Father Mark Daniel Kirby, O.S.B. is the founder of the Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His community has a special purpose, being established by Bishop Slattery of Tulsa as a response to Pope Benedict’s Year of the Priest, which ends next June. “It is a life that is offered and consecrated:
for the sanctification of priests and the spiritual renewal of the clergy in the whole Church.
in reparation for the sins that disfigure the Face of Christ the Priest.
in the sacrificial love that is inseperable from the gift and mystery of the priesthood.”
Benedictine spirituality is close to my heart because of its balance between work and prayer. Ora et Labora is the Benedictine motto, regardless of whether a monastery or family of monasteries is primarily contemplative or whether it engages in pastoral works.
Father’s blog, Vultus Christi, meaning “Face of Christ” has a spiritually beneficial posting nearly every day. He also usually includes sacred art with his posts, which I find really beautiful. On November 3, 2009 he wrote about a chaplet for the Poor Souls he has been praying for many years. I like it very much since it is easily prayed using a standard rosary, so I am sharing it here. Chaplets and rosaries are particularly useful to people who aren’t well enough to get to Mass, and who feel just too weak or tired to do any other devotions or read the Bible.
On the large beads:
V. Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Thy Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the lamb without blemish or spot (1 P. 1:19)
R. For the refreshment and deliverance of the souls in Purgatory
(One can add here, especially those of my family, or of my ancestry, or of priests. The Holy Spirit sometimes moves one to pray for particular groups of Holy Souls.)
Ten times on the small beads:
V. By Thy Precious Blood, O Jesus —
R. Purify and deliver their souls.
After having said five decades, one concludes with:
V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
How easy is this?! Please spread this devotion. Also, Monday is the day of the week dedicated to the Poor Souls. We can pray this chaplet every Monday throughout the year in memory of the faithful departed. “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (2 Maccabees 12:46)
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