25 June 2019

We must pray for our priests.

I'm weird.  I love being Catholic.  I love the fact that my Jesus wants so desperately to be with me, He went to all the lengths necessary to do so.  I love that He also gave a way for me to be with Him, too, this side of Heaven.  I'm grateful He gave the sacrament of Confession so that we could connect each Mass.  A friend said that 'Sin isn't dirt on one's soul, and people need to stop seeing it as such.  Sin is a WOUND.'  My friend is one of the wisest people I know and I really look up to this person quite a bit.  It's why I enjoy talking with and spending time with them so much.  I learn a lot each time.  I continue to learn things and I'm given a listening ear when I'm trying to process something I don't understand quite fully or something that I don't like but need to because it's necessary for my salvation.

This entire day has been productive, exhausting, entertaining, but the one thing I keep doing is contemplating.  I've been doing a lot of praying today.  I've been bugging my Jesus not just to please tell me where He wants me to settle down in terms of my own vocation, but with some other concerns that have come up recently that have been bothering me, and admittedly, making me outright panic.  At one point today, I was thinking about the weird turn my life seems to have taken, how I lived a fairly quiet, boring life (on purpose!), not really doing much nor talking to many people unless I was spoken to first, but here I am now and things seem to have exploded in that good way where I'm now tutoring three children, I'm about to start school, I'm doing a lot.  And I remember thinking, 'huh.  Lord, this is a lot to do.  Thanks...?'  I have thought a lot about what Fr Yoda* has mentioned in several homilies about giving of one's time, talent and treasure.  The verse (I don't remember where it is, and I'm too fried right now to look it up), 'To whom much is given, much is expected.'  my thought immediately after that was, 'Jesus, I just wish You didn't trust me so darn much, doggone it.'  I could almost hear Him chuckle and say, 'Well, kiddo, that's not quite how this works.  You know better.'

We need to pray for our priests.  We need to pray for those who've given that radical 'YES!' to God when He asks, 'Whom shall I send?' and they have all stepped up, unflinching, and said, 'I will go.  Send me.'  We need to also and especially pray for the bad priests.  The ones who are still active, and the ones who've been laicized.  Why do I say 'especially pray for them'?  Because theirs wasn't a radical 'YES!' but a half-assed one full of self-driven motives.  We should grieve that loss of what should have been as much as we grieve what damage is done, and we should surround our good priests that have to fight through the stigmas of the judgmental people of society with their awful, heinous jokes about priest molestation humour that is most assuredly NOT funny nor welcome.  We need to pray for those who gave and give their whole heart and soul to the priesthood and will and do fight for the weak and those who can't fight for themselves.  Fr Yoda is one of the many good priests that loves his Jesus so much, he is willing to help heal souls.  Pray for him, pray for the priests in your own parishes, and pray for priests all around the globe, both living and deceased.

When you think you've prayed enough, pray more.  Keep praying for them.  When you don't feel like it, that is especially when you must pray.  They hear things that while no, they don't remember after the confession's finished being stated and he's doled out the penance for the penitent, they hear things that hurt their hearts for you.  That is why they are there: to heal you, In Persona Christi, to look upon you with eyes of love and understanding.  Pray for them.  Pray for their spiritual well being. Pray for their hearts with each confession they hear.  Pray for them to be able to keep their focus on God, because He is the One Who, ultimately, they answer to.  Who we all answer to.

Pray for priests.  Pray for all Religious and laity.  Pray for those of us discerning vocations.  Pray for your friends and for your neighbours and especially for Bob in Accounting.  Pray for the gal two cubicles over with the perky smile on a Monday morning when you feel like throat-punching her with a chair instead.  Pray.  And pray some more.

Go to Confession (I address all of you who feel are 'casual' or 'sarcastic' about your faith.  Don't half-ass it anymore.  It's not worth it, b/c if you ain't all in?  You ain't at all in.  Period.). Religion isn't just something 'pretty.'  It certainly isn't something to use to guilt people nor scare kids into behaving themselves.  Authentic religion is a place where we can go when the world is too loud and our thoughts get too big for our heads to contain them.  Authentic religion is the light at the end of that very black tunnel, urging us to just take another step, we're almost there...  Authentic religion is a place where the lonely can go to find acceptance; the sad can find joy.  Authentic religion is a place where the unloved will feel the purest love ever imaginable, the terrified can find a place to hide, the anxious can find peace.

Pray for priests.  They need our prayers.  They pray for you, for me, they look upon us with eyes of love, because when we're in that Confessional, they don't see someone who is BAD.  They see a person who made a wrong turn and is trying to unfold that crease out of the middle of Albuquerque on the map and trying to make that right turn up to Boise again.  ;)  Pray for priests.  Especially now more than ever before.  They are our spiritual Dads.  We are their spiritual children.  Like a good parent would, they love us and want what's best for us because God called and they answered and said, 'Yes, Lord, I'll do this.  Send me.'

*Fr Yoda is not his real name, of course.  It's my little nickname for him.  I once called him that to his face, I received a rather odd look, but wasn't reprimanded for the name.

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