“O Jesus, give us fervent and holy Priests! Oh, how great is the dignity of the Priest, but at the same time, how great is his responsibility! Much has been given to you, O Priest, but much will be demanded of you..”
Diary of St Faustina, para.941
The laity generally find it very easy to spot a ‘good’ Priest. Those who are considered to be authentic in their Priesthood, truly acting ‘in persona Christi’, seem to emanate a radiance from within and they draw souls to them, like flowers bent toward the sunshine.
Priests are with us throughout all the important moments of life, celebrating the Sacraments with us – Baptism, marriage, death, in particular. They are our conduit to the mercy of God in the Sacrament of Confession, and they bring the Lord down from Heaven and upon the Altar at every Mass, so that we might receive Him in Holy Communion.
Good Priests place the needs of their flock above all else – often, at great personal cost. Called out to the needy, the sick and the dying at any time of day or night, before returning to the solitude of the presbytery. They carry our burdens along with us. But who helps them to carry theirs?
As members of the Mystical Body we are obliged to support our Priests however we can – not our of any sense of clericalism or undue deference, but because in the same way as they are there for us, we need to be there for them.
In our prayers today, let us pray especially for Priests – those in our Parish, those who have taught and sanctified us, those unknown to us and also all those for whom their calling is a struggle in whatever way. May the Lord of the Harvest grant them every grace to enable them to truly be ‘another Christ’, and may the Queen of Priests keep them always close to Her Immaculate Heart.