“As priests uphold their people in prayer, so their people are to uphold them with prayer and love, for he cannot work without his people.” ~Arthur Middleton
The call to priesthood can be a very heady thing. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with accepting that call. There is also a lot of giving up that priests must do. Becoming a public person, a priest soon learns that he has no real private life. Everything said and done is under scrutiny by others.
But the many inconveniences that might come about are far outnumbered by the fact that a priest gets to bring the sacraments to God’s people. To be able to baptize, bless, marry, and bury are all things that bring us closer to God even as priests draw closer to their people.
Priests derive joy from their peoples’ happy moments and they sorrow at their peoples’ sad times. As they see all the stages that their parishioners go through in life, they can feel quite burdened.
Prayer is the key to a priest’s life. The priest must commit himself to prayer — the liturgy of the hours as well as the celebration of the Mass and other liturgical services — in order to derive the strength and grace needed to minister as best as possible.
The priest also receives strength and grace from the prayers that others offer for him. Without the prayers of the faithful, no priest would be able to minister effectively.
If we wonder why there are fewer priests nowadays and why some of the priests we have appear to be burned out all the time, we might need to ask ourselves the question: Do we pray for our priests? Do we pray for an increase in Church vocations? Do we support those who have been called to lead us in the faith?
FAITH ACTION: In the charity of your prayers, kindly remember Gregory Bim-Merle and Nathaniel Edquist who will be ordained priests for the Diocese of Gary this morning at a 10:30 a.m. Mass at Holy Angels Cathedral.