In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
O My Lord, how much you desire the consolation of those whom you have called to Your Church; however, it seems that it is from those of us You have personally called into your embrace that the most significant pain is caused to your Most Blessed and Sacred Heart. Yet we foul and lowly creatures who You in Your endless Mercy have, through your incarnation, sorrowful passion, and glorious resurrection raised to higher glory than even Your angels – a reward to which, without your profound love, we wretched and faithless sinners could not have even aspired – offend you most of all. Why is it that we forget our profound debt to you and fall away from Your never-ending Love only to seek after worldly gain and carnal pleasures? Forgive us, Lord, for we are but the weakest of your creatures and most incapable of producing any good whatsoever. In our feebleness against the worldly temptations and snares of the Devil we are quite unable to resist. His vile and depraved inclinations, which he gives us against the holy and sanctifying uses for which You have deemed all to be good for us, leads us instead to the ruin of our souls. How much our turning from you to the world must pain your Most Adorable and Blessed Heart. Yet still, these of your servants whose offenses you endure cause yet even less suffering than that which is caused by those of us faithless and most foul sinners who – wishing to appear Holy and removed from the influences of the world, and to whom you have bestowed the greatest Grace of ample occasion for prayer, fasting, and penance – squander this greatest of Blessings chasing after vile, depraved, and foul pleasures. For truly, what is a better reward on earth than the ability to spend our lives in intimate conversation with You, Our Most Blessed and Love-able Jesus? Yet, in our lowliness and despicableness we come to you not begging for Good and Holy priests to shepherd your flock, we come not for an increase in vocations to religious and consecrated life, not for the souls of those murdered by abortion each day or for those suffering in purgatory, nor for an increase in the number of your faithful servants, indeed not even for our own sanctification or begging You to bless us with even more faith and love for you that we may eventually be inspired by the Holy Ghost to seek You for these far more holy intercessions. Not for these holy and pure requests do we come to You in prayer, but instead we come to You whining and sniveling about some discomfort or mild annoyance we must suffer, some vanity we can not afford for ourselves, or with the desire for some equally depraved and offensive request. Yet You, ever Merciful Lord, see our pitifulness and in your Great Kindness towards your creatures You fulfill these shameful petitions of we wretched and miserable sinners. You Love to Love us Lord. If only we knew the true depths of your great affection for us most undeserving creatures – if we but knew how much more the pleasure is to You, our God, when we give ourselves entirely to You in order that You, in Your perfection, may make us pure and holy servants upon whom you may bestow spiritual graces, consolations, and divine suffering, a pleasure far surpassing the profound joy it brings you to see your servants praise and glorify you in our religious and pious use of what material goods You do bestow upon us for our spiritual enrichment – we would not squander so readily the valuable little time we have with you in asking for such disgusting and offensive requests as money, fame, or comfort. Instead, if we but truly loved You as You love us, My God, we would implore You to grant to us more faith, love, and an ever greater devotion to You, My Dearest Lord, so that we may become better and more holy servants of Yours here on earth. We would pray that we may be Blessed with intimacy with You, Our Most Blessed Lord, not to fulfill some fleeting worldly desire, but to bring about your Will upon earth and through this to bring more souls – through your Grace and as your instruments alone – from the vile and evil clutches of Satan into the Holy embrace of Your Holy and Catholic Church. O my God, how much the holy and righteous prayers of your servants console your Precious and Adorable Sacred Heart. May you bless us Lord with such profound Love and devotion for You that we, trusting in You to give us all that we would ever need to fulfill your Will for us on earth, come to you in prayer asking only for these most pious and sincere requests: to pray for your Church and all Her servants, to pray for our priests in particular and to beg you for their sanctification – for them to ever increase in their Love for you, Our Lord – and to pray that you keep us ever growing in our devotion and love for you. Let us no longer petition you for that which is selfish and vain. Purify the hearts of your servants, O my God, until that for which they alone long is that to which you Will them to desire. Let us grow in devotion to you, Our God, until there is no will left in us but Your Holy and most perfect Will. Grant this to us, we beg You our Most Loving and Beautiful Lord, through the intercession of Your Holy and Blessed Mother Mary. Amen.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this week I have been reading once again from the “Way of Perfection” by St. Teresa of Avila, and I was, as is usual when reading her writings, profoundly touched by her deep love and respect for our priests. Her instruction to pray continually for the shepherds of our Holy and Catholic Church struck me as particularly relevant to our current crisis; as I read through her familiar pages – pages which I have read many times before – I began to feel as if she was reaching through the ages and genuinely writing these pages anew for us today. It was as if she was begging us with the most insatiable urgency to increase our devotion in offering unceasing prayers for our priests, deacons, bishops, and religious. We must listen to this holy Saints exhortations by which she is unceasingly imploring us to pray fervently for our Church and Her priests. We must pray that they may become fitting shepherds of Our Blessed Lord’s flock. We must pray most urgently, brothers and sisters, that they may be blessed with the most profound love and devotion of Our Adorable Jesus in order that they may faithfully, and with pure hearts, carry out their most holy and righteous vocations.
We must not, my beloved sisters, my dearest brothers, allow our prayers for our priests to lessen even for a moment when it is these prayers which they, and Our Church, need so desperately now more than they have ever required them previously. Nothing comforts our Lords Most Sacred and Blessed Heart as much a soul which, accepting the Grace of His call, willingly enters into the sweet Salvation for which our Blessed Lord so gloriously suffered to earn for us undeserving and wretched creatures than, perhaps, one of these precious few souls of His faithful uniting himself to the Will of God enters into the gentle yoke of Holy Orders; or one who, responding to His call to the service of His Beloved Church through the profession of vows, binds themselves to the beautiful service of religious or consecrated life. May all His servants who have given themselves entirely to Him as visible and living witnesses of the glory and truth of Our Lords promise of life eternal in the world to come, and of His profound love for His creatures here on earth, encourage all of us to seek more holy and pleasing lives in the service of Him, our God.
May our lips, my Precious Lord, never fall silent, and therefore may we miserable and faithless souls never cease in our begging you to call and sanctify more holy souls than we for Your Church. May we little souls, who know ourselves to be entirely unable and unworthy of doing anything at all in Your service, yet who wish nothing more than to do that which brings you the greatest glory and consolation, be sustained by You, Our God, in all our worldly needs so that our prayers for an increase in Holy servants and learned leaders for Your Church may be continually offered for Your greater Glory. May the harvest of souls be bountiful in this time when Your Church needs an ever-increasing call to vocations and holy life. By our prayers may Your promise be fulfilled that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against those of Your most Holy and Catholic Spouse, the Church. May we all whom You have personally called into Your service, and who wish for nothing more than to grow in our pleasantness to You – our most Blessed and Adorable Jesus – be able to forget ourselves and, by Your Grace, be raised from our wretchedness and depravity into faithful servants to you, Our Blessed Lord. May we all, my Lord I pray, be freed from all worldly desires and distractions so that we, who live such short and most miserable lives here on earth, may be transformed by Your Grace into joyful creatures whose unceasing cries of praise and thanksgiving to You, our Lord, our God, Who alone is most deserving of all worship and adoration, bring always blessings and holiness upon Your priests, bishops, deacons, and religious. Keep us always in Your Service, we beg You O Lord, and let us not waste our freedom which was purchased for us through Your most sorrowful passion in searching after useless and insignificant drivel as we depraved and vile creatures are so naturally inclined to do. Instead, my sweet Jesus, I implore you with my entire being, with every ounce of passion contained within my soul, keep that fire of love and passion burning within the hearts of all your little souls whom You have brought into Your loving embrace. May we whom You have deemed worthy, even in our most wretched and lowly condition, to be those who are to spend our lives in prayer, fasting, and penance in order that Your Church may be blessed with an ever-increasing number of holy, righteous, learned, and humble souls in Her service always remain faithful to our vocation. May all who answer Your call, those faithful servants of Yours for whom we most earnestly and unceasingly pray, my Lord, stay pure and committed to the vows which they so solemnly made, increase in all their virtues, and lead Your flock faithfully into Your arms in the life to come. Amen
Let us close this letter, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, by praying together a prayer from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary – indeed I beg you to join me in this most beneficial liturgy each day – so that our Church may find Herself not weakened but purified by these times of struggle and crisis, and that She may be blessed with many more holy and righteous priests, bishops, religious and lay members in order that the Message of the Salvation, purchased for us by our Blessed Lord, may reach the ears and penetrate the hearts of all the people here on earth now and endlessly for generations to come until the end of time:
O Mary, blessed Mother of God, ever a virgin, the Lords own temple, shrine of the Holy Ghost, thou alone as none other didst please our Lord Jesus Christ; pray for the people, intercede for the clergy, plead for religious women. Amen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.