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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

To Console the Heart of Christ

In this time of scandal, the Holy Spirit moves hearts to console the Heart of Christ. I saw this at the SCRC on September 1, 2018. In a filled arena after mass, Bishop David O'Connell, an auxiliary bishop of the Los Angeles, offered a healing mass. After a Eucharistic Procession, he prepared to repose the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar. But then he stopped and offered a short catechesis on praying the name of Jesus and being mindful of His presence in the heart. A great stillness filled the thousands gathered in the arena. Then, sobbing, he began to pray for all the victims of clerical abuse, and their healing. He begged for the mercy of Jesus for all the failures of the clergy and for the grace of conversion. In tears, he humbly asked Jesus "how can we console your heart?" I had closed my eyes for most of this. When I opened my eyes, a group of priests were kneeling around me - their eyes were also wet with tears. Indeed, most of those gathered that evening were pierced to the heart by this prayer to console the heart of Jesus. What consoles His Heart but our humble awareness of the immensity of His love for each of us, especially for the vulnerable and afflicted? Our sorrow over how He continues to be rejected by his friends and our own sluggishness creates space in our hearts for Him to do something beautiful in the world and in our lives. In that arena, many who came to seek healing from the Lord, but through the bishop's ministry, suddenly were caught up in this act of reparation for the healing of the Church.

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