BY THE REV. H. NOLDIN, S.J.
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN.
REVISED BY THE REV. W. H. KENT, O.S.C
4- The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the best, the most efficacious means of acquiring, of maintaining and increasing the sacerdotal spirit. The spirit of the priesthood is the spirit of Jesus Christ, our eternal High Priest. It comprises in itself all the virtues befitting the priest, more especially the love of solitude, of seclusion, the spirit of recollection, of detachment from the world and union with God, purity of heart, patience and meekness amid the trials of his state, zeal for God's glory and for the salvation of souls; the spirit of self-forgetfulness which lives, works, and suffers for God. Such are the most prominent and striking features of the model proposed for the imitation of the Catholic priests. There are two principal means whereby these essentially priestly virtues can be made one's own: these are the practice of mental prayer and spiritual reading, and frequent reception of holy communion. And just as these two means are pre-eminently calculated to facilitate the acquisition of the a forenamed virtues, so are they instrumental in maintaining and increasing them. The cleric who never omits mental prayer, who performs all the religious exercises prescribed in the seminary with fervour, and frequently receives holy communion will be well prepared for admission to Holy Orders; and the priest who does not discontinue the daily meditation and other spiritual exercises which were customary in the seminary, who lives as it be-hooves one to live who communicates, as he does, every day, will not lose the true spirit of the priesthood. Now these devotional practices are precisely what all true adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus particularly prize, delight in, and perform with pious fervour.