Monday, March 10, 2008

The sometimes ugly reality

of being a priest is highlighted in the following post from Clerical Whispers, which I found through Fr. Z, who traced it through The Deacon's Bench:

Since last weekend, I have had to officiate at the funerals of 2 family members and in between all of that, I have had to try and comfort their families which is in essence my own family but in their eyes, you are a priest...not a brother, son, nephew etc...And this is why I sometimes find it so difficult because when one becomes ordained, a bond of family is lessened as the priest now stands to serve all and favour none. This can involve making sacrifices such as not being available at Christmas or Easter, missing on a birthday and other such family events.Despite becoming the religious / spiritual father to so many, we are never meant to become paternal fathers which lessens our ability to engage with families in the community or to understand the intricate workings of family life.I personally believe that over the last 9 years of my priesthood, I have never so strongly felt the sense of loneliness and aloneness of the last few days and yes I have indeed questioned my vocation...It can be very challenging to be on one's own and reflect on life and the role we are asked to consider playing in it with sometimes more serious issues being raised and needing to be addressed.

I think we've all had days like this, as we struggle to meet the demands that are placed upon us by so many, from superiors, to co-workers, to brother priests, to parishioners, to family, to friends. It can be a challenge to deal with these issues, it can be frustrating at times, especially when the prayer is dry as He sometimes steps back.

So, in all of this, what can the faithful do more than anything? PRAY FOR YOUR PRIEST! He is praying for you, please return the favor.


Adoro te Devote said...


I prayed for you today. :-) And do all the time.

Barb said...

I, too, pray for you almost everyday Father..

Anonymous said...

I have read the entire article by this priest. It is so beautiful! I feel deeply grateful to him -- and to all of our priests.

I was called into a deeper life of prayer during the recent outbreak of scandals for the very purpose of praying for priests. That experience has brought me closer to Christ and awakened me to the need to receive Christ through His Sacraments more often and with greater love.

But, it has also made me feel further from Christ at times, too.

Let me run this by you, Father. I wish for my family a friendship with a priest. Someone to share with us our journey in faith and walk with us as our family grows, sharing our joys and struggles, with him being a gift to us as we would hopefully be to him. Christ in the midst of family life -- mixed in with the beautiful human struggles that the priest experiences, and the beautful human struggles that married people experience. We would pray and sacrifice for him and he for us. I really, really desire that for my family and I pray for it. And though I think there are priests who want the same thing, . . . It just seems I can't have it. The resounding answer to my prayer is: No. I am in a spiritual struggle over it as I try to accept this as God's Will, without boldly asking my God these questions: But WHY NOT? Am I seeking something that is not right? Not good? Not possible? Or perhaps something I am simply not ready for?

If it is not a good desire, then I wish for it to be taken from me.

With prayers for all of our priests, and with my deepest thanks for your prayers for us. . .