On June 19th, The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Holy Father will institute The Year of the Priesthood.
We have been very blessed to know some very holy Priests. The examples of Christ they have brought to my family are unforgettable. Their dedication to the Eucharist and Holy Mass are evident as central to their lives and vocations as Priests. By living out their priesthood unashamed and true to the teachings of the Church, they have inspired others to conversion and the active listening to God's call in their lives.
Being military we are not always lucky to have Our Lord, in the Tabernacle, at the center of the Altar. He is often removed to a side chapel because the chapel is used not just for church but other military ceremonies as well. A priest at one chapel made this room his special project. The tabernacle was shined and covered in a beautiful veil. Thick red Velvet drapes hung behind it and exquisite artwork of Our Lord and Our Blessed mother decorated the room. There were always fresh flowers offered to Our Lord. It held only two chairs and a kneeler. One of those chairs was usually occupied by Father. If he was not in his office, you could generally find him before The Lord. He preached the Sacrament of Confession always and he was always available to offer it. He didn't mince words. He spoke the truth from the pulpit. He taught us what the Church teaches. He was liturgically correct. He said the black and did the red. He was not loved by all in his parish. He was fond of saying if he was was loved by everyone, than he was not doing his job. At his new parish he wanted to reach out to the single soldiers. He had such a turnout that he had to schedule another Mass to accommodate the crowd of over 400 soldiers. His ministries are flourishing and his parish is blessed with conversions.
In this year of the Priesthood we must make a concerted effort as Catholic Faithful, to pray, fast and give alms for all of our Priests. Whatever you can do for your priest, do it. A rosary, an hour of adoration offered for your Priest and Priests throughout the world, will bring much graces and touch their hearts. We must pray for and support our shepherds. It is our duty to do so.
This particular prayer can be found on a note card from Trademark Stationary.
Remember to pray for Priests, especially after Holy Communion. Thank Jesus for the consecrated hands which have reached up to heaven, placed Him on the altar and into your heart. As Our Lord rests within, listening intently to your every heart beat, thank Him for this miracle, and ask Him to bless His priest by offering a prayer such as this one:
O dearest Jesus, look down with love on Thy priests; fill them with burning zeal for the conversion of sinners; keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Thy Immaculate Body; keep unsullied their lips purpled with Thy Precious Blood; keep pure and unearthly a heart sealed with the sublime marks of Thy glorious Priesthood; bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may those to whom they have ministered on earth be one day their joy and consolation in heaven. Amen.
Check out these blogs by Catholic Priests: