Thou hast set Thy Heart on us

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Thou hast set Thy Heart on us (cf. Dt 7:7)
that we might set our hearts on Thee.
In this is consecration,
not that that we have consecrated ourselves to Thee,
but that Thou hast set Thy Heart on us.
"For their sake," Thou didst say,
"I consecrate Myself,
that they also may be consecrated in truth" (Jn 17:19).

This the Beloved Disciple understood
not by any labour of the mind
but by the resting his head
on the Heart of the Lamb.
"In this is charity,
not as though we had loved God,
but because He hath first loved us,
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 Jn 4:10).

This he learned
not by searching far and wide,
but by abiding with Mary near the cross,
there to gaze on the "One whom they have pierced" (Jn 19:37).
This he learned, John the eagle,
gazing unblinking into the Sun
that rose each day before his eyes
in the Breaking of the Bread.
"This is My Body which is given for you.
Do this for a commemoration of Me.
In like manner the chalice also,
after He had supped, saying:
'This is the Chalice, the new testament in my blood,
which shall be shed for you'" (Lk 22:19-20).

Teach us, John of the seeing heart,
how to gaze with unveiled faces
on the Face here veiled,
that we may discern in the Bread broken and given
the Eucharistic Heart, the water and the blood (cf. Jn 19:34).

He who gazes
is drawn into mysteries hidden from the wise and clever,
to "what no eye hath seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man conceived,
what things God hath prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2:9).
These things children understand
and those who like them
gaze through the crystal of a pure heart.
For this is given the water and the blood
that we with eyes bathed in light
might look upon the Sacred Host
and see the Face, the Heart of Love.

"Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden"
--Love's invitation --
"and I will refresh you" (Mt 11:28).
No crushing deity here.
No annihilating power.
Here lies bare the weakness of Love
and the meekness of one Humble unto death.

Love waits
not for our gaze alone
but for the "Yes" of hearts already claimed by Love.
On us He hath set his heart,
the Pierced One, the Victim and the Priest.
Amen, Alleluia.

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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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