"Today a God–seeking soul shared with me that she used to think of the
prayer of repetition as second rate. Her ideal was to remain perfectly still,
empty, and receptive before God. Unable to attain her ideal, she fell to the
humble prayer of repetition, and now has come to recognize its value. She often
prays the Chaplet of the Eucharistic Face of Christ
(see below). Like others, she has found that this humble prayer of seeking,
desire, supplication, and praise anchors her in the presence of Our Lord. The
repetition of its invocations (like the prayers of the Rosary) binds her gently,
but effectively, to God. This soul's experience corresponds to my own.
The prayer of repetition is pleasing to
Godbecause it is intrinsically humble. One accepts one's
inability to be perfectly still, entirely receptive, and totally absorbed in
adoration, and then one accepts to make use of the poor man's prayer: the same
well–loved phrases burnished by repetition. As the
heart is enkindled by the Holy Spirit, each repeated prayer becomes like a grain
of incense thrown on an incandescent charcoal. Its fragrance is
for God alone.
Folks who see themselves as theologically sophisticated and enlightened
often disdain what I call les petits moyens, "the little means." They
sniff condescendingly at people who pray rosaries, chaplets, and litanies.
Better to pray that way, I say, than to abandon prayer altogether.
The humble prayer of repetition bears sweet
fruits. One fine day — or in the middle of the night — one wakes
to discover that the heart is praying by itself. Deep within, a spring has begun
to flow, irrigating one's secret parts. Thus does the grace of Christ begin to
heal what is wounded, to refresh what is weary, to make new what is
Chaplet of the Eucharistic Face of Christ.
it on ordinary rosary beads. Apart from the opening antiphon, which was composed
by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Office of Corpus
Christi, it is entirely
drawn from Sacred Scripture. It incorporates all four steps of lectio
divina: lectio (the Word heard); meditatio (the Word repeated);
oratio (the Word prayed), and contemplatio (the Word's embrace).
Sacred Banquet in which Christ is received,the
memory of His passion is renewed, the soul is filled
with grace, and a pledge of future
glory is given us, (alleluia).
soul is thirsting for God, the strong and living God; when
shall I enter and see the Face of God? (Ps 41:3).
the Hail Mary beads:
is Thy Eucharistic Face, O Lord, that I seek; hide
not Thy Face from me (cf. Ps 26:8-9).
O God our protector, and
look upon the Face of Thy Christ (Ps 83:10).
conclusion, three times:
glorify the Eucharistic Face of Thy Son, that
Thy Son may glorify Thee (cf. Jn