Surprised by the depth of my sadness

4:13 PM


For a long time now I have felt a pulling on my heartstrings to pray for Priests. They are the prime targets to bring down as they bring us Christ. With the INcomprehensible news about Father Francis Mary Stone of EWTN, my heart is even heavier! Such sadness and deep sighs surround me as I ponder if this could happen to such a Priest how can the rest of us keep from temptation?

Terry Nelson (Abbey-Roads2) says on his blog, "Temptation. My first temptation is to think, “What’s the use? Why try to be holy?” If a priest can leave his vocation behind, why do I feel so guilty about some stupid every-day failure in virtue? I quickly recover my senses and realize we are all human, we all make mistakes, we are all weak, we all fall - I know all of that. But I still feel like I got the wind knocked out of me. I still feel as if I’ve been cheated out of a priest, or worse, his vocation was somehow just a sham. And once again, my better judgement kicks in and I realize something just went wrong - that’s all. Stuff happens.
It is like a divorce - although not nearly as common. Divorce harms a family though. Even amicable divorces do harm, causing mistrust, insecurities, disruption of values and lifestyle, and so on. In a way, a priest who abandons his vocation seems like a dad leaving his wife and kids. It hurts the family. "

Fathers are Fathers to us. It HURTS to think of losing a Father. This Father has seemed so wise, how did he get to this place? What he knows of the Saint's struggles, the evil one and the 10 years of his vocation... did they not all strengthen and prepare him for this? Can you just become another person, so completely different than you were before? Weren't those hands made to consecrate? My Chalice of Strength prayer booklet for Priests will be my refuge. We must ALL pray...often....for our Priests! These words from St. Therese seem to point to the heart of the matter.

Prayer to the Eternal High Priest
O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of your Most Sacred Heart, where none can touch them. Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch your Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips daily tinged with your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let your Holy Love surround and protect them from the world’s contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here, and their everlasting crown in the hereafter. Amen.
-St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

3 comments:

Klaire said...

As heartbreaking as it appears now, we must keep in mind that "the story" is far from over. How could we possibly know how God plans to use this? Without all of the facts or the conclusion, best we all just continue to pray for ALL priests, and for the salvation and conversion of all souls. Jesus never promised that the road to salvation through his church would be easy, only that it would be worth it!

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

If anything, we can all benefit from this as a test of our own faith; how rock solid is it, especially in a situation such as this. Perhaps this is a preview of bigger things to come? Let't hope not, but it never hurts to test our faith, especially in things like this that hurt so much.

Even more so, it's an excellent reminder of how much priests, and orthodox teachers of the faith, such as EWTN, need our constant prayers.

Just think how powerful Father Francis's witness will be if after more discernment, comes public with his "humanness", be it emotions or sin, and stay married to the church. My gut tells me this is going to end well, even though it may not look that way right now. Father Stone is also very Marian. Keep the Hail Mary's flowing, and trust the mother of God will lead him back. After all, who could have loved (and suffered) more than Mother Mary, yet she never wavered from the will of God.

May God's will be done, whatever that may be, keeping in mind God does his best work with sinners and the weak. Does St. Peter, the first pope, ring a bell? There was a reason he needed Peter at the top, not his most beloved, close to perfect, John.

Klaire

p.s. As good Catholics, think of the redemptive value of the “offering of our suffering” over this. With a worldwide audience, if we all offer our pain, image how many other souls out there our offerings/sufferings might bring to grace. As Bishop Sheen would say, “Don’t waste the pain.” Lest we forget that God works all things for good for those who love him!

WICatholic said...

Thank you for the link, and we definitely need to keep all priests in prayer!

God bless!

Becky said...

It saddens me greatly. I caught the last half of LOTR when it repeated Sunday night & I was wondering why Fr Mark was hosting the show...I have been praying the "Chalice of Strength" booklet on Thursdays (the book you so generously sent to me last August). Various priests' blogs have been imploring the laity to pray for priests. The Evil One is definitely working overtime. We must do the same...with prayer.

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