by Taryn Watkins
“Who is this coming up from the wilderness” “And Elijah, who spoke of his exodus that he was to accomplish in Jerusalem… and they saw his glory.” “You are my beloved in whom I am well pleased” “I am my beloved and my beloved is for me”
Elijah, who knew so well how to entrust yourself in the desert wilderness, to cling to the desires of your Lord, the God of hosts, to rely on him for your life, your being, the totality of your identity. You abandoned yourself so completely that without Him you had no reference for your being or identity. Absolute poverty and self abandonment, to the very dust. The sacrifice of the bull was only the exterior expression of the sacrifice you had already offered of yourself. Then, when you were emptied you could truly contemplate that still small whisper. Great prophet of the Most High God, give consecrated virgins and your whole church that same spirit, that same abandon, self-sacrifice, and contemplation, so that I may see the Lord in his exodus and glory.
“The Spirit and the Bride say come, let the hearer say come… Behold I am coming soon. Amen, come Lord Jesus.” “I am going to prepare a place for you, and will come and take you to where I am.”
Lord, give the grace to your consecrated virgins and to the whole church to heed fully and radically the call to live the eschatological, heavenly reality of mystical union with you. Fulfill the desire to live for the completion, the consummation of that union, of time itself, to live now the wedding feast of the Lamb in a total, irrevocable union for all eternity, here and in the life to come. Allow us to live the original spousal relationship of which marriage is the wonderous sign.
“These [virgins] follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” “I will rise now, I will seek him whom my soul loves”
They search for him as the bride in the song of songs, and give everything for the pearl of great price. Sts. Agatha and Lucy, virgins and martyrs, pray that like you, consecrated virgins, the whole church may follow the Lamb, the one love of your souls. That the receptive space of your virginal hearts may be mirrored in our own and the source of our consecration, to be set apart for Jesus alone. Let it be a sign of purity of body and soul. Give us a share of the wisdom of the virgins with lamps lit, who hear the voice of the bridegroom. “Come let me see your face, let me hear your voice” “Behold you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful.” “The voice of my beloved, Behold he comes”
“I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God…. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
St Cecilia, and St Agnes, in whom “there was little or no room in [your] small body for a wound. Though [you] could scarcely receive the blow, [you] could rise superior to it…showing no fear of the blood-stained hands of [your] executioners. As a bride [you] would not be hastening to join [your] husband with the same joy [you] show as a virgin on her way to punishment, crowned not with flowers but with holiness of life, adorned not with braided hair but with Christ himself.”
To you who before the blade bit into your bodies were already mortally wounded by love, and before you gave your bodies as witnesses in blood, had already given your body in a virginal gift to the your Lord, pray that consecrated virgins and the whole church may share that same mortal wound of Love.
“His banner over me was love.” “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me”
The nuptials of Jesus and his bride are consummated in the blood poured out from his side. This moment of union, of the bridegroom and his bride, of the Son and the Father, is also the moment of darkness, of abandonment, of violence. The banner of love is the battle standard, the marriage bed is the cross. “He came to the marriage-bed of the Cross, and there in mounting it, he consummated his marriage. And when he perceived the sighs of the creature, he lovingly gave himself up to the torment in place of his bride, and joined himself to her forever.”
Lord Jesus, unite your consecrated virgins and your whole church to yourself, that they may love you with the same love you have given them, and so image you in your Paschal Mystery.
“It was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefined separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.” “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that came to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is not belonging to this creation, He entered once for all into the sanctuary… with his own blood”
Jesus, great High Priest, may your consecrated virgins and your whole church offer you acceptable sacrifice through their royal priesthood, offering firstly their selves and everything they have in body, mind and spirit. May it be pleasing to you and may it purify and protect your ordained priests, so that you may have holy, worthy priests, truly alter Christus, other Christs. May it be a humble offering in reparation for the sins of priests. May your consecrated virgins be a sign of the strength and holy love the blessed virgin Mary gives to your priests just as she did with St. John.
“This is my body, which is given for you.” “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” “So that they may all be one, as you, Father are in me and I in you that they also may be in us…so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me… that the love with which you loved then may be in them and I in them.”
Lord, just as the humble and simple materials of bread and wine passively receive consecration to become your very presence and substance, may the hearts of your consecrated virgins and your Church be humble and simple in order to receive this consecration, to be set apart for you, to really be your presence. Work a hidden miracle, unseen, just as your divinity and humanity are hidden in the host. Let our substance be transformed into yours. May we receive your Love and Being, so as to love you in a way beyond our own love and being. Let this consecration be an image of the sacrifice of your tiny spouse on the paten, united in body and soul, transubstantiated into you, receiving you in body and soul, in blood and water.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born of you will be called holy, the Son of God. “
“Are you the one who created the unclouded mirror
Next to the Almighty’s throne,
Like a crystal sea,
In which Divinity lovingly looks at itself?
You bend over the fairest work of your creation,
And radiantly your own gaze
Is illumined in return.
And of all creatures the pure beauty
Is joined in one in the dear form
Of the Virgin, your immaculate bride:
Holy Spirit Creator of all!”
O pure Virgin, created Immaculate Conception, spouse of the uncreated Immaculate Conception, when the bright cloud of the Spirit’s presence overshadowed you, you brought forth the fruit that saves the whole world. Give to your consecrated virgins and to the whole church that same fruitfulness, that we too can bring forth Christ into the world.
“I thirst.” “It is consummated.” “Behold the Pierced One.” ” Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.”
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, so poor and poured out, consuming fire: “I will arise and open to my beloved.” My hands are dripping with the precious myrrh of your Sacred Blood, thirsting with your thirst that you gave me, in the consummation of our love, in the hope of seeing you face to face on the day of the new dawn in your kingdom where you live in glory forever and ever amen.
Day of Consecration
Grant that this mystical espousal, that You have bestowed on your handmaiden, be a source of joy to you, O Lord, and may our thanksgiving for your great mercies give You glory and honor. Give her all the graces asked for in this novena if it be your will and bless her with all the graces You choose for her.