Saturday, January 15, 2011

The vocation of the priesthood

In a parish that stifles the priesthood, let us uphold it. When we are lectured that a shortage of priests in our parish is partly the result of priestly scandal, let us uphold the calling of the priesthood. Let us pray for those who are called, for those we know and love. 

"Yet even the most reprehensible abuse cannot discredit the priestly mission, which remains great and pure. Thank God, all of us know exemplary priests, men shaped by their faith, who bear witness that one can attain to an authentic, pure and mature humanity in this state and specifically in the life of celibacy."  (From How to Grow a Priest)

Where would we be without our priests? I thank God for them.  May He bless them and keep them and may His face shine upon them.

Let us pray for our seminarians, of whom much will be required in the coming years (from the Collar as Yoke and Witness):

In the past decades seminarians were discouraged away from the collar in order to discourage the temptation to clericalism, or from forming a superficial attraction to the trappings of the priesthood. The seminarians of today, training for the priesthood in a time of church-wide pain and scandal, do not want to wear the collar out of a feeling of superiority or exclusivity; we want to wear the collar out of a desire to be a witness to the world, and a symbol of hope and continuance. Externals matter. Attire matters. The Roman collar matters.

Let us realize the truth of the Roman collar:

The time of seminary formation is time spent trying to develop the heart of the Good Shepherd. Wearing the collar helped me do that. It helped me tell the people of St. Josephs that I was theirs, that I existed to serve them. Wearing the collar I represented someone much greater than myself. It is not I who serve, but Christ, whose yoke I wear.

The collar pointed to this reality.

Let us, as the laity, do our duty to pray for and uphold the priesthood.

(Hat tip from The Anchoress.)

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