Please pray for me and my brother priests!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Year for Priests

As many of you undoubtedly know, we are in the midst of a "Year of the Priest", as declared by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. As a priest, this year is meant to be a time of great grace, in which my heart, and the hearts of all priests, is renewed and more closely conformed to the Sacred Heart of the One High Priest, Jesus Christ. A great means for that grace is the prayers of so many faithful who recognize and cherish the essential and unique gift of the priesthood.

I was once told that the shortest vocations pitch ever given was:

Without the priest there is no Eucharist.
Without theEucharist, there is no Church.
Without the Church, there is no hope.

To know and to love this Truth is to love not only Our Lord Jesus, but to love the means by which He loves and transforms us on Earth in preparation of Heaven. It is to love the sacraments by which He touches us and makes us more like He who loved us first. It is to simply Love God and recognize that every gift and the fullness of Truth He has given us finds its home and earthly repository in the Church.

The priest is called to be the doorway, the bridge, to all the above. To love Christ is to Love His Church, and to Love the Church is to love the dispensers of Her Sacred Gifts, the priest, and through him to enter more deeply into the Sacred Mysteries of our redemption.

Below is an essay I found in Magnificat magazine's special issue in honor of the Year for Priests. It is simple, different, and very beautiful.

St. John Vianney, pray for priests!

God love you,
Father V.

Looking to the Priest

In the land of the Cheyennes, there is a mountain higher than all the mountains around him. All the Cheyennes know that mountain; even our forefathers knew him. When children, we ran around wheresoever we wanted. We were never afraid to lose our way so long as we could see the mountain, which show us home again. When grown up, we followed the buffalo and the elk; we cared not where we pursued the running deer, so long as the mountain was in sight; for we knew he was ever a safe guide, and never failed in his duty. When men, we fought the Sioux, the Crows, the white men. We went after the enemy, though the way ran high up, and low down. Our hearts trembled not on account of the road; for as long as we could see the mountain, we felt sure of finding our home again. When far away, our hearts leaped for joy on seeing him, because he told us that our home came nearer.

During the winter, the snow covered all the earth with a mantle of white; we could no longer distinguish him from other mountains except by his height, which told us he was the mountain. Sometimes dark clouds gathered above. They hid his head from our view, and out of them flew fiery darts, boring holes in his sides. The thunder shook him from head to foot, but the storm passed away and the mountain stood forever.

The mountain is the Black-robe*.
His heart is firm as a rock.
He changes not.
He speaks to us the words of truth.
We are always sure of our path, when we look to him for guidance.
He is the mountain that leads us up to God.

(*A Native American expression for a Roman Catholic priest.)

A story told by Old Wolf, a Cheyenne Chief from Montana, in the 1880's. This passage is quoted in Parish Priest, Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!