THE CENACLE: AN INVITATION TO PRAYER AND FRATERNITY
“Multiply everywhere the cenacles of prayer and fraternal sharing.” (296j)
In her messages, Our Lady insistently calls us – priests, religious and faithful – to gather together with her in fervent prayer and fraternal love, in authentic cenacles as when the first apostles gathered with her in the Upper Room in Jerusalem awaiting the First Pentecost. Why this insistence? What is most important in the world and in the Church today is the preparation for the Second Pentecost through the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. To draw down upon us this gift of the Holy Spirit, we must enter with her into the cenacle.
Our Lady invites us to enter into the cenacle of her Immaculate Heart by means of our consecration. In the cenacle of her heart she will nourish, form and help us grow in perfect consecration to her. She calls us to form cenacles together with her and to multiply and spread them everywhere so that the Divine Spirit of Love may pass through the golden door of her Immaculate Heart and thus prepare humanity for a new era of grace and holiness.
“Just as in the Cenacle of Jerusalem, the Apostles – reunited with me in prayer – prepared for the moment of the first Pentecost, so also, in the cenacles of my Immaculate Heart – and consequently in the cenacles where you are gathered in prayer – you apostles of these last times can, with your heavenly Mother, obtain a new effusion of the Holy Spirit.” (284p)
I – INVOCATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
As a time for invoking the Holy Spirit through Mary, the cenacle ought to begin either with a hymn to the Holy Spirit such as “Veni Creator Spiritus”, “Come, Holy Ghost” or with the short invocation given by Our Lady herself in her messages of June 7, 1981 and June 3, 1990.
“I invite you to repeat often: ‘Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse’” (226k)
HOW TO BEGIN A CENACLE
No one should be hesitant in beginning a cenacle of the Marion Movement of Priests; it is very simple. Our Lady says:
“There is no need of organization. Everything should be simple, spontaneous, quiet and fraternal.” (34e)
“It is not necessary that they come together in great numbers: even two or three are enough.” (34c)
Our Lady urges the priests to help the faithful begin cenacles. Priests consecrated to Mary are called by her to lead the faithful entrusted to their care to a renewed devotion to her Immaculate Heart. The faithful are waiting for the priests to provide them with this spiritual leadership. However, the faithful are strongly encouraged to begin cenacles even if priests are not available to serve as moderator for the cenacle, a contact person is always needed to be in a role of service for the benefit of the members and to see to it that the cenacle is conducted in the true spirit of the M.M.P., with all praying together as true brothers and sisters.
“You are all brothers, united in love that must grow ever more and more.”
If anyone wishes to become the greatest let him become truly the least.” (108gh)
The cenacle can be held as often as you wish according to any time schedule you decide upon. Cenacles may be in a church, in a home or in any place suitable for praying together with Mary. Since priests, religious and laity of the Movement must attend to the duties of their vocation and state, the simplicity of the cenacle desired by Our Lady should reassure them that they need not hesitate to come together spontaneously in cenacles whenever and wherever possible. Those who live in close proximity may wish to come together frequently in small cenacles of prayer even if they already attend a larger cenacle on a monthly or even weekly basis.
“Multiply the cenacles of prayer.” (375g)
II – THE ROSARY
Since the cenacle is where we gather to pray with Mary, the recitation of the rosary, Mary’s prayer par excellence, is characteristic to all cenacles.
“When you recite the rosary you invite me to pray with you and, each time, I truly join in your prayer.” (148p)
“Your entire rosary, which you recite in the cenacle in accordance with the urgent request of your Mother, is like an immense chain of love and salvation with which you are able to encircle persons and situations, and even to influence all the events of your time.”
“Continue to recite it, and multiply your cenacles of prayer, thus responding to the invitation which the first of my beloved sons, the Vicar of Jesus, has so urgently made to you.” (184de)
“The prayer of my predilection is the holy rosary.” (275c)
Cenacle members who wish to do so may take turns in leading a decade of the rosary. A meditation on each mystery may also be read aloud. For your convenience, a selection of rosary meditations has been included in the practical section of this booklet (click here to order booklet). These or others of your choice may be used.
Another desirable practice is the praising of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament after each decade. Fr. Gobbi always sings this refrain: “O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.” The invocation to the Holy Spirit : “Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.”, may also be recited after each decade.
Our Lady, the Mother and Queen of families, in her message given July 23, 1987, asks that all Christian families consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart and, if possible, start cenacles in their homes.
“I ask that they open the doors of all their homes to me so that I may come in and take up my motherly dwelling among you.” (358d)
“Above all, spread all about you family cenacles, which are desired by me as a remedy for the great evils which are today threatening the life of Christian families.” (392f)
The family cenacles have the same basic structure proper to any M.M.P. cenacle. However, for the benefit of family members, especially the children, a portion of time may be devoted to catechism and family sharing. More than one family may gather together to pray in the home.
Our Lady ardently desires to gather youth of all ages under her immaculate mantle. She wants them to come together in the cenacles so that she may give them the strength to flee sin and to live the Gospel of Jesus. In her message, “Only in the Hearts of Little Ones,” given on February 2, 1990, she especially asks for “children’s cenacles.”
“I ask that children’s cenacles be multiplied, in every part of the world, because I am calling them to a crusade of prayer and of consecration for the salvation of the world.”