My Mercy Shall Not Depart From Thee

| | Comments (2)


This is the image that I chose twenty–one years ago to commemorate my ordination to the priesthood. I chose it then because it depicts the Face of Jesus full of peace and beauty after having "bowed His head and given up His spirit" (cf. Jn 19:30), and it shows His Sacred Side opened by the soldier's lance. I would choose it again today for the same reasons: the adorable Face of Jesus and His pierced Heart.

It is helpful, I think, from time to time to look at the things that have remained constant in our lives, at the loves which, in spite of every failure, weakness, and betrayal, remain unchanged. In my case, at least, these things point not to any steadfastness and fidelity of mine, but to the steadfast and faithful mercy of God. I take comfort in knowing that though "the mountains shall be moved, and the hills shall tremble, the mercy of Christ shall not depart from me" (cf. Is 54:10). At the last hour, when every other thing shall have faded or been stripped away, I trust that the Face of Christ will shine in my darkness and His pierced Heart be open to receive me.

I don't often write in so personal a voice on Vultus Christi, and I loathe "autobiographical preaching." It seems to me nonetheless that a personal witness to the unchanging designs of God in a life like mine — marked by change, struggles, uprootings, and apparent failures — may help others, as Saint Benedict says, "never to despair of the mercy of God" (RB 4:74), believing with Saint Paul, that "nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ" (Rom 8:35). Blessed Great and Holy Week to each one . . . in the light of His Face and in the secret of His pierced Heart.



+Dear Father,

May God reward you for sharing this. You have never shown us this incredibly beautiful image of Christ before. I am making a copy of it for myself,as it holds a wealth of meaning for me. Yes, His Holy Face and His Pierced Heart are our place of refuge and peace. You are so present here as the Great and Holy Week begins. There is so much to say...An envelope is coming your way through the regular post, containing as much as it could hold on paper. I must say here that you are a sign of God's constancy in love to me..A most blessed week to you! In His heart...

Leave a comment

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory