Monday, August 14, 2017

Your priestly mission and shared spiritual motherhood with Mary


"Your role is that of a Mass mystically continued, and such should be the role of the Daughters of St. Philip Neri, to continue the offering, offering me to the Father, and offering themselves with me . . .  . So many forget me, daughter!  So many offend me!  But the mission of the Daughters of St. Philip Neri is to repair this forgetfulness in union with Mary, consoling me, remembering me, but in the way I have told you.

You see, I am hurt more by forgetfulness than by the world's offenses, because I am forgotten by my own people, and this deeply wounds my sensitive Heart.

Do not forget me, and may your people not forget me, because forgetting implies ingratitude, and this is the worst thorn in my Heart.  

Remember me by offering me, because if you remember me you remember the Father; you will remember both of us together.

If only you could see how much forgetfulness there is of my Divine Person and of my graces among my own people.

And so, during the hours of these crucifying Masses will my soul be ceaseless loving and consoling you day and night, covering you with tenderness and caressing you, repairing with you the offenses suffered by your heavenly Father?

Yes, Daughter, for yours is a priestly mission, and together with Mary you will know not only how to console me but also to save them.  Does your soul not desire to love me endlessly?  Today I am placing in your soul this means of glorifying me, atoning with love . . .  . Love, as I have told you, is the great atonement, the great repairer, and what is there that cannot be accomplished by maternal love?

Lord, would you like to explain to me how my soul can be present at ever Mass, as you told me yesterday?

It is very simple.  Inasmuch as you are transformed into me, wherever I am, you are, and wherever you are, I am, because of this unifying union that makes one out of two.

You will be in the Masses together with Mary through the reflection of the divine motherhood, by reason of the Mystical Incarnation in your soul and as a fortunate result of this grace.

You will be there with your will, a power superior to the soul, which together with mine forms just one desire with mine.

You will be present through love, which is everywhere and bridges all distances, which climbs up to heaven and reaches the infinite bosom of God, who is One and yet many.

You will be present, because this is my Will, and that is sufficient.

But apart from this, My intention is that your mind will never be separated from me, as far as this is possible, that your memory will always be with me, that your tenderness and consolation of Love continue in your soul and that I will never be without them.  My intention is that your soul be joined together with that of Mary, as a sign of your union with her, fulfilling your mission on the altars.

You already know your mission - it consists of adoring, atoning, and consoling my Heart, obtaining graces for priests glorifying me.

Father, can you see what I feel?  Can it be that Jesus' words are being fulfilled?  I can feel my soul present at Mass all over the world, in intimate and constant remembrance of Jesus.  It is not just a normal remembrance, but a memory of life - a living and intimate remembrance, as if the remembrance of him who calls me and my own remembrance that follows him met on the way.

It is a memory of possession - I have it and I want to have it.  It is as if the memory were his image, as if it were he himself, and day and night I think of the altar on which he is constantly sacrificed, and I see myself next to him, offering him up with Mary.  His memory is he himself for me; it is both possession and union.

My love for Mary is also growing day by day, as if her perfection and virtue were illuminating me, as if she were drawing me to herself with trust, and I do not run away at the point of shame because of the Mystical Incarnation, but rather I fall into her arms, asking her for her lessons of love.

This is your role, to be present with your soul together with my Mother at Mass . . .  . Does your soul not sigh and weep when you see insulting and sacrilegious Masses, even though your body is not there?

This place on the altar belongs to you because of this maternal detail, because, Daughter, Mary's Son is also your Son, the Son of your heart, the one who is crucified on the altar by both worthy and unworthy priests, and your motherly soul has to be present to weep and to suffer, to love and console, or to be joyful when the Immaculate Lamb is offered to the Father by pure hands.

My sacrifice would not be complete without my Mother's heart, because of Mary's motherhood.  She completed my Passion, and she keeps on carrying out her role as co-redemptrix.

The Church, together with its priests and its faithful, should continue my Passion on earth.

The favor I have bestowed on you with is very great - joining you to Mary in a special way . . .  .

At night I felt a painful sorrow inside, and I remembered him offended in so many Masses.  Jesus came without my asking him, and he told me this, "You see, spiritual motherhood obtains grace, since its intercession, because of its divine origin, is more powerful.

God gives himself continuously, and motherly souls should also give themselves.  But where do they receive if not from the eternal Fountain of all graces?

This is why their spirits have to be joined like the branches to the Vine.

But that is my role on earth, the mission of a Man-God's most purified love, to live constantly on earth as a sacrifice on the altars reliving the Passion of Calvary, to enable them to reach heaven.

The sacrifice of the Cross on the altar was enough, but the cruelty of my wicked priests has led me to another Calvary on the altar - another sacrifice, another Passion, double martyrdom with the sacrilege they impose on me, a double Cross on which they doubly sacrifice me, on which they challenge heaven and my very Person, not only laden with their sins but as if I were the actual criminal.

And what happens next?  Mary comes in between her two sons, interceding to heaven and obtaining forgiveness, sacrificing her only Son with this delicate motherly martyrdom.

And this concerns you and all motherly souls.  They alone have this privilege.  The Father listens to them and they appease him, because there is a holy thread of fruitfulness in those same motherly souls (because of the Mystical Incarnation), and this is wherein the secret of their power for intercession lies, because in a way God sees God in them, the Father sees the Father, from the same holy thread of motherhood received from the Father.

But sacrificing the holy and pure Son is martyrdom, Jesus of my soul, in order to obtain forgiveness for the other guilty and pitiless son, who dares to be you, and together with you to offend your Father.

But once again, this is my role, the role of the sacrificed lamb, and your role and Mary's is the one of motherly martyrdom, offering up in the same way as the Father the Divine Son to be crucified, but with this unheard-of difference.

My enemies did not know what they were doing on Calvary, but my wicked priests crucify me twice on the altar, fully aware of their betrayal and shamelessness, and they martyr me with a double martyrdom, the martyrdom of seeing myself in them, a criminal before my Father, and the martyrdom of drinking from the chalice of their condemnation, a very delicate and painful martyrdom for my soul that loves them so much.

And this double martyrdom also implies a double love, the love that you should have on the altar, the tremendous pain of seeing me doubly sacrificed by my wicked priests, and the awful torture of seeing the treacherous priest condemned in life.  Rather than with a kiss, he betrays me to such terrible suffering and a double pain, the pain of seeing myself offending my Father in the priest, together with what he most loves, his own Son, who only wants endless worship for him, and the pain of seeing the Savior of the world as a reproach to the priest until he is washed with contrition, that is, with my blood, the same blood that he has drunk sacrilegiously.

Can you see your role more clearly now on many of my altars?


These most remarkable texts (adapted for the Daughters of St. Philip Neri) about the Eucharist, the experience of a Mystical Incarnation, and a participation in Mary's Spiritual Motherhood to Priest were written by a Mexican woman, who was married, had children and then became a widow - Concepcion Cabera de Armida.  She passionately loved Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, to such a point that he became the center of her life. The heart will become warm again from contact with the fire of these writings, and will be cured of the indifference and the thoughtlessness with which the world of today treats the Eucharist.  She lived in a time of violent religious persecution and a markedly anti-Christin revolution.  May she be the spiritual mother of those who read this reflection, converting them into worshippers who seek the Father, "real worshippers who worship the Father in the spirit and in truth."  May she guide them from a love of the Lord in the Eucharist to a love for His priests and desire for their conversion.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Priestly souls depend on your fidelity



Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The path has been set before you and offers you rest and healing.  However, you must commit to abide with Me along this path and to remain there as long as you can.  Do not compromise the immense grace that is offered to you by holding on to other things.  You are a Daughter of St. Philip and the renewal of many priestly souls depends upon your fidelity to this call.  Their healing and sanctification depends upon the love you have for them and your fidelity to adoration.  At times you may feel isolated but you are not alone.  There are many I have called to this life of adoration and reparation.  Do not be afraid; grace has been given for all I have called you to do.

The path I have traced before you is the path of adoration.  Walk this path in the light of My Eucharistic Face and you will see that it leads straight into My open Heart.  This is the very path that I would set before all My priests.  I want them to walk in the light of My Face, forsaking all darkness, and desiring nothing so much as to rest within My sacred side.

My pierced Heart is the wellspring of purity, healing, and of holiness.  How much I want to draw you to My open Heart in the Sacrament of My love!  It is enough for you to come to Me, even if you are weary and without words or affectionate thoughts..  By the simple act of coming to Me, you demonstrate your love for Me and your desire for My healing and purifying action in your souls and the souls of priests.

You must learn to remain in My presence, to abide there for as long as you can, for this is the very essence of the life to which I have called you.  When you forsake Me for other things, you are compromising the immense grace I have given you in bringing you here to be an adorer of My Eucharistic Face.  The healing and purification  of many priestly souls depends on your fidelity to this call to adoration and reparation.  I have charged you with a grave responsibility for the healing of priests and for the return of many of them to My open Heart.  Their healing and sanctification depends on the love you have for them and on the expression of that love by fidelity to adoration.  I have elected to associate you to Myself and to My most holy Mother in this work.  You are not alone. There are many other souls whom I have called to this life of adoration and reparation for My beloved priests.  But you have your part to play in this design of My merciful love and no one can fulfill this part except you.You see, then, that I count on you.  But do not be afraid.  I will give you the grace to be faithful to all that I have asked of you.  It is not you who will do great things for My priests, but rather Me living in you as in another humanity marked by My priesthood, another humanity in which I can offer Myself to the Father and pour Myself out for souls.

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


Monday, August 7, 2017

You will not be disappointed in coming to me



Sometimes I fear that it is all an illusion; that You could call one like me to Spiritual Motherhood - to care for Your priests.  I know my past, my wantonness; how I ignored You seeking my own way and my own pleasures.  I, myself, had no love for you and now You call me?  And even if You should be, my heart trembles at the notion.  What will my life become?  Will it be recognizable?  The very thought of living for you thrills my soul but also fills it with fear.  I know my own selfishness, how easily I turn my thoughts to the things of the world, how weak my constitution is and how averse I am to discipline and simplicity.  Even as I have tried, I draw back from completely giving myself to you.  I linger in past memories, nay cling to them, almost hoping that a more comforting love will emerge, one that seems more tangible.  My mind gravitates to distractions, to entertainment, to work - anything to hold me back from letting go - anything to keep me from say yes. . .  .

I want you to live in silence and adoration.

Spend less time at the computer and more time in My presence.  I wait for you here.  I long to see you before Me.  I want to give you all the signs of My friendship that My Heart has destined for you and for no other, but for this you must come to Me.  Follow the promptings of My grace.

There is no need for you to grow anxious or fearful.  I will continue speaking to you so long as you come before Me with a quiet and trusting heart.  I still have much to teach you.  I want to form you in purity, in charity, in mercy towards the priests in your care, and in the ceaseless adoration that I desire from you.

Wait upon Me.  Come to Me.  Open to your heart to Me and I will open My Heart to you.

This is one of My most poignant sufferings; that I should encounter hearts that are closed to Me, even among My beloved priests, the friends whom I have chosen for myself.  How can I have friendship with one who closes his heart to Me, who flees My presence, who cannot bear to be silent, still and alone with Me and for Me?

Even for you this remains a struggle.  There are so many lesser things that pull you away, that eat up your time, and that are stumbling blocks in the path of your coming to be with Me.  Learn to  recognize these obstacles for what they are.  Some of them are your own doing; others are the work of the Evil One; still others come from the ordinary cares of life in a world that has forgotten how to be still in My presence.  Do not let yourself be stopped by any of these things.  Learn to come to Me quickly, generously, and gladly.  I wait for you in the Sacrament of My love, and you will not be disappointed in coming to Me.  This is really all I ask of souls, and especially my priests and you My Daughters - that you come to Me.  And I will do the rest.

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



Sunday, August 6, 2017

The groan of this exhausted soul



My life weighs so heavily - stifling - leaving me unable to think clearly.  Lord I have lost sight of you behind my anxieties that loom so large.  I am preoccupied with all the worldly cares that rush upon me relentlessly, without concern for the weakness of my body and the emotional toll of the years. The measure of my faith seems so thin: I question its very existence.  Whereas the breadth and depth of my self-pity has grown so powerful that even the smallest of things feels as though it would crush me.  I hesitate to bring it before you; the shame of my sensitivity that has made every nerve attuned to the slightest pain and discomfort would make me hide myself if I could - from You, from the world.  Let the groan of this exhausted soul, to tired for tears, be heard as a prayer.  Do not turn away from me, O Lord.

I am here - really present - available to you at any hour of the day or night.  I wait for you.  I want to listen to the cares and preoccupations that you carry like a heavy burden.  Give them all to Me.  Trust in Me and I will act.  I have told you this before: for Me nothing is insignificant.  No detail of your life is too small and no sin of yours too shameful to be brought to Me and to be abandoned at My feet.  Yet, this is how My saints acted.  They were certain  that any difficulty entrusted to My Heart would find there the best of all possible solutions.  Tell Me that you trust in My merciful love by letting go of the things that burden and oppress you.  I am the Lord of all things in heaven and on earth, and to Me nothing is impossible.

In Sinu Jesu
When Heart Speaks to Heart
A Benedictine Monk


Friday, June 16, 2017

Let your "Yes" mean "Yes"




Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Know that your commitment(though hidden) to the Lord and to your spiritual sons is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord.  You must embrace this hiddenness and not be frightened of it; for even though you are not seen by the world and perhaps cannot at times see the value of this commitment, you are seen by the Lord.  Fix your gaze upon Him and know that He fixes His gaze upon you.  

To embrace such hiddenness means to let go of all preoccupation with yourself and the opinions of others; ego and self-esteem must diminish as you put on the mind of Christ and as you hide yourself more and more in Him.  Consent to be hidden in the tabernacle, to embrace your Lord's Eucharistic life.  Be the presence of love hidden in a world absent of love.  Simplify your life: "withdraw from all that solicits your attention, your energy, and your time."

To each of you the Lord asks: "Do you want this?"  And each of you must answer from your hearts: "Yes, I accept the hidden Eucharistic life to which thou callest me."  Let your "Yes" mean "Yes" daughters and you shall know the Lord's consent.  As with your father St. Philip Neri, the Lord will fill your hearts with a joy not known in this world but invincible and a foretaste of the sweetness of Heaven.  


I am a hidden God
and those whom I call to adore Me
must hide themselves in Me,
becoming hidden from the eyes of the world,
and hidden even from themselves,
having a pure gaze fixed upon Me alone,
even as My pure filial gaze is fixed upon My Father in heaven.
Learn what it means to be hidden:
it is to be free of preoccupations with yourself,
with the opinions of others,
and with what the world may say
of you or of Me.
It is to live for Me alone
even as I live for the Father.
Hide yourself in Me
as I am hidden in the glory of My Father.
Hide yourself in Me
as I am hidden in the bright cloud of the Holy Spirit.
Hide yourself in Me
as I am hidden in the sacred species.
Hide yourself in My Heart
as I am hidden in the tabernacles of the world,
unseen, unknown, and forgotten by men.
I call you to this hidden life
because I am the hidden God
and because My Eucharistic life in your midst is a hidden life.
Those who would be My adorers
must consent to live in My tabernacle hidden with Me
and, at the same time,
loving as I love:
loving the Father as I love Him,
loving souls as I love them,
suffering coldness, rejection, misunderstanding
and abandonment
with Me and for Me.
Understand these things
and you will have begun to understand the Eucharistic life
to which I call you more and more.
Apart from those souls
whom I call to this life of adoration,
such a hiddenness will appear foolish and inhuman,
but it will act as a leaven upon the whole mass of dough
until it rises and becomes a perfect loaf fit for My oblation.
It is a spark of light being kept burning
for a world plunged into darkness.
It is a drop of divine sweetness
in a sea of bitterness and misery.
It is a presence  of Love
in a world from which love is absent.
Love My hiddenness
and hide yourself in Me.
Withdraw from all that solicits your attention,
your energy, and your time
into the secret of My Eucharistic Face.
There I will show  you
how best to do the things I ask you to do.
There I will give you a peace
that no one will perturb or take from you.
There I will use you
for the sanctification of My priests
and for the consolation of My Church.
Do you want this?
Yes, Lord Jesus,
because Thou askest this of Me.
I consent to it with all My heart
and I want all that Thou willest for Me.
Do you accept to be separated from those whom you love,
from those who know you
and from those who love you
in order to lose all save Me and My love?
Yes, Lord Jesus,
I consent to lose all save Thee
for in possessing Thee
I will lose nothing,
and in loving Thee
I will be loved by Thee,
and in that Love find perfect happiness
and the grace to love others
as Thou hast loved Me.
Do you accept to disappear from the eyes of the world
and to live hidden in Me
as I am hidden in My tabernacles?
Yes, Lord Jesus,
I accept the hidden Eucharistic life
to which Thou callest Me
and I desire nothing else.
Know then that today
I accept your “Yes” to My plans for you.
Because you have given your consent to Me,
I give My consent to you.
Live henceforth as My adorer
hidden in Me,
hidden with Me.
Seek no other way of life.
Your life is henceforth hidden with Me
in the Sacrament of My Love
and in the glory of the Father.
I promise you joy in the secret of My Face
and an unending sweetness
that is the taste of the Hidden Manna,
a sweetness not of this world,
but of the next,
a sweetness that I give as a foretaste of heaven
to those who drink the bitter chalice
of My Eucharistic solitudes on earth.
This is the perfection of the life to which I have called you.
The time is short.
Enter into the life I have prepared for you.
Let go of all else.
Our life is one:
your life in Me, and My life in you,
in a mystery of hiddenness
that glorifies My Father
and builds up My Church.

This reflection comes from Dom Kirby's blog Vultus Christi to which the Daughters of St. Philip are deeply indebted.  In particular, the recent publication of In Sinu Jesus has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance. 


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Holiness through Adoration



Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

As you have renewed your commitment to daily Eucharistic Adoration and Reparation for the Sanctification of Priests, its seems fitting that we should reflect upon an entry from In Sinu Jesu, The Journal of a Priest. Nowhere is your vocation more clearly expressed than Christ speaking "Cor ad Cor" with those he has drawn to Himself and called to linger long with Him in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Throughout these past years you have seen the nature and demands of your commitment and the path to holiness grow more and more simple: Holiness through Adoration.  Silent and still, you are called to draw close to Christ, gazing upon His Eucharistic Face - loving Him and receiving His love.  You had only to ask for this gift and you have indeed requested it through expressing your commitment.  In the act, in the self-offering, the grace is given.  This is why Christ can say to you "this is not difficult."  Its austerity is found only in that the commitment to come before Him rest upon faith alone. Out of that faith arises a flame of hope set to blaze by a fire that burns within His Eucharistic Heart and which He continues to desire to let loose upon the world.
Fear not this fire Daughters; for it seeks not to annihilate or destroy but purify and transform. Adoration is the furnace and He will forge your hearts anew according to His Divine Love.  Through your commitment to Adoration on behalf of priests, God will purge all impurity and darkness from your hearts and theirs.  God has set you apart for this purpose - to enter into Mary's Spiritual Motherhood - to nurture in your hearts and prayers the renewal of the holy priesthood. 
  
The practice of adoration is not difficult.
It is a gentle abiding in My presence,
a resting in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face,
a closeness to My Eucharistic Heart.
Words, though sometimes helpful, are not necessary,
nor are thoughts.
What I seek from one who would adore Me in spirit and in truth
is a heart aflame with love,
a heart content to abide in my presence,
silent and still,
engaged only in the act of loving Me
and of receiving My love.
Though this is not difficult,
it is, all the same,
my own gift
to the soul who asks for it.
Ask, then, for the gift of adoration.
Adoration is an austere prayer
because it rests upon faith alone.
Out of faith there rises the pure flame of hope,
and out of the flame of hope,
I enkindle in the soul a great conflagration of charity;
that is, a communication to the soul
of the fire that blazes in My Eucharistic Heart.
The fire of Divine Love does not destroy what I created:
a soul fashioned in My image and likeness.
It purifies that soul
and burns away only what is incompatible with My infinite holiness,
and with the purity of My Essence.
The soul, however, is not annihilated.
The soul remains,
even in the midst of the purifying flames of Divine Love,
fully capable of believing, of hoping, and of loving Me.
Adoration is a furnace and a forge.
The soul called to a life of adoration
must expect to suffer the intensity of the fiery furnace,
and the reshaping of all that is misshapen in her
in the forge of My Divine Will.
For this to happen,
it is enough that the soul offer herself to My love,
and remain humble, peaceful, and quiet
as I purify and transform her in My presence.
If only souls knew the power to purify and to transform
that emanates from My tabernacles!
If only My priests knew this
they would hasten into My presence
and remain there,
waiting for Me to do in them
what, of themselves, they cannot do.
It is the simple prayer of adoration
that renders a priest fit for the sacred ministry
by giving him a pure heart
and by correcting all that is incompatible with My Divine Holiness
and with My Priestly Love in his life.
This way of holiness through adoration
is a secret revealed to My saints in ages past,
and it is a gift that I am offering My priests
in these times of impurity, persecution, and darkness.
For impurity,
I will give them a shining purity
that will blaze before the eyes of the world
as a testimony to Divine Love.
For persecution
I will give them a manly strength and a resoluteness of purpose
that will confound those who plot their downfall.
For darkness
I will give them a clear light by which to order their steps
and see what choices are pleasing to My Heart.
Time spent in My presence is not time wasted.
It is the ground and support
of every word spoken by My priests in the exercise of their ministry;
it is the secret of a priestly action that is supernaturally fruitful,
bearing fruit that will last.
If this is true of the priests whom I have chosen
to labour in the vineyard of My Church,
how much more must it be true of [those]
whom I have chosen and set apart
to live cloistered in the Cenacle
with My Most Holy Mother and with Saint John, My Beloved Disciple.
John was most at home in My Eucharistic presence
and in the company of My Mother.
John understood better
and more than the other Apostles
the mysteries that I instituted in the Cenacle
on the night before I suffered.
John was the first of a long line of Eucharistic priests
called to love Me and abide in My Eucharistic presence,
close to My Heart, and in the radiance of My Face.
This is the particular grace that Saint John would share
with those who, responding to My call,
will find their way to the Cenacle of adoration
that I am bringing to birth
as a living organism within My Church,
enlivened by the Holy Spirit
and formed in the Heart of My Immaculate Mother.
From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Prayer that is the Terror of Demons


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The profundity of the work that God has called you to may seem eclipsed by the work that is emphasized in the world and even within the Church.  Yet, what the Lord calls you to, though a work hidden from the eyes of all, is something that emerges from the desire of His own Heart.  He calls you to participate in His Eucharistic work through inviting you to make reparation through adoration.  He desires that you comfort Him by abiding in His presence and resting close to His Heart; to choose to remain with Him - nay, to prefer to remain with Him above everything.  

What is obtained by coming to Him by night?  Nothing less He tells us than the liberation of souls.  To do battle with the powers of darkness for the world by remaining with Him in prayer late into the night or before daybreak.  "More souls are saved and liberated by adoration made during the night than by any other form of prayer."  It is to come to Him as He went to the Father in prayer at night.  It is to remain with Him even though darkness seems to prevail not only in nature but in the world.  As He poured Himself out to the Father so you can pour yourself out with the same expression of love and ascent of the will.  Such self-emptying adoration conquers the world and heals the wounds inflicted by demons on souls.  Prepare yourselves then daughters - for the demons both fear and hate such love.  Fear not, however, for angels will minister to you as they did to the Lord.

All else is of secondary importance.  What could be of greater importance than to attend to His body broken and His blood poured out for love of the world?  What could you be more anxious to do than to spend your energy and attention consoling unrequited love?  What more precious thing could one pursue than to perpetually abide in His presence?  In what other place could you seek and be filled with greater vitality, joy and peace that will nurture the world?  It is here - in your hearts and through the Love of Christ - that the priesthood will be born anew.  

    A great work of love is being done here, one that proceeds directly from My Eucharistic Heart, to glorify My Father and to redeem the world—for the work of redemption is continued in the Sacrament of My Body and Blood until the end of time. I have chosen you to share in this Eucharistic work of Mine by calling you to this very life of adoration and reparation that you see here. I am here in the Most Blessed Sacrament for you and for the whole world. Take your place here before Me, and abide before My Face, close to My Heart that is all love. It is no little thing for a poor human creature of Mine to prefer My Eucharistic love to an hour of sleep in the night. Only in heaven will you know the worth of an hour so spent. Come to Me, then. Visit Me, and remain with Me by night, and I will work for you, and with you, and through you by day. By nocturnal adoration you will obtain from My Heart things which cannot be obtained from Me in any other way, especially the liberation of souls from the influence and oppression of the powers of darkness. More souls are saved and liberated by adoration made during the night than by any other form of prayer: this is the prayer that unites you most closely to My own nights passed entirely in prayer during My life on earth. Come to Me, then, by night, and you shall experience My power and My presence at your side during the day. Ask of Me whatsoever you will by coming to Me at night, and you will experience My merciful help at break of day. I love with a love of predilection those whom I call to be with Me during the hours of the night. The prayer of adoration at night has the power and efficacy of that prayer made with fasting that I recommended to My apostles as the means of expelling demons from the souls whom they torture and oppress. For this reason, the demons fear and hate adoration made at night, while the angels rejoice over it, and place themselves at the service of the soul who desires to do it. 



Rise earlier. Give Me the first hours of the day. Come to Me before seeking anything or anyone else. I will strengthen you to use well the hours of each day begun in this way. I have called you to be My adorer; all else is secondary. I wait for you in the Sacrament of My love and I am often disappointed because you allow other things to absorb your time and consume your energy. Give Me as much time as you can, and I will give you time and energy to do all that you must do. You will see that by coming to Me first, everything else will appear to you in its just proportions. You will do one thing after another, and all that you do will be marked by serenity and by an inward adoration toward My abiding presence in the tabernacle. I call you to a life of perpetual adoration. Perpetual adoration is a loving attention to My presence. It is a seeking after My Face and a drawing close to My Heart that never ceases and that suffuses every moment of life. This perpetual adoration nonetheless begins with and returns to times of real adoration spent before My Eucharistic Face, during which all other things are left aside. Come, then, to the place apart that I have prepared for you. I wait for you there. Come to My tabernacle and abide in My presence. I will fill you with joy, with serenity, and with wisdom for the demands of the day. Begin always by adoring Me. Do not allow your heart to grow cold towards My Eucharistic presence. I have called you to this life for one thing only: to adore Me for the sake of My beloved priests, your brothers, especially for the sake of those who never come into My sacramental presence to find, close to My Heart, refreshment, light, peace, and, above all else, the love for which I created them and of which I have made them My servants. 

In Sinu Jesu
When Heart Speaks to Heart
A Journal of a priest at prayer

Friday, January 20, 2017

Let hope be liberated in you

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The path to hope is one that we are not willing to take, for it means allowing yourself to live in the unhappiness that so often can feels like it is crushing you.  Things become very simple at those moments and the more your unhappiness crushes you, the more you discover it crushes you against God.  Nothing exist between you and Him when your life the nadir of its sufferings.  

So often we approach life as something we own or as if we are the source of it; but suffering reveals that it is a "gratuitous gift" and not the product of "anxious, personal industry."  When we begin to see this, hope blooms and we realize finally that we had been repressing it.  And so Daughters, entrust yourselves to God rather than seeking to make Him enter your plans.  Let hope be liberated in you.

It is when you are the most unhappy that you will find yourselves the most happy.  Never will you have known greater peace, simplification, and fervor than when you are completely unhappy.  The weight of your unhappiness crushes you, but against God, to the point of not leaving any space between Him and you.  Your powerlessness, your total misery will make your liberation.  You will learn then that existence is a gratuitous gift and not an anxious personal industry.  And the intensity of the hope which will bloom so simply in your heart will reveal to you the violence with which you had repressed it until then.

You will know that nothing was more natural to you than to entrust yourself, whereas you were trying to use even your first move of confidence towards God in order not to entrust yourself truly to him, but to try to make him enter into your plans, like a pawn on your chessboard.  It is only when you accepted to be a pawn in his hand and in his plan, that you liberated hope and his action.

L. Evely
Suffering

Thursday, January 19, 2017

like a word which one never finishes pronouncing


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

One of the most unfortunate and painful effects of sin is the distance it places between Creator and creature.  A feeling of psychosis washes over us that Evely strains to capture in the reflection below: "like a word which one never finishes pronouncing, eternally suspended and uncertain about its own meaning.  A word which does not hear the voice which pronounces it. . . ."   Our perception and experience of reality changes.  It is as if we are being shaped by a violent force or dark will in which we experience no love.  Conscious alone of this painful and frightening reality, we grow weary and cry out against the one who is responsible for it.  Yet, incapable of expressing ourselves, our cries never seem to communicate this pain or find a path to its relief.  

Only He who created us, He who is meaning itself, can free us from our distress and He must work at the very locus of the pain.  Rest comes to us only when we have be recreated by the loving hands we have grown to fear and sometimes even hate.  We will find rest only when the work of the pierced and loving hands is complete.

There is no worse suffering than to be a creature.  We are like a word which one never finishes pronouncing, eternally suspended and uncertain about its own meaning. A word which does not hear the voice which pronounces it. A word which must be content to let itself be pronounced.

Or else we are like rough-casts which have escaped from the hands of our modeler.

We are sick and tired of being hurt, of blows, scrapings, cuttings, remodeling.  But when we stop in our furious flight, we find ourselves miserable, terribly insufficient, incapable of expressing ourselves and finding our bearings, and we cry with anger and indignation against him who is responsible for it.

There is no rest, for a creature, except in the hands of his Creator.  He alone can complete it, free it from its anxiety and distress.  But the place of its completion is also the place of its pain, the place where God is at work on it.  There is no peace for us except in relying on the place where we are hurt.

L. Evely
Suffering

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The asceticism of joy


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Your patron, Philip, knew well how sadness can cling to the soul.  It is for this reason that he counseled the practice of the Asceticism of Joy.  The fundamental attitude that flows from the virtue of faith is joy in the Lord; being able to see through the tears to the promise of life and love.  However, almost as a defensive measure our minds can begin to cling to our sadness and make the feeling of melancholy a pillow upon which we lay our heads and hearts.  We find that the melancholy that suffering can produce in the soul can be made into a shell -  protecting us from life.  It allows us to remain static while at the same time giving a certain liberty to our angry and aggression toward the world, others, and ultimately God.  There is even a certain power in being a "kill joy"; a satisfaction when there is no joy in the world around us any longer.  Only then will world conform to our internal state and our suffering will be confirmed.  Such a melancholic spirit in the end gives way to despair; but not before having given us long service. 

For such a soul there is no worse detachment, no greater mortification than joy.  Yet without this asceticism, without this practice of true faith, the heart will remain shrouded in darkness.

We must know how to detach ourselves even from suffering.  We must learn to be happy even when we are unhappy.  We must, in a word, work loose from ourselves.  A Father of the Church used to say to himself, "There is only one way of being cured of sadness, and that is to dislike being sad."  It is hard to believe this when we are suffering.  As if we had chosen to be hurt!  Of course not, but what is terrible is that we often choose to keep on suffering, to fan the flames of our pain, to inflame our wounds, to find our only comfort in our very discomfort.  For if we keep our pain, then we also keep our right to complain, our right to withdraw into our shell, our right to hurt others and to kill their joy.  And when there is no joy in the world any longer, then we will be confirmed in our pain.  We have, in the meantime, only one stone to rest our head on, and it is called despair.  This hard pillow will give us long service.

Indeed, nothing would be harder than to stop being unhappy.  There is no worse detachment than joy.

L. Evely
Suffering

The right cross

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The language of the cross can be bewildering.  We speak of "taking up our cross" and "offering up" our sufferings and inconveniences to God; we know that this is part of the Christian Way.  But, often, both the language and the clarity of faith fail us when confronted with the reality of the cross that we actually receive - when all meaning and understanding elude us.  When we are confined to our bed, checkmated by failure, isolated by a misfortune, annihilated by the feeling of our powerlessness, we must resign ourselves to listen to God's language, to admit a Presence in the pain, to acknowledge His will not in what is elevating but humiliating.

The cross finds entry where we are most defenseless.  We come to see how feebly we carry what has been given to us.  It can never be the right cross for us - for in some way we would seek to maintain the illusion of strength and self-sufficiently.  It must make sense to us or seem to have a higher reason. Yet, it is only the cross the Lord chooses when all we can do is lean into the pain and even then as what, at the time, seems to be a foreign and dark will.     

We all know that a Christian must bear the cross.  We are all disposed, theoretically, to accept one.  But have you noticed that it is never the right cross which comes to us?  The cross we bear (our health, our face, our embarrassment, our wife, our husband, our mother, our child) always seems to us unbearable, petty, humiliating, harmful.  It is always precisely what should not have become our lot, precisely what we can accept for all kinds of obvious reasons which we are always harping on.  All the other crosses seem preferable to us, that of our neighbor, the previous one - that which we have imagined.  Ours is hateful, it destroys us, it hurts us - imagine, it embitters us, and we have a grudge against ourselves and against everybody.  We desperately call for another, for a cross which "fits in," a bearable, spiritual, elevating cross, beneficial to us and to others.

But alas, we must come to recognize that if the cross suited us, it would no longer be a cross; that if we refuse those which hurt, we refuse any cross; and that the cross which God parcels out to us must necessarily always be humiliating and painful, paralyzing and difficult, and must hurt us at the spot where we are the most defenseless.

L. Evely
Suffering

Monday, January 16, 2017

You only become the saint you do not want to become



Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

I offer you these reflections on Suffering because they place before our hearts aspects of life that we are often afraid to look at so candidly.  Though honest, one might even say brutally so, they also seem to buoy up the heart with their deep insights into the presence and providence of God in places we wouldn't expect.  Encountering the trials and turmoils of life that often leave our hopes and dreams in tatters, and experiencing the inevitable decline of old age and its losses, we begin to understand that neither our sanctity nor the love of God depends on anything in this world.  In fact, we find when we are empty Fullness comes to us, when broken the Healer, and when our hearts are made bitter through suffering the Sweetness of Love.

You will never become a saint in the way you imagine or hope.  One can become a saint only be accepting a will other than one's own.   I often imagine the story of an old, worn man, of an elderly and disappointed woman, whose every good desire has run aground, whom God has constantly hindered in their most generous plans.

Their vocation, put to the test, has been denied; their attempts at the apostolate have failed for miserable reasons of money and machination, their marriage is sterile or their children are dead, their life is useless.

They grow old anxious and lonely, surrounded by ruins.

But when, sometimes, on their knees, in a long, mute prayer, they dare to question the impenetrable Providence who has conducted their lives, when they reach out their empty hands towards God, when they offer him their wasted existence, their hearts which have been beaten so little, it comes about that they receive a strangely comforting answer.  They sometimes come to understand, in a disarming light, that everything is quite as he wanted it, that their own will would have led them to human results, but that God preferred to lead them to him, that he reserved them entirely for himself, so that the witness they bear to him is pure.

"Yes, I have shattered your projects, I have annihilated your pride.  Nobody needs you, you live without self-contentment, you are before me like a lamp which shines for the satisfaction of nobody, - you are 'without any purpose.'  But you are my love and my glory, I placed my delight in you, you are the portion reserved to me, so well preserved that you are wanted by nobody else, and that you do not even think of being useful, you are my purest reflection because you have become the saints you did not want to become."

L. Evely
Suffering