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A few days back, my friend Gary Zimak interviewed me for his radio show, and we were talking about the present crisis afflicting the church. “What advice can you give people?,” Gary asked.
Without hesitation, I answered: “Pray for our priests.”
Priests - Damage - Onslaught - Priests - Deacons
Whether we realize it or not, faithful priests are the collateral damage of this onslaught. I’ve heard from several priests (and a few deacons) from around the country, who have all said the same thing: “I feel so alone right now.” These men who have embraced Christ’s cross, and carried it with them through all sorts of trials and tears, are anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, crushed.
Some feel like everyone is watching them suspiciously, just because they wear the collar; others feel as if the hierarchy has thrown them under the bus. One priest friend wrote to me that he is reliving a lot of what he went through in 2002. “The laity got me through that,” he said. “I believe they are the ones who will pull me through this, too.”
If you don’t think this is affecting the priests you know, think again.
One woman wrote to me about her pastor, a man I know and admire and who has welcomed me as an overnight guest as his rectory: “I don’t know if you’ve been in touch with him lately. But he’s really hurting now because of the headlines. I think he’s received a lot of grief.”
Folks - Pray - Priests
Folks, please: pray for your priests. So often, they are there for us. We need to be there for them.
Let them know that they are loved. Let them know you support them. Take them out to dinner. Drop them a note. Offer a kind word, a smile, a prayed rosary, a Mass or just a heartfelt “thank you.”
Those who are continuing to embrace the cross...
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Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.