Everything a priest suffers should send him to my Heart.

It is Friday and it is Lent.

Fr. Mark Kirby, OSB, had this on his blog Vultus Christi:

This painting depicts Our Lord as he appeared in the Sacred Host exposed in the monstrance at the Institute of Loreto in Bordeaux, France on Septuagesima Sunday, 3 February 1822. Read about this manifestation of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus here.

My Heart is moved to compassion by the sufferings of my priests,
by those that they inflict upon themselves
and by those that they inflict on each other.

The sins of my priests cause me an immense sorrow.
I grieve over my priests
with a tender and sorrowful love.

I want them to understand
that every trial, every suffering, every humiliation is,
for them, an occasion to turn to me with confidence
and to discover the depth and the height and the breadth
of my merciful love,
of my Divine Friendship for them.

This is the answer and the remedy
for every crisis in the life of a priest:
a return to my Divine Friendship,
a humble and confident return to my most loving Heart,
a return to the foot of my altar
and to the comforting radiance of my Eucharistic Face.

The trials and sorrows that I permit to befall my priests
will serve my designs for their holiness
and for their growth in love.
Everything a priest suffers should send him to my Heart.
And where will he find my Heart,
opened by the lance and still beating with love,
if not in the Sacrament of the Altar,
the abiding sign of my friendship of predilection
for each and every priest?

I am calling my priests back to my altars;
I am calling them into the healing radiance of my Eucharistic Face.
I am calling my priests
into the intimate friendship of my Eucharistic Heart.

Why do so few respond to my call?
It is, in effect, more than a call:
I plead with them to become entirely Eucharistic priests
living from my altar and for my altar,
and abiding as often as they can
in the radiance of my Eucharistic Face.

A priest who spurns my Divine Friendship
is an empty vessel,
a cause of sorrow to my Heart,
a blight upon the Church,
a disappointment to my faithful.

Do what you can, do what you must,
to draw your brother priests . . .
into the radiance of my Eucharistic Face.
There they will taste and will come to know the sweetness of my love
and the infinite treasures of my mercy for them.

From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of A Priest

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mike says:

    Great Post! This is a salutary reminder, I think, for us laity to pray more for our priests–for they are really, truly His priests.

  2. David Homoney says:

    Fr. Kerby is a wonderful man. After the retreat I put on here in the Diocese of Tulsa, he invited some of us over to the monastery for dinner and I got to meet the dear Abbot in person. He is a delightful individual, who spends hours in front of our sacramental Lord in adoration for the sanctity of our priests. We should all pray for him and the brothers who selflessly give of themselves for the sake of others. May God Bless them and their mission.

  3. Liz says:


  4. Random Friar says:

    How beautiful!

  5. ipadre says:

    So beautiful! May we His priests be consumed in His heart of love.

  6. Margo says:

    What a beautiful post! Priests have such a special place in Christ’s heart. I had recently been in contact with a priest who was advising me about a spiritual matter. The last words he spoke after giving me a blessing were: “Please pray for me.” We need to try to not take for granted how fortunate and blessed we are to have these, as Pope Benedict XVI put it, “faithful friends and ministers” watching over us.

  7. Father G says:

    Thank you, Father Z., for posting this.

  8. GrogSmash says:

    Magnificent post Father! Thank you!

  9. Brooklyn says:

    I think this is something we could probably give to every priest we know. Catholic priests have the most important job in the world, as well as the most dangerous. The most important because they have the ability to pull souls from the jaws of hell by actually absolving sins, and most dangerous because they are the #1 target of the evil one. We often forget that we are in a spiritual war. We know who wins in the end, but there have been and will continue to be massive casualties along the way.

  10. irishgirl says:

    Wonderful post-thank you, Father Kirby [and Father Z] for this!
    A bit of balm to the Heart of Our Lord!

  11. CarpeNoctem says:

    Wow, Father(s). This and this morning’s (OF) Mass readings have been exactly what I needed today. The message here is nothing less than a revelation of God’s providence. I spent all day yesterday sharpening and wielding the sword to defend the flock (in ways the flock can neither know nor understand) and I am rather beat up, wounded, and exhausted by the events… not to mention, there’s still aftershocks to ride out as the dust settles. There’s a special holy hour in this where I will make sure to thank God for Fr. Kirby and for you, Fr. Z, for all you do here.

  12. These words call to mind Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, of course, but like all things the “font from which all of the Church’s power flows,” including that of Adoration, is the sacred liturgy. With that in mind this phrase jumped out at me:

    A return to the foot of my altar…

    I couldn’t help but think of how little time the priest spends, in a literal sense, at the foot of the altar in the new Mass, whereas in the EF the prayers at the foot of the altar are very much ordered toward “turning to Jesus with confidence to discover the depth and the height and the breadth of His merciful love and Divine Friendship…”

    Sure, a priest can take on this posture in prayer elsewhere in his life, but the priest is no more priest than when he ascends to the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice. I cannot help, therefore, but to find in this a reason to lament that the prayers at the foot of the altar are not part of the OF.

  13. Brad says:

    Both times I have met Bishop Soto of Sacramento he has finished the exchange with a very sincere “please pray for me” that was unrelated to our discussion and was so clearly sincere. It was quite touching to understand that he values the prayers of catechumens and neophytes.

    If anyone is so inclined, please say a brief prayer for my pastor, Father Sylvester, obviously with the intercession of his eponymous saint and the Blessed Virgin. He seems quite weighed down lately.

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