Pope Benedict XVI has declared June 19, 2009 - June 19, 2010 to be dedicated to the Year for Priests.
How fitting that it begins on the Feast of the:
Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
I was thinking earlier, what exactly does a heart do? This is what I learned:
The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, but it is simply a pump - it pumps the blood, which carries all the vital materials that help our bodies function and removes the waste that we do not need. It is an "All or nothing" organ. It either pumps with all its might or it shuts down. If it shuts down, the body will die. Christ gave all He had- most especially His earthly life, so that we may have eternal life with Him.
Let us pray for holy priests - that they may always be faithful to their sacred calling by giving all they have to pump forth the Love and Mercy of Christ and rid us of our impurities. Without the Priesthood, which according to St. John Marie Vianney, "is the Love of the Heart of Jesus" we will surly die. He then reminds us, "When you see a priest, think of our Lord Jesus Christ." And I add, "Pray that the priest may truly be one with Christ." Priests need our prayers to gain graces that they would not otherwise obtain. We all need the fervent help of each other!
I will add this prayer to the side bar later:
Prayer for Priests:
O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father [N]. Give him a deep faith, a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.
In his loneliness, comfort him. In his sorrows, strengthen him. In his frustrations, point out to him that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls, he is needed for the work of redemption.
O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your son who is close to you because of his priestly ordination, and because of the power which he has received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs him so much.
Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength, and especially help him to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Amen
-John Joseph, Cardinal Carberry (+1998) Archbishop of St. Louis 1968-1979