February 27, 2012

At the Bottom of the Chalice

After Mass at the Poor Clare nuns this morning, one of the older sisters came into the sacristy and greeted me. "I like the way you think, and I want to give you something." She then produced an old holy card which had been given to her by another Capuchin, Fr. Venantius Buessing, when he was giving the nuns a series of conferences in 1960. You can see a picture of Fr. Venantius on this page. He's the one with the outstanding beard, como Dios manda.

The holy card depicts the elevation of the sacred Host after the consecration, with Christ crucified mystically present and server and people kneeling before the altar. On the back Fr. Venantius wrote a prayer, which I transcribe as best I can, though I can't make out the whole thing. I don't know if this is his composition or if it's from somewhere else. If anyone knows, speak up.

Rabboni! Master!

When at the words of Consecration
My eyes look through my Savior's Blood,
Lo! in the chalice's shimmering gold
Mirrored my image I behold!

My heart is crushed with consternation
And weeps and sigh: My Lord, My God,
Thy Sacred Blood be my salvation!

Oh! grant that this poor heart of mine
Be henceforth modeled after Thine!
Thy...[?]...in me perfect,
Which my whole being must reflect.

So when at Holy Consecration
My eyes look through they Precious Blood,
There on the bottom's shimmering gold
A Christ-like priest I may behold!


Suzanne said...

What a beautiful gift -- love the prayer. Enjoy those nuns!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I like the way you think too, Father. Wish there were more like you!


Brother Charles said...

Thanks for the encouragement!