Pope Francis to Priests: May the Chapel be the Most Visited Room in Your Houses

Pope Francis meets with priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehonians) on June 27, 2024, at the Vatican.

During an audience with Pope Francis on June 27, the priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehonians) received devotional counsel from the Holy Father: They should make frequent visits, in humble silence, to their chapels for quiet prayer.

The audience took place on the occasion of the 25th general chapter of the congregation. Addressing the priests, Pope Francis invited them to make chapter decisions that take into account the value of sacramental life, “of being assiduous in listening to and meditating on the word of God, of the centrality of personal prayer and community, especially adoration, as a means of personal and fraternal growth and also as a service to the Church.”

“May the chapel be the most frequented room in your religious houses, especially as a place of humble and receptive silence and quiet prayer, so that the beats of the heart of Christ may guide the rhythm of your days, modulate the tones of your conversations, and sustain the zeal of your charity,” the Holy Father told the assembled priests.

The pope also stressed that the heart of Jesus “beats with love for us from eternity and his pulse can join ours, restoring us to calm, harmony, energy, and unity, especially in difficult moments.”

The Holy Father encouraged the priests not to be afraid in difficult times and to be close to the Lord “so that unity can be achieved in times of temptation.”


For this to happen, he stressed, “we need to give him space, with fidelity and constancy, silencing in us vain words and useless thoughts, and bringing everything before him.”

‘Gossip is a plague that destroys from within’

Pope Francis reiterated that gossip “is a plague, it seems small, but it destroys from within. Be careful. Never gossip about another, never! There is a good remedy for chatter: Bite your tongue, so that your tongue becomes swollen and doesn’t let you speak.”

The pope also highlighted the importance of prayer and said that without it there is no progress, “you’re not up on your feet: neither in religious life, nor in the apostolate! Without prayer nothing is done.”

Later, Pope Francis addressed the following questions to the priests: “How can we be missionaries today, in a complex time, marked by great and multiple challenges? How can you say, in the various areas of the apostolate in which you operate, something significant to a world that seems to have lost its heart?”

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“Here is the secret of a credible proclamation, of an effective proclamation: letting the word ‘love’ be written, like Jesus, in our flesh, that is, in the concreteness of our actions, with tenacity, without being stopped by judgments that afflict us, distressing problems and the evil that wounds, with inexhaustible affection for each brother and sister, in solidarity with Christ the Redeemer in his desire to make reparation for the sins of all humanity.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.