Posted by: Christine | June 4, 2010

At the Close of the Year for Priests

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As many Catholics know, Pope Benedict has designated this the Year for Priests, running from June 2009 to June 2010. St. John Vianney, a priest who sacrificed incredible amounts of his time and energy in order to serve pilgrims in the confessional through the sacrament of Reconciliation, has been the patron saint for this year-long celebration.

Tonight, I went to a monthly Padre Pio holy hour of adoration, followed by Holy Mass. The priest, a young man who was recently ordained, gave a great homily on the subject of the priesthood and faithfulness. He reminded us how important it is to pray for the faithfulness of priests and their calling.

In his letter to Timothy (2 Tim Chapter 3) that was featured during Mass, Paul exhorted fellow disciples to live life in faithfulness to what they have learned from Christ and the Holy Spirit in their hearts. The priest expounded upon this in terms of Padre Pio and his life as a priest of Christ. He said that St. Pio lived his vocation by being faithful in four simple ways:

1. Mass – Padre Pio woke early every morning to pray and prepare himself to celebrate Mass; this was the height and center of meaning for every day for him.
2. The Confessional – Padre Pio, like St. John Vianney, spent many hours making himself available to Catholics for the sacrament of Reconciliation. He sacrificed his own time and energy to helping Christ’s body find freedom from sin through this sacrament.
3. Spiritual Direction – Padre Pio was a great example of a priest who shepherded his flock, safely in the direction of home in Heaven.  Priests serve their communities by guiding individuals in their spiritual journeys.  (Note: I’d recommend reading Father Thomas Dubay’s Seeking Spiritual Direction if you’re like me, and still without formal spiritual direction.)
4. Charity – Priests, like all Christians, are called to loving others through their actions.

So, Father’s great homily tonight was a great reminder of how we must PRAY for our priests and their faithfulness to their vocation and to the Church.

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