Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fr. John Zulsdorf: Responsibility For the Treasure of Sacred Priesthood

A Common Treasure

The sacred priesthood is the common treasure and responsibility of the whole Church. When we see declining numbers or priestly malpractice it is neither fair nor realistic to say simply "Why don't the Pope and the bishops do something about this?!" Yes, theirs is the primary responsibility, but people get the number of and quality of priests they deserve. Holy priests come from a holy foundation. Holy households and families have long been known to be a first seedbed of priestly vocations. A healthy view and recourse to priests is necessary if we want our priests to be sound and a blessing to the Church. Treating them with realistic respect, like priests, rather than like laymen, will help them to remember who they are and what they are here for: we cannot expect men to be happy in their vocations and dedicate themselves to this exalted calling if everything that pertains to them in the Church is taken away from them through neglect or a false understanding of the rapport of the laity and the clergy. Reverence for priests, without fawning or fear, is needed today. Real men respond well to high expectations and strong support and young men will be inspired to embrace the same.

Above all, remember that priests and especially bishops, are under the fierce attacks of hell itself. Pray for priests and bishops. Support them in charity. Everyday you should spend at least some little time praying specifically for priests, or perhaps for one particular priest, maybe even one who is troubling in some way. Express gratitude for the service they give, when good, the teaching they provide, when sound, and the example they are, when lived. It is always a good thing both to ask a priest for a blessing and then thank him for it, to ask for absolution when confessing and then express gratitude, to stop a priest when you meet him and express appreciation for his priesthood.

For us to be the sacred People God desires, we must have a sacred priesthood and holy priests. God provides the calling and graces but we must all respond, each according to our own vocations. We must cooperate with God's plan by taking responsibility for Holy Church's sacred priesthood.

~ Fr. John Zulsdorf: complete article found here. ~
Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests, and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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