Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fr. Mark Kirby's Teaching on the Holy Face

One of the most beautiful websites of all is Fr. Mark Kirby's on the Holy Face of Jesus: www.vultus.stblogs.org It is notable and remarkable that Fr. Mark began his website precisely on the day of Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit to the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello: September 1, 2006.

Prior to establishing his website Fr. Mark published several articles on the Holy Face of Jesus which I highly recommend. www.rosaryworkshop.com/RDSP-2672-HolyFaceI.html
Fr. Mark is without a doubt one of the most acute living commentators on devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Fr. Mark:

"It is a sign of the times that the youngest bishop in the United States, and the first to be born in 'are you ready' the 1960's - should have chosen for his episcopal motto the phrase, Vultum Christi contemplari, 'To contemplate the Face of Christ'. Bishop Alex Sample, ordained for the diocese of Marquette, Michigan last January 25th chose a motto that echoes the repeated and insistent invitations of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II to contemplate the Face of Christ. This was his vision for the Church of the new millennium. 'Our gaze is more than ever firmly set on the face of the Lord' (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 16)."

"Face and person are synonomous, not only by reason of the Greek etymology, but even more because there is nothing more personal, nothing more precious, nothing dearer than the face of a loved one. The psalmist's cry, 'I long to see your face' (Ps 26:8) is the cry of every lover to his beloved, the cry of child to parent, and of friend to friend. The most poignant moment in the rites of death and burial comes when the face of the deceased is covered for the last time. We cherish photographs of those we love, but what is a photograph without a face? The relationshiops that we call 'heart to heart' never tire of the 'face to face'."

"When the history of the pontificate of John Paul II is written by a generation to come, there is no doubt that his insistent and consistent focus on the Face of Christ will emerge as a grand spiritual theme, a recurrent motif, and a spiritual gift to the Church. Over the years, John Paul II's personal fascination with the Face of Christ has become a pastoral imperative. Already in 2001, he drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ. At the closing of the Holy Year on January 6th of that year, he said: 'Christianity is born, and continually draws new life from this contemplation of the glory of God shining on the face of Christ."

"The Greek prosopon means person as well as face and countenance. The Holy Father's (John Paul II) repeated invitations to contemplate the Face of Christ are, in fact, invitations to know Christ in the most deeply personal way. In the 'new civilization of love,' the restoration of the sacredness and dignity of the human person begins with the contemplation of the Face of Christ."

"In his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ in the sacrament of the 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 Pope John Paul II share with the Church his own experience of seeking, finding, and adoring the Face of Christ in the Eucharist."

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