Monday, August 28, 2017

The Priest at Eucharistic Adoration

My favorite book of spiritual reading, hands down, has become In Sinu Jesu: The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (Angelico Press, 2016). Although NLM has not run a proper review of the book (see here, meanwhile, for a good review by Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist.), it would not surprise me if a good many of our readers had already heard of it and possibly already own it and use it. I simply cannot recommend it too highly, for laity and religious, but above all, for priests. Here are a few passages I copied down recently and would like to share.

It is through My silent life in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar that I teach My priests how to be priests at every moment and not only when, vested in the insignia of their sacerdotal dignity, they stand before the altar to celebrate the Holy Mysteries. The life of the priest is My life in heaven: ceaseless attention to the Father and uninterrupted intercession, thanksgiving, reparation, and praise on behalf of all men.
A holy priest is quite simply one who allows Me to live in him as in a supplementary humanity. In every priest I would speak and act, delivering souls from the powers of darkness and healing the sick—but most of all, I desire to offer myself in every priest and to assume every priest into My own offering to the Father. This I would do at the altar in the celebration of My Holy Sacrifice, but not only there; the life of a priest united to Me is a ceaseless oblation and he, like Me, is a hostia perpetua. You cannot imagine the fruitfulness of such a union, and this is the fruitfulness that I desire for My Father’s glory and for the joy of My Bride, the Church.
Have I not told you before that the priesthood is, above all else and before anything else, a relationship of intimate friendship with Me? The priests who do not understand this have no notion of what their priesthood means to Me and to My Father in heaven. This is one of the great sorrows of My Sacred Heart: that priests do not approach Me as a friend, that they fail to seek My company, to abide in the radiance of My Face, and to rest close to My Heart.
          Seminarians are taught many things, some useful, and others less so, but are they taught to love Me, to give Me their hearts, to remain in My presence, to seek My Face, and to listen to My voice? If they are not taught these things, they will have learned nothing useful, and all their efforts will remain shallow and sterile. Why are the seminaries of My Church not schools of love, and furnaces of divine charity wherein the dross is burned away and the pure gold of holiness is produced, a gold capable of reflecting the glory of My divinity and the splendour of My truth in a world plunged into darkness?
          Woe to those who allow men to pass through their institutions without teaching them the one thing necessary! Will I be obliged to say on the last day to those whom I have chosen, “You have not yet come to know Me, and though I know you through and through, I find in you coldness and resistance to My grace”?
          Pray, then, not only for My priests, your brothers, but also for the men whom I have called to be My priests, that they may learn to love Me before investing their talents and their energies in a multitude of other things that are perishable and have no value except in the hands and in the mind of one wholly converted to the love of My Heart. 
This is the root of the evil that eats away at the priesthood from within: a lack of experiential knowledge of My friendship and love. My priests are not mere functionaries; they are My chosen ones, the friends whom I chose for myself to live in such communion of mind and heart with Me that they prolong My presence in the world. Each priest is called to love My Church with all the tender passion of a bridegroom, but to do this, he must spend time in My presence.
I long for the adoration of My priests. I see other adorers before My Face and I rejoice in their presence, and I bless them with all the tenderness of My Eucharistic Heart. But I look for My priests. Where are they? Why are they not the first to seek Me out in the Sacrament of My love and the last to leave Me at the close of the day? Even in the night I wait for them. In the night hours it is possible to have an intimacy with Me that one cannot experience at other times. I wait for My priests. I look for the friends chosen by My Sacred Heart and anointed to continue My victimal priesthood in the world. I want My priests to come to Me, and I will draw them, one by one, into the radiance of My Eucharistic Face. There I will refresh them. There I will heal them. There I will restore them and give them the choicest gifts of My Heart.

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