Surprised by the depth of my sadness
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