Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Way of Life: The "Rule" of the Daughters of St. Philip Neri

*** The following is a working draft articulating the essence of the "vocation within a vocation" that is the life of the Daughter of St. Philip Neri as she seeks to respond to the call to Adoration, Reparation and Spiritual Motherhood for Priests.  We continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to shape things as God desires . . .  


“Let us concentrate intensely on Christ’s divine love and let us enter deeply into the wound in His side, into the living font of the wisdom of God made man, so as to drown ourselves in Him and not be able to find again the road which leaves Him.” (St. Philip Neri)

These words capture poignantly the desires and hopes of the Daughters of St. Philip Neri who seek like their Patron (Heart of Fire and Martyr of Charity) to enter and remain hidden close to the heart of Christ so that enflamed by His Spirit of love their lives may become a sacrifice of praise to God. Reflecting on the difficult situation in which Christ’s Church struggles, they resolve to make their humble contribution to renew the life of the Christian faithful and in particular the priesthood through their dedication to Adoration, Reparation, and Spiritual Motherhood for Priests.

The Daughter of St. Philip Neri lives this out in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by embracing the Will of God in joy and in sorrow, health and infirmity, prosperity and want, companionship and solitude, light and obscurity. In a word, she sees in every event of life an opportunity to enter, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, into the sacrifice of Christ the Priest.  In this way, a Daughter of St. Philip Neri can participate in the spiritual fecundity of the Mother of the Redeemer who, by her constant intercession, cares for the gift of life that ever flows from the open Heart of her Son, and cooperates with a mother’s love in the birth and upbringing of Christ’s faithful, her children.

It is to be understood, then, that the Daughter of St. Philip Neri embraces these realities not as an occasional devotion; they express, rather, the direction given to her whole life and the very nature of her womanhood and the need that exists everywhere for maternal sympathy and help for all those who are belabored and burdened. For example, her adoration may be said to be perpetual not because she never leaves her prie-dieu before the altar; it is perpetual because she makes the the Most Holy Eucharist the treasure of her life.  A Daughter of St. Philip Neri seeks to live only from the life of Jesus Christ in this divine Mystery.  She does this, however, not only through her adoration of the Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and through continuing that adoration in time spent before the Blessed Sacrament.  She also seeks in her heart to love and adore Him always, and in all her actions remain constantly united to Him.  

Therefore, even if nearly all Christians were ungrateful towards this mystery of love, she, at least, will not be and she will recognize the gift of God.  The Lord yearns for souls who would know how to appreciate its value, and it is to this desire that a Daughter of St. Philip Neri seeks to respond; that Jesus may find abundantly in her the glory and the delight that others refuse Him elsewhere!  She seeks by her ardour, to worthily repair for the coldness and impiety of so many others. 

The fact that the deepest sorrows of Christ's Heart are the scandals that involve His "other selves," His priests whom He has so loved and has so desired to draw into the highest sanctity, shapes the response of the Daughter of St. Philip Neri.  The evidence of infidelity in priests should arouse in her heart the wish to expiate.

Not by prayer alone, but by prayer and mortification. This need not mean extraordinary bodily austerities. But it does mean the patient endurance of whatever trials the Lord may send; or the withdrawal of the pleasures and satisfactions previously had; or the silent endurance of rejection and mistrust; or the quiet bearing up with a painful illness, disability or wasting disease. What form the mortification takes is secondary. What is primary is the will to expiate. And this will should become imperative: Progressively and always with the restraint that is guided by humble obedience to spiritual direction the Daughter of St. Philip Neri must develop a thirst for reparation that intensifies as she grows in her love of Jesus Christ.

She earnestly seeks to learn the art of reparation so that the very little things that bother her, the little trivia of human limitations around her, the little contradictions and disappointments, can all be gathered up and offered in reparation. They become the myrrh of life.

Thus, it is the ever growing love for Christ and desire to make reparation for sins that is the essence and source of the Spiritual Maternity of the Daughter of St. Philip Neri.  This "vocation within vocation" is held out to her as a way of life and a call to a deeper self-offering to God within the context of her daily life and vocation.  The espousal of the soul to Christ and the depth of that union is at the core of Spiritual Motherhood and is the source of its generativity and the promise of the fruit of her intercession on behalf of priests.





Daily Offering of Self

O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!

Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in His heart burning with Love.

I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels. Finally, I offer You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: "Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you!" I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God! that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul. Ah! I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful?Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.

I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.

I thank You, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the Last Day carrying the sceptre of Your Cross. Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.

After earth's Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.

In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!

Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.

In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.

I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!



Prayer for Priests

Father most holy,
I offer You the prayers, works,
joys, and sufferings of this day
by placing them in the holy and venerable hands
of Jesus, the Eternal High Priest,
and by saying, as He did upon entering the world,
“Behold, I come to do Your will” (Hebrews 10:9).
For the sake of all His priests,
and in particular for the priest(s)
entrusted to my maternal intercession,
I entreat Your beloved Son to unite my offering
to the Sacrifice of the Cross,
renewed upon the altars of Your Church
from the rising of the sun to its setting (Malachy 1:11).
Most merciful Father,
look upon these men chosen by Your Son
to show forth His death until He comes (1 Cor 11:26);
keep them from the Evil One (John 17:15)
and sanctify them in the truth (John 17:17).
Bind them by a most tender love
to the Virgin Mary, their Mother
that, by her intercession,
they may be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)
in every act of their sacred ministry;
thus may their priesthood reveal
the Face of Jesus and the merciful love of His Heart,
for the fruitfulness of His spouse, the Church.
and the praise of Your glory. Amen.