Thought for the Day — 8 June – The Solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and The World Day for the Sanctification of Priests
The World Day for the Sanctification of Priests 2002 takes its inspiration from the theme of John Paul II’s Letters to Priests for Holy Thursday 2000, 2001, and 2002. Below is an excerpt from the Congregation of the Clergy to all our Priests all over the world.
From St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor
“These are really the ones who are in charge of spiritual travail and responsible for the birth which comes through baptism. Through them we put on Christ and are buried in union with the Son of God and become members, obedient to our blessed Head (cf. Rom 6,1; Gal 3,27). For that reason they should not only be more justly feared than rulers and kings but also, be more honoured, than our parents. For our parents generated us of blood and the will of the flesh (cf. Jn 1,13) but the priests are the authors of our birth from God, even that blessed regeneration which is true freedom and adopted sonship according to grace” (cf. St John Chrysostom, De sacerdotio, III, 6, PG 48, 643-644).
From St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor
“Our altar of gold is the Heart of Christ. We must enter into the Holy of Holies, which is this same Heart of Jesus and gather up the riches of His love” (St Anthony of Padua).
From St John of Avila (1500-1569) Doctor of the Church
“If the Jewish High priest carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on his shoulders and on his breast, how much more Christ, our High Priest, carries our names written on His Heart” (St John of Avila).
From the holy Curé of Ars (1786-1859) Patron of Priests
“The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus” (CCC, n. 1589—St John Vianney, quoted in B. Nodet, Jean-Marie Vianney, Curé d’Ars, 100).
“The priest is not a priest for himself. He does not give absolution to himself. He does not administer the sacraments to himself. He does not exist for himself, he exists for you” (Curé of Ars: Monnin II 453).
From St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“Today everything which concerns the Sacred Heart of Jesus has become familiar and doubly dear to me. My life seems destined to be spent in the light shining from the tabernacle and it is to the Heart of Jesus that I must look for a solution to all my troubles. I feel I would be ready to shed my blood for the cause of the Sacred Heart. My fondest wish is to be able to do something for that precious object of my love.
“At times the thought of my arrogance, of my unbelievable self-love and of my great unworthiness alarms and dismays me and robs me of my courage but I soon find reason for comfort, in the words spoken by Jesus to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque: ‘I have chosen you to reveal the marvels of my heart, because you are such an abyss of ignorance and insufficiency’.
“Ah! I wish to serve the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today and always. I want my devotion to His Heart to be the measure of all my spiritual progress. I desire to do everything in intimate union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
“My greatest joy will be to seek and find comfort only in that Heart which is the source of all consolation. I am determined to give myself no peace until I can truly say, I am absorbed into the Heart of Jesus” (Bl. John XXIII, Journal of a Soul, [“During the retreat in preparation for the ordination to the diaconate, 9-18 December 1903”], pp. 208-209, New English Library: London, 1966).
Prayer for Priests
O Jesus, eternal High Priest, who, in an incomparable love for men,
allowed Catholic priesthood to issue from Your Sacred Heart,
deign to continue to pour out on Your priest,
the life-giving streams of Infinite Love.
Live in them, transform them into Yourself;
Render them by Your grace instruments of Your Mercy;
Act in them and through them
and grant that they may perform in Your Name
and by the strength of Your Spirit,
the works which You Yourself
accomplished for the salvation of this world.
Divine Redeemer of souls,
see how great is the multitude of those,
who still sleep in the darkness of error;
count the number of those unfaithful sheep,
who are walking on the edge of an abyss;
consider the crowds of the poor, the hungry,
the ignorant and the weak,
who are groaning in their state of abandonment.
Return to us again, dear Sacred Heart of Jesus,
live again in very truth in them;
act through them and pass again through this world
teaching, pardoning, consoling, offering sacrifice,
renewing the Bonds of Love
between the Heart of God and the hearts of men.
We pray through the intercession
of Mary, Mother of all hearts.