We come to this prerogative of this holy heart: It is the altar upon which a great and perpetual sacrifice, most agreeable to God, is constantly offered. On it are immolated all the natural passions which reside in the human heart. There are found at once the concupiscible and the irascible appetites of the soul, given by God to man that they may be led to hate, fear, avoid, combat and destroy the things that hurt them, and to love, desire, hope for and seek that which will benefit them. These two principal passions comprise eleven others, which are like soldiers fighting under two captains, or like weapons and instruments used to attain the two ends mentioned above.
The irascible appetite possesses five passions, namely hope, despair, daring, fear and anger. The concupiscible appetite includes six: love, hatred, desire, abhorrence, delight and sadness.
Man’s revolt against the commandments of God caused all these passions to revolt against self and to fall into such disorder that instead of being completely subject to the will, which is the queen of all the soul’s faculties, they often make it their slave. Instead of being the guardians of the heart in which they reside, preserving it in peace and tranquility, the passions usually become as many executioners who torment the heart and fill it with conflict and war.
Such was not the case with the passions that reside in the corporeal heart of the Queen of Angels, for they were always entirely subject to her reason and to the Divine Will that held sovereign sway over every part of her soul and body.
Just as these passions were rendered divine in the adorable Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so were they sanctified most excellently in the holy Heart of His Blessed Mother. The fire of divine love, burning day and night in the ardent furnace of this virginal heart, so purified, consumed and transformed her passions into its own substance, that, as this heavenly fire had no other object save God alone, towards whom it constantly tended with incomparable ardor and impetuosity, so these passions were always turned towards God and exercised in His service. They were moved and led exclusively by the love of God, which possessed, animated and inflamed them in so marvelous a manner that they became a perpetual and admirable sacrifice in honor of the Blessed Trinity.
We may consider the most pure body of Mary as a sacred temple, indeed as the most august temple that ever was or will be, next to the temple of the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ, her divine Son. We see her virginal heart as the sacred altar of this temple. We behold Divine Love as the high priest offering to God uninterrupted sacrifices in this temple and on this altar. We contemplate the Divine Will bringing many victims to be sacrificed on this altar of Mary’s heart. Among the victims we distinguish the eleven natural passions slaughtered by the flaming sword which the high priest holds in his hand, that is by the efficacy of Divine Love. They are consumed and transformed into the heavenly fire which burns upon the altar of her heart; they are immolated to the most Holy Trinity in a sacrifice of praise, of glory and of love.
Thus did the great high priest, Divine Love, sacrifice on the holy altar of Mary’s heart, all her passions, inclinations and sentiments of love, hatred, desire, aversion, joy, sadness, hope, distrust, daring, fear and anger.
And this sacrifice commenced the first instant the holy Heart of Mary began to beat in her virginal breast, that is, the very first instant of this Immaculate Virgin’s life. It continued uninterruptedly until her last breath, gaining in sanctity and in love with every passing moment.
O great and truly admirable sacrifice, so wonderfully agreeable to the God of hearts! O blessed Heart of the Mother of Fair Love, consecrated altar whereon so divine a sacrifice was offered! Blessed art thou, O most Holy Heart, for having loved and desired nothing but Him who alone is amiable and desirable! Blessed art thou for having established thy joy and thy contentment in loving and honoring Him, who alone is capable of satisfying the heart