Thursday, January 20, 2011

With Eyes Fixed on Thee

The mystery of the Eucharistic face of Christ. In the words of Father Mark:
All the saints share the same splendid intuitions, but each one expresses them according to his own genius, with his own vocabulary, and in the light of his own experience. Saint Peter Julian Eymard's "vow of personality" is the fruit of his reflections on the priesthood in the context of a life spent before Our Lord's Eucharistic Face, in intimate communion with His Eucharistic Heart. The very fact that Saint Peter Julian has recourse to Saint Paul and Saint John to express his own spiritual experience demonstrates that the substance of his experience is catholic, while the expression he gives to it is personal and particular. Compare, for example, Saint Peter Julian Eymard's texts with the prayer of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity:
O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, I long to be the bride of your heart. I long to cover you with glory, to love you even unto death! Yet I sense my powerlessness and beg you to clothe me with yourself. Identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute yourself for me, so that my life may become a reflection of your life. Come into me as Adorer, as Redeemer and as Saviour.
O Eternal Word, utterance of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, to become totally teachable so that I might learn all from you. Through all darkness, all emptiness, all powerlessness, I want to keep my eyes fixed on you and to remain under your great light. O my Beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may never be able to leave your radiance.
It seems to me that Saint Peter Julian, the priest-adorer of the Most Blessed Sacrament would heartily subscribe to the prayer of Blessed Elizabeth, the Carmelite, and find in it a perfectly adequate expression of what he called "the vow of personality."

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