Monday Musings - We Need More Holy Priests
There has been a shortage of priestly vocations in this nation for some time. There are a number of reasons for this crisis (well beyond the scope of this simple article) but one screams to be addressed: the failure of some priests to make the Eucharist the source and center of their daily lives - an issue addressed many times by Blessed John Paul II.
We need holy priests.
CANASTOTA, NY - We do not need priests who believe their success rests in political activism and community organizing and who tickle our ears with platitudes and half-truths while withholding the spiritual Truth we need to live eternally. We need courageous priests, real men, other Christs, holy priests, who teach, live, defend, explain and love all the Truths of our Faith - men who would rather die than see a single person under their pastoral care lose their soul.
It is said of St. Dominic that his zeal for the salvation of souls was so great he could not sleep and would cry out to the Lord he loved and served, "Lord, what will become of sinners?" St. John Marie Vianney, the patron saint of all priests, certainly shared Dominic's zeal, as have other priests, not small in number, whom many of us have been blessed to know. But should not every priest share that same zeal?
Priestly holiness and zeal for the salvation of souls can be nurtured and sustained in only one place - before the Blessed Sacrament and preferably on one's knees. What a different country and Church we might now be had more priests heeded the advice of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen to make a daily Holy Hour! Unless and until the Eucharist is the source and center of every priest's daily life, we will neither have the number of holy priests we need nor the requisite zeal for the salvation of all souls.
Thank God He still places in our midst, men who see this need and dedicate their lives to doing something about it. One such group is the Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar located at Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, Ireland.
They are in their own words "an embryonic community of monks, under the Rule of St Benedict, who intercede for the sanctification of priests by 'persevering with one mind in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus' (Acts 1:14) and in adoration and reparation before the Eucharistic Face of Christ."
These men are an unambiguous witness and voice that God is using today to reach His priests. The writings in Vultus Christi are directed to their brother priests. They are blunt, powerful, and life changing. They are exactly the frank invitation to Eucharistic Adoration that everyone, and most especially our priests, needs to read and accept.
Would you consider copying the reflection below and sharing it with your pastor?
Oh, oh. He's asking me to do something.
The Secret of My Saints
You could have come sooner.
I was waiting for you.
I am always waiting for you:
I wait for all My priests in the Sacrament of My Love,
but they make little of Me,
and of the fact that I wait for them day and night.
If only they knew what awaits them in My presence :
the plenitude of mercy,
and rivers of living water to cleanse them,
to reinvigorate their priesthood,
and to sanctify them.
This was the secret of my saints,
of the holy friends whom I have made known to you : Dom Marmion, the Curé of Ars, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Saint Gaetano Catanoso, Dom Vandeur, Father Marie-Joseph Cassant,
all of these, priests according to My Heart.
And there are so many others also
who knew how to live between the altar and the tabernacle,
that is, between their offering of the Holy Sacrifice
and My abiding presence.
This is what I am asking of you.
You are a priest adorer now;
do not forget this
This is the call that I addressed to you,
and, with the call, I always give the grace to correspond to it.
Accustom yourself to giving me the best of your time.
Your first duty now is to abide before Me
for those of my priests who pass before Me without stopping;
without even bowing to adore Me,;
without taking the time to make the genuflection
that bespeaks the faith of the Church
and the love of every believing soul.
Here in my presence I will fill you,
not only for yourself,
but also for all those to whom
it will be given you to transmit my messages of love and of mercy.
I want also that you should speak to them of My solitude in the tabernacle.
Certain sophisticated minds will laugh at this.
They forget that I am not there like some inanimate object.
It is my Heart that waits for you in the tabernacle;
it is my gaze that, full of tenderness,
fixes itself, from the tabernacle, on those who draw near to it.
I am not there for my own sake.
I am there to feed you
and to fill you with the joys of My presence.
I am He who understands every man's loneliness,
especially the loneliness of my priests.
I want to share their solitude
so that they will not be alone with themselves,
but alone with Me.
There I shall speak to their hearts as I am speaking to you.
I am ablaze to be for each one of my priests
the Friend whom they seek,
the Friend with whom they can share everything,
the Friend to whom they can tell everything,
the Friend who will weep over their sins
without, for a moment, ceasing to love them.
It is in the Eucharist that I wait for them
as physician and as remedy.
If they are sick in their body
or in their soul,
let them seek me out,
and I will heal them of the evil that afflicts them.
Many priests do not have a real and practical faith
in my Eucharistic presence.
Do they not know that the Eucharist
encloses within itself all the merits of My Passion?
Let them recover the faith of their childhood.
Let them come to find Me there where I am waiting for them
and I, for my part, will work miracles of grace and holiness in them.
What I want above all else
is that My priests be saints,
and for this do I offer them My presence in the Eucharist.
Yes, this is the great secret of priestly holiness.
You must tell them this,
you must repeat what I am saying to you,
so that souls may be comforted by it
and stimulated to seek holiness.
My Heart thirsts for the love of saints.
To those who come to Me, I will give love and holiness.
And in this shall my Father be glorified.
And this shall be wrought by the intimate action of my Spirit.
Where I am present in the Sacrament of My Love,
there also is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son.
It is by the Holy Spirit that my Eucharistic presence
is my glorious presence to the Father in heaven,
and it is by the Holy Spirit that my Eucharistic presence
touches the souls who adore Me to unite them to Me,
and to bear them up even before My Father's face.
For now, this is enough.
You did well to consecrate this Monday and all Mondays to the Holy Spirit.
This was not a useless thing.
I welcome such gestures and I ratify them in heaven.
Be faithful to this, and you will see great things.
From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of A Priest
Entry for October 29, 2007
(Used with permission)
[The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar are worthy and in need of your prayerful and financial support. You can find out more about them here. Be sure to visit Father Mark's blog at Vultus Christi regularly. I have no formal, financial or other connection to this community. As a Lay Dominican, I have been blessed to be part of an Order that also treasures the Eucharist. I heard this call to "intercede for the sanctification of" all priests and wanted to invite your participation as well.]
A blog through which I promote zeal for the salvation of souls, awe and amazement for the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, and fidelity to the Truths of our Catholic Faith.
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