Prayer for Priests

(This blog is under the Patronage of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face and “The Holy Man of Tours,” Leon DuPont, a layman who dedicated his life to spreading devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.)

"The Holy Man of Tours" - Leo DuPont
“The Holy Man of Tours” – Leo DuPont
St. Therese Icon by Patricia Enk
St. Therese Icon by Patricia Enk

St. Therese told her sister, Celine, “Let us live for souls, let us be apostles, let us save above all the souls of priests… let us pray and suffer for them and on the last day Jesus will be grateful!” [St. Therese of Lisieux, Letter 94]

Prayers for Priests

“Eternal Father, we offer Thee, with the hands of Mary, the Holy Face of Jesus, Thy Son, and the entire generous holocaust of all that we are, in reparation for so many sins that are  committed, and, especially, for offenses against the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.  We make this offering, in a particular way, so that Priests, by the holiness of their lives, may show the world the adorable features of the Divine Countenance shining with the light of truth and love, for the triumph of the Church, and for the spread of the Kingdom.” Bl. Mother Maria Pierina De Micheli

Update:  An incredible book to share with Priests (or for anyone who prays for Priests) is now available on Amazon — In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart — The Journal of a Priest at Prayer  by a Benedictine Monk.  This is a beautiful gift from God to draw souls to the Eucharistic Face of Jesus.  

Description on Amazon – “In 2007, Our Lord and Our Lady began to speak to the heart of a monk in the silence of adoration. He was prompted to write down what he received, and thus was born In Sinu Jesu, whose pages shine with an intense luminosity and heart-warming fervor that speak directly to the inner and outer needs of our time with a unique power to console and challenge.

The pages of this remarkable record of spiritual communication range across, and plunge into, many fundamental aspects of the spiritual life: loving and being loved by God; the practice of prayer in all its dimensions; the unique power of Eucharistic adoration; trustful surrender to divine providence; the homage of silence; the dignity of liturgical prayer and the sacraments; the mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; priestly identity and apostolic fruitfulness; the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints in our lives; sin, woundedness, mercy, healing, and purification; the longing for heaven and the longed-for renewal of the Catholic Church on earth.

Given the harmony of its content with the teaching of Sacred Scripture, Catholic Tradition, and well-known works of the mystics, it is eminently fitting that In Sinu Jesu be published in full at this time (it has been granted the imprimatur). Passages from this journal have already influenced the spiritual lives of priests, religious, and laymen–may it now give light and warmth, consolation and renewed conviction, to readers throughout the world.”

The Priesthood and the Face of Christ

St. Padre Pio gazes at the Eucharistic Face of Christ
St. Padre Pio gazes at the Eucharistic Face of Christ

 

At the Last Supper Jesus offers His deeply moving prayer to the Father for his disciples, the priests, which begins, “Father the hour has come…” (John 17) Jesus prays that the Father glorify Him and that He may be glorified in them (his priests) and that He keep them in His name that “they may become one as we are.”  Jesus prays too, “for those who will believe in me through their word.”

“A priest is not a priest for himself,” St. John Vianney said, “he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments for himself. He is not for himself, he is for you.” 

These men, like the first apostles, are fully human and share in the weakened condition of all of mankind since the fall of Adam.  Yet they are called by God for the sanctification of God’s people.  St. Paul writes:

“Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.  No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.  In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you;” just as he says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”  In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Heb. 5:1-10)

The faithful are entrusted to the priest’s care, who as a Good Shepherd, walks with them on the path which leads to Christ. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the priest brings the people to a true knowledge of the Father and the Son and “To the contemplation of the living and pulsating reality of the Trinity ‘faciem ad faciem’ (face to face).” (St. Pope John Paul II)  “The Holy Spirit,” says St. Irenaeus, “the stairway of our ascent to God, draws the priest to the Father, stirring in his heart a burning desire to see God’s Face…the Paraclete illumines the priest about his own Person, that the priest may come to see the Spirit in his own heart and history.”

Priest elevating Eucharist on paten viewed through the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Photo: Paul Badde
Priest elevating Eucharist on paten viewed through the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Photo: Paul Badde

Whenever a priest administers the sacraments, says St. Pope John Paul II, “the priest lendsChrist his own face and voice:” “Do this in memory of Me.” (Luke 22:19)   “Priests are called to show forth the Face of the Good Shepherd and therefore to have the Heart of Christ Himself.” (St. Pope John Paul II) Therefore, let us pray for all priests and bishops, that the Holy Spirit will strengthen them in all their gifts.  St. Teresa of Avila once said, “When you see a priest you should say, ‘There is he who made me a child of God, and opened Heaven to me by Holy Baptism; he who purified me after I had sinned; who gives nourishment to my soul.’” St. Therese told her sister, Celine, “Let us live for souls, let us be apostles, let us save above all the souls of priests… let us pray and suffer for them and on the last day Jesus will be grateful!” [St. Therese of Lisieux, Letter 94]

The Priest is the Face of Christ to us!

…to continue reading click (here)


What is the Confraternity of Priest Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus?

(About the Confraternity of Priest Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus)

One of the important Apostolates of Silverstream Priory is The Confraternity of Priest Adorers of The Eucharistic Face of Jesus “responding to the need and desire of many priests, young and old to unite among themselves specifically for the adoration of The Most Blessed Sacrament and to support one another in persevering in prayer.”

“The Sacred Name and Sacred Face of Jesus are fire and light in this world that is becoming colder and darker by the day.  In the end, the darkness will be forever vanquished by the fire of His Name and by The Light of His Face, and then there shall be peace in His Kingdom fully revealed, and in the company of His Saints who will sing praise to His Name and adore His Face, shining more brightly than a thousand suns, and this unto the ages of ages.” –Dom Mark Kirby, OSB, Prior, Silverstream Priory

The Confraternity of Priest Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus

The Confraternity of Priest Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus responds to the need and desire of many priests, young and old, to unite among themselves specifically for the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and to support one another in persevering in prayer.

Its charter, so to speak, is the Priestly Prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper in the Cenacle, given in the 17th chapter of Saint John’s Gospel. Therein, Jesus the Eternal High Priest lifts His eyes to heaven and prays to His Father, firstly, for Himself; secondly, for His Apostles; and thirdly, for all those who, through the word of His Apostles, will come to believe in Him (see Benedict XVI, General Audience, 25 Jan. 2012, on the high priestly prayer of Jesus in the Cenacle).

The Confraternity is a response to the invitation of Jesus: Come to Me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you (Matt. 11:28), and to His sorrowful reproach in the Garden of Gethsemani: What, could you not watch one hour with Me? (Matt. 26:40).  The Priest Adorers draw further inspiration from the words of the Lord Jesus: I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. 18:20).

The crisis that in recent years has so shaken the Church and burdened the hearts of priests with sorrow and uncertainty, requires a powerful spiritual antidote. Our Lord is calling His priests to tarry in His presence. He invites them to abide in the radiance of His Eucharistic Face, close to His Heart. There they will recover the joy of their youth and the certainty of being loved by Christ with an everlasting love.

Are not such confraternities already in existence?

The 19th and 20th centuries saw, in fact, the birth of a number of movements for the promotion of Eucharistic adoration, reparation, and priestly holiness. The best known of these is, without doubt, the Association of Priest-Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1869), and canonically erected in Rome on 16 June 1887. The second half of the last century saw many of these fine movements fall into decline, leaving a void in the spiritual life of new generations of priests. The Year of the Eucharist proclaimed by Blessed John Paul II in 2004, and the Year of the Priesthood proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 were an invitation to rediscover and refresh the benefits that accrue to priests who commit themselves to prayer for and with one another, and in particular, to Eucharistic adoration.

Why the Eucharistic Face of Jesus?

In his encyclical letter of Holy Thursday, 17 April 2003, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Blessed John Paul II drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. He coined a new phrase, one not encountered before in his writings or in the teachings of his predecessors: The Eucharistic Face of Christ. Thus did the Pope share with the Church his own experience of seeking, finding, and adoring the Face of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

The human face is a mysterious icon of the heart. It signifies, among other things, a personal presence open to relationship with another. In the Sacrament of His Love, the Face of Christ, the Human Face of God, is turned towards those who seek Him, ready to draw them into a healing and life-giving communion of love with His Sacred Heart.

Who May Belong?

The Confraternity is open to all Catholic bishops, priests, deacons, and seminarians.

What are the obligations of a Priest Adorer? 

There is but one essential obligation: one continuous hour of adoration each day. This obligation does not bind under pain of sin; it is, nonetheless, a serious engagement, and one not to be put aside lightly. In times of sickness, the offering of one’s weakness and suffering, in union with the immolation of the Lamb, is itself an act of adoration, reparation, and fruitful intercession for one’s brother priests. The hour of adoration may be made before the Blessed Sacrament concealed in the tabernacle, simply exposed in the ciborium, or solemnly exposed in the monstrance.

One may join the Confraternity at any time. Upon joining, and once a year thereafter, the Priest Adorer solemnly pledges to make daily one continuous hour of Eucharistic adoration. He renews his pledge every June on the date most convenient for him, between the Feasts of Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A priest may renew his pledge privately in the presence of one witness; or together with the priests of his Cenacle; or publicly before the faithful in his parish church.

To remain active in the Confraternity, the annual pledge of membership must be signed, dated, and returned to Silverstream Priory, Stamullen, Co. Meath, Ireland, no later than July 1st every year.

Assent to the Divine Friendship

Christ desires with an immense desire to purify, and heal, and sanctify His priests. This He does, and will do, by drawing them into the radiance of His Eucharistic Face and the warmth of His Eucharistic Heart. We priests all too easily forget that Our Lord is present in the Sacrament of His Love to offer us all the good things that come from friendship: companionship, conversation, joy, comfort, hospitality, strength and, above all, love.

Friends of His Heart

Jesus is hidden in the Most Holy Sacrament; His Face is veiled by the sacramental species and His Heart, too, is hidden. He is, nonetheless, really present as True God and True Man, alive, seeing all, knowing all, and burning with desire that all should come to His tabernacles but, first of all, the priests whom He has chosen to be His intimate friends, the friends of His Heart.

A priest who, in adoration, assents to the friendship of Christ, will want for nothing and will make great strides along the path of holiness. Virtue is not difficult for one who abides in the friendship of Christ. The friendship of Jesus for His priests needs to become the subject of conversations, of reflection, of study, and of preaching; more than anything else it needs to become the lived experience of every priest.

Our Lady and Saint John

A priest who abides in the friendship of Christ will accomplish great and wonderful works for souls. This is the secret of a fruitful priesthood. From her place in heaven, Our Blessed Lady is entirely devoted to keeping priests faithful to the Divine Friendship. Saint John, the Beloved Disciple, also intercedes for priests, that they might persevere in the way of friendship with Our Lord and find their joy in the love of His Heart.

The Remedy

Priests who come to adore the Eucharistic Face of Jesus will quickly discover His Heart and, in His Heart they will discover the friendship for which He created them and to which He calls them. The single greatest deficiency of the clergy is that so many priests are ignorant of the tenderness and strength and fidelity of Our Lord’s friendship for them. How can this deficiency be remedied? By adoration before the Eucharistic Face of Christ. Pray, then, that the radiance of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus will reach an ever greater number of priests, until, in all the Church, the Priesthood of Christ shines with all the splendour of His own holiness.

 

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