Cor Jesu, Templum Dei Sanctum

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Heart of Jesus, Holy Temple of God, have mercy on us.

The temple built by Solomon is a figure of the mystery of the Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart is at once the temple from which our prayer rises to the Father, and the Holy of Holies from which it pleases the Father to hear and answer us. The Heart of Jesus is the temple of God's encounter with man, and of man's encounter with God. The Second Book of Chronicles gives us a vivid image of prayer made in and from the Heart of Jesus, the Holy Temple of God:

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands. Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had it set in the court; and he stood upon it.

Then he knelt upon his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; and said, 'O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in heaven nor on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to Thy servants who walk before Thee with all their heart. . . . (2 Chr 6:12-14).

Ultimately, Solomon's prayer is fulfilled in the Heart of Jesus:

But will God dwell indeed with man on earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Thee; how much less this house which I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, hearkening to the cry and to the prayer which Thy servant prays before Thee; so that Thy eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where Thou hast promised to set Thy Name, that Thou mayest hearken to the prayer which Thy servant offers toward this place; yea, hear Thou from heaven Thy dwelling place; and when Thou hearest, forgive (2 Chr 618-21).

The Temple Open to All

Now, "in these last days" (Heb 1:2), God dwells with man on earth: the Heart of Jesus, concealed and revealed in the Most Holy Eucharist, is the temple open to all. "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). The eyes of the Father are open day and night toward the Heart of the Son; therein the Father has set His Name: the pledge of His unfailing presence and readiness to hear all who approach Him as sons. "If you abide in me," says Jesus, "and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you" (Jn 15:7).

The Temple of Adoration in Spirit and in Truth

One abides in Jesus by entering the temple of His Sacred Heart, through the portal of His open Side. For this was the Side of Jesus pierced by the soldier's lance on Calvary: that we might abide in the temple of His Heart. One who abides in the temple of the Sacred Heart finds therein the Altar, the Priest, and the Victim of "adoration in spirit and in truth" (Jn 4:19).


Lord Jesus Christ, Spotless Victim and Eternal Priest,
after the consummation of Thy sacrifice on the Cross,
Thy Side was opened by the soldier's lance,
that with confidence in the outpouring of Thy Blood
we might enter Thy Sacred Heart,
the sanctuary of adoration in spirit and in truth.

How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longeth and fainteth for the wound in Thy Side,
for better above thousands elsewhere
is one day on the threshold of Thy Heart.

Thou hast opened for us a new and living way
through the veil, that is, through Thy flesh.
Unite us now to Thyself in that mystic temple
and in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
that we may praise Thee forever
and from Thy Sacred Heart
offer ceaseless adoration to the Father in the Holy Spirit
now and unto the ages of ages.


From Fr. John Hardon, S.J.:

It is impossible to identify the Holy Eucharist too closely with Jesus Christ. We should remember He is in the Holy Eucharist not merely with His substance. I have corrected many of my students over the years who tell me "Transubstantiation means that the substance of bread and wine become the substance of Jesus Christ." I reply, "No, transubstantiation means the substance of bread and wine are no longer there. The substance of bread and wine is replaced not only by the substance of Christ's Body and Blood. What replaces the substance of bread and wine is Jesus Christ!" Everything that makes Christ, Christ replaces what had been the substance of bread and wine. The substance of bread and wine become the whole Christ.

Therefore, Christ in the Holy Eucharist is here with His human heart. Is it a living heart? Yes! That is why the revelations our Lord made to St. Margaret Mary about promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart were all made from the Holy Eucharist.

Why do we equate the Sacred Heart with the Holy Eucharist? Because the Holy Eucharist is the whole Christ with His human heart. According to St. Margaret Mary, the Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist. So it follows that devotion to the Sacred Heart is devotion to the Holy Eucharist. It is infinite Love Incarnate living in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament.

O Sacred Eucharistic Heart of my Saviour...I implore...that I may ever love Thee more and more!

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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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