Thursday, February 27, 2014

Loving the Church and Making Reparation for the Sins of Those Who Serve in the Sanctuaries of the Lord

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Dom Mark Kirby once again has graciously shared with us at Vultus Christi the writings of Mother Mectilde de Bar.  As always Mother expresses so well the pressing need to make reparation for the sins of those who are to serve the Church in her sanctuaries.  This time, however, she has the Church Herself, the Bride, address Her laments to you.

Do you love the Church?  Are you willing to suffer on Her behalf and in reparation for the affronts against the Lord and His Bride?  Are you willing for Love of Christ to take on the weight of the sins of the priesthood?  

More important: Are you willing to do this in such a fashion so as not to wound the Lord or His Church further?  Are you willing to do this silently and in a hidden fashion?  The spirit of reparation must not be shaped by frustration and anger but by love - the same love that drove your Lord to the Cross.  So often in our day there is a willingness to criticize and to identify the wound, but no one to offer the healing balm of loving sacrifice.  Do not let your lament turn into even greater sin by tearing away and biting at the ones already wounded.  Love, sacrifice and mercy alone should shape the hearts of the Daughters of St. Philip Neri.

In her meditations for the Feast of Reparation, solemnized on the Thursday of Sexagesima week, Mother Mectilde de Bar reflects on the sins of those who serve in the sanctuaries of the Lord.  The Church, in her desolation, cries, O you who have some love for me, you who know all the glory that my Bridegroom deserves, see and consider if there be any sorrow like unto mine. O you, ministers of the Lord and friends of the Bridegroom, the Bride address these laments to you. Hasten to relieve her pain by making reparation for the affronts to Jesus Christ; give Him the glory that others would strip from Him.

Having once shown the disorders of the children of Israel to the prophet Jeremias, the Lord led him to the entrance of the temple; He ordered him to pierce an opening in its wall, and to look upon what was going on inside. The prophet obeyed, and says that therein he saw even greater abominations.

Who, alas, does not grasp that this is but a figure? Who does not know that the sanctuary is the theatre par excellence of the Lord’s ignominies? Who does not know that, alongside of priests who are fervent and truly divine, there are priests who are lukewarm and indifferent, priests who are wicked [...]? And so, the Church, in calling [us] to reparation, begs us not to forget the outrages made against the glory of her Divine Spouse by His own ministers. Yours it is, she says, to expiate the sins of the Sanctuary; yours it is to bear the weight of the sins of the priesthood.

Let us enter into these intentions of the Church, and united in spirit with what remains on earth of fervent Christians, and of priests pressed by the charity of Jesus Christ, let us strive to repair the outrages of indifference and impiety; let us lift up the throne of the Lord, and offer Him the tribute of homage that, by so many titles, He deserves.

Mother Mectilde de Bar, Meditations for the Day of Great Reparation