Thursday, December 16, 2010

Saints Say to Pray for Priests Instead of Criticizing Them

We know that St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the angelic Carmelite nun, just before she died made her last Holy Communion for this sublime intention: to obtain the return of a stray priest who had renounced his vocation. And we know that this priest died repentant, invoking Jesus.

We know that there are more than a few souls, especially virginal souls, who have offered themselves as victims on behalf of priests. These souls are favored by Jesus in an absolutely singular way. Let us, then, also offer prayers and sacrifice for priests, for those in danger and for those who stand more firmly and securely, for those who are straying and for those who are already advanced in perfection. Unfortunately, people tend much too readily to criticize the defects of priests, while it is rather rare that someone will pray for them.

St. Nicholas of Flüe, a famous Swiss saint, father of a family, bluntly told anyone too ready to point out the faults of priests: "And you, how many times have you prayed for the sanctity of priests? Tell me: what have you done to obtain good vocations for the Church?"

One time, a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina accused herself in Confession of having criticized some priests for their less than worthy behavior and heard Padre Pio forcefully and decisively reply: "Instead of criticizing them, think of praying for them."

~ Excerpt from Jesus Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv.,S.T.D. ~

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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