Cogitationes Cordis Ejus

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The thoughts of His Heart
are to all generations;
He will save their souls from death
and give them to eat in time of famine.
(Psalm 32:11, 19, Introit of the Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).

To All Generations

The thoughts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are to all generations, touching all, excluding no one. By His death, He rescues us from death; by the mysteries of His Body and Blood, He feeds every hungry heart.

All Priests

On the threshold of this Year of the Priest, we recall that the thoughts of the Heart of Jesus embrace all priests from the first ones assembled with him in the Cenacle on the night before He suffered to those who will welcome Him when he returns in glory.

Beset by Sin and Repaired by Love

What are priests if not weak men beset by sin and repaired by love? The Heart of Jesus sends out his priests for the healing, reconciliation, and restoration of those who, like themselves, stand at every moment in need of mercy. Speaking to a priest, Our Lord said:

"There has never been in all of history a single priest whom I have not destined for a great holiness. My Heart has suffered much because so many of my chosen ones have refused my gifts and, preferring their own ways to mine, gone into the outer darkness where it is night.

My Heart burns to see my priests all ablaze with Eucharistic holiness. The altar is the source of priestly holiness. The kiss given to the altar at the beginning and end of Holy Mass means that the priest recognizes this. By kissing the altar, he makes himself vulnerable to my piercing love. By kissing the altar he opens himself unreservedly to all that I would give him and to all that I hold in the designs of my Heart for his life. The kiss to the altar signifies total abandonment to the priestly holiness that I desire and to the fulfillment of my desires in the soul of my priest.

The holiness to which I call my priests, the holiness to which I am calling you, consists in a total configuration to me as I stand before my Father in the heavenly sanctuary, beyond the veil. Every priest of mine is to be with me both priest and victim in the presence of my Father. Every priest is called to stand before the altar with pierced hands and feet, with his side wounded, and with his head crowned as my head was crowned in my passion. You needn’t fear this configuration to me; it will bring you only peace of heart, joy in the presence of my Father, and that unique intimacy with me that I have, from the night before I suffered, reserved for my priests, my chosen ones, the friends of my Heart."

My Heart Thirsts for You

Mother Marie des Douleurs, writing for priests in the 1930s,
placed these words in the Heart and mouth of Our Lord:

“I have need of this body of priests
who continually will live their Mass,
who will continue my Passion.
My immolation must go on until the end of time;
I must find priests who will hand over to me
their bodies, their souls, their whole being so that in them,
I may be the one whom nearly no one accepts to recognize,
the Crucified.
You whom I have chosen
and marked for this mission glorious above all others,
will you not understand, will you too go away?
My Heart thirsts for you.
Do you not see all the souls torn away from me?
If my priests do not continue me, I am alone and powerless.”

Priests Passionately Loved

Mother's text, like the message of Our Lord to a priest cited above, is almost frightening in its lucidity and crushing in its implications, but it is meant to inspire today in each one a more ardent prayer for all priests, chosen and passionately loved by the Sacred Heart of Jesus.



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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.

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