have prepared for you in My love for you even from before the beginning of time.

Your sufferings will be made of weakness and weariness and dependence on others.  I will send you physical sufferings, but I will also strengthen your heart and unite you more and more to Myself in a joy transcending all suffering and in a strength transcending every weakness.  You will be with Me on the altar of the Cross, and your life will become to the eyes of all a continuation and prolongation of My sacrifice on Calvary.  Thus will you be that mother in Jesus Crucified that I have chosen you to be; a mother to the souls of many priests, a mother with a heart pierced like My own Heart, and with an ever-flowing fountain of love for the healing of souls and the sanctification of My priests, my beloved priests.  Do you accept this?

Yes, Lord Jesus, I accept all that Thou proposest.  All my trust is in Thee.  All my confidence is in Thy Heart's friendship for me.

I will always give you strength to adore Me, to come before My Eucharistic Face, and to sing My praises.

adapted from 
In Sinu Jesu
A Journal of a Priest at Prayer

Monday, September 11, 2017

For as long as this earthly exile lasts

Lord, no matter how much I exhaust myself in the pursuit of even that which is good and worthy of effort, it disappears into what seems to be an empty void.  I often experience myself and my life bereft of meaning; mentally and physically devoid of strength.  Sacrifices once seemingly made with love now leave me bitter.  Friendships that once buoyed me up and counsel once valued have faded and I slip into a self-imposed isolation.  A life full of bright promise and hope has now turned grey.

Daughter, make Me the object of all your desires and you will never be disappointed.  Seek Me and you will find Me.  Ask for the grace of My presence in the sanctuary of your soul and there hold conversation with Me, for I am in you, and you are in Me.  I am your life, and apart from Me, all that this earthly life offers you is bitter and unable to satisfy your heart.  I have created you and called you to live in My friendship and to long for Me on earth until that longing is satisfied in heaven.

In the meantime, for as long as your earthly exile lasts, you have Me in the Sacrament of My love.  There you have My Heart; there you can contemplate My Face; there you can hear My voice; there you can enjoy My friendship and live in My presence.  I was no more really present to My Apostles than I am to you at this moment in the Sacrament of My love.  Do you believe this?

Yes, Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.  For it too has weakened.  The efficacy of my time before you I doubt and at times my gaze feels empty and to no purpose.  I would even say that my time before you is painful and any initiative lacking.  All seems forced.  My presence can only be an affront when my coldness meets the warmth of Your Love.  

I will strengthen your faith in My real presence and make it so strong that the rest of your life will rest upon it as a solid rock.  I am making you the adorer of My Eucharistic Face that I have so long desired.  Allow Me to form you, to shape you, to purify and to illumine you in preparation for the work that I have given you to do for My priests.  For this to happen, you have only to abide in My presence.  The work of adoration is also, and first of all, My work in you.  When you are before My Eucharistic Face and so close to My Heart, I am acting in you and acting upon you.  Your whole being is subject to My divine influence when you present yourself before Me to adore Me.

This, Daughter of St. Philip Neri, is why I so insist on adoration for you.  It is the crucible of your perfection.  It is the furnace of love in which I purify you like gold in the fire.  It is the nuptial chamber in which I draw you to My Heart, and to speak to you face-to-face, as a bridegroom to his bride, and as man to a friend.  The nuptial bond of the Daughter with Me pertains to the relationship between My divinity and the Daughter's soul.  My humanity offers you a divine friendship, but that friendship leads to union of the soul with My divinity and to a fruitfulness that surpasses every action and work of a soul working on her own initiative.

Consent to this friendship and I will espouse your soul.  Thus will you be Mine in a way that exceeds every purely human notion of union, even the union between two souls in the purest charity.  I created your soul for these espousals with My divinity, and your soul will have failed to attain that for which I created it, and that for which I destine you, unless you allow Me to love you and to purify you and to unite Me to yourself, not only as Friend to friend, but also as the One and Thrice Holy God to His beloved creature.  I am one with My Father and with the Holy Spirit, and when I love a soul and espouse a soul to Myself, that soul is also united and espoused to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.  Here, "espoused" is but a human word.  These mystical espousals have about them nothing carnal or material.  I speak of the union of the soul with her God, the realization of that for which she was created, and the fulfillment of her truest longings.

I fear being deluded or of falling prey to my own imagination.  Why should I dare to hope for such a thing or desire such an intimate love?  What could I offer in return?

Why should I not hold conversation with you who are the friend of My Heart?  I speak in this way to many souls but not all recognize My voice, and very few welcome My conversation and receive My friendship as the freely given gift it is.  It is My delight to hold conversation with those whom I love. Understand this: I hold conversation with you because I love you with an infinitely merciful and tender love and because I set My Heart upon you long ago to make you entirely My own.

When the enemy who hates Me and who hates all whom I love saw that My love was preparing you for union with Myself, he set about corrupting you by every means at his disposal.  Many things happened that put you at risk and threatened the fulfillment of My plan for you.

All of this has been going on, visibly and invisibly, for so many years, but now I have led you into the harbor of peace and of holiness that I have prepared for you.  This life of adoration is your harbor of salvation, just as it will be a harbor of salvation for many priests who risk being shipwrecked in the stormy waters of lives stirred up by sin and darkened by the shadows of evil.  Thank Me that I have brought you here, and now begin to love Me more, desiring Me and choosing My love over all else.  You are Mine.

adapted from
In Sinu Jesus
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer