15 September 2009

OK, God, I'm humble enough -- jk!

Re: the previous post. Now I really need to get to work. I have a lot of work to do. It's all good stuff, but I am way behind on it.

Can I make a simple observation? There need to be more priests to do priestly stuff like offering the sacraments, spiritual direction, etc. The more that lay people get turned on to their faith authentically, the greater the need for the kind of priest I am describing. Here is an example. This weekend we had a silent retreat for 20 students. Now practically all 20 want spiritual direction, and there is not a huge pool of potential spiritual directors out there. See what I mean? This is the best kind of problem to have, but it is a problem. Some people advance the notion that when lay people take up their rightful role in the Church, there will be a decrease in the need for priests. Not at all -- just the opposite actually!

Being a priest is not all that glamorous. You really do not get to do the "cutting edge" stuff. But you do get to sacrifice yourself in lots of little ways. For example, for me campus ministry requires sleep deprivation :-) There is just no other way for me to do it since I naturally wake up early but need to say up later. Although I realize that by responding to a vocation to the priesthood, some very talented young men will be taking themselves out of the cool New Evangelization talent pool. Yet by being willing to do some of the unglamorous grunt stuff like hearing confessions, they will be the hidden foundations of the beautiful new structures of the New Evangelization.

Now, back to humility ;-)


Anonymous said...

You are right, Father. Thank you for your sacrifices, big and
small. Part of the problem seems
to me that it is so hard for some
priests and much of the laity to
see how powerful God's grace is
when the they see no visible
result. There was a noted rabbi who said that the most important work is done on the unseen level. Transformation does not take place overnight and the farther that one has drifted from God, the longer and more winding the road back. The grace that God gives
through the sacraments that you
offer may not bear fruit for years
and you may never be aware of
good that came about. How frustrating that must be and how
uninviting that can seem to a
young man considering the priesthood. But, though I know
that this may appear trite, Mother
Teresa's quote applies. "God does
not demand that I be successful.
God demands that I be faithful."
The good that God can accompish,
the healing that He can bring
forth, through a faithful, obedient priest is tremendous but
often it is done quietly. Years
ago, the mere laughter of a priest known to be faithful was enough to heal a very old hurt as I prayed in a chapel. He was not someone
that I knew well or even particularly liked at the time but God used him as an instrument of healing without his knowledge.
One of the Indian priests who served in the diocese said simply, "I am God's instrument."
Even with all of the difficulties
associated with being a priest,
if a young (or not so young) man
is truly called to the priesthood,
he probably won't be satisfied
doing anything else. And the
reality is that even if the world were full of faithful priests, there would still be alot of work to do. The French writer, Leon Bloy wrote "There is only one tragedy, not to be a saint." For
even the best of people, there is
long way to go to reach the degree of holiness that God has called
each person to as an individual.
As hard as this seems, there is a
joy present because each moment of
one's life is charged with meaning
and the potential for grace. It's
exciting in a way that isn't visible to others.
But, both priests and laity need to
continually say, "Jesus I Trust
in You".

God Bless You.

CrankyProfessor said...

There is just no other way for me to do it since I naturally wake up early but need to say up later.

Well, there's an understatement!

I'm prayin' for you, Father!