For priests who struggle


#1

As the Year of the Priest approaches, let’s offer many prayers for our priests, the ones who are solid as a rock, the ones who obviously struggle with doubt and sin, and the ones who appear solid but struggle mightily also.

I’ve known personally three young, straight-arrow, solidly orthodox priests who have had serious struggles with vocation. One went on an indefinite leave of absence, one was found to be a collector of child pornography and tossed out and one has just gone on leave to discern “what God really wants from him.”

Please pray particularly for Fr. J.M., for the former Fr. T.R., and for Fr. L.B.

Thank you all.

Betsy


#2

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
Amen.

JB


#3

saying a prayer for our priests


#4

a novena for priests found on EWTN’s website
:gopray:

Jesus, Good Shepherd,
You sent us the Holy Spirit to guide Your Church
and lead her faithful to You through the ministry of Your priests.

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, grant to Your priests
wisdom in leading,
faithfulness in teaching,
and holiness in guarding Your sacred Mysteries.

As they cry out with all the faithful, "Abba, Father!"
may Your priests be ever more closely identified with You
in Your divine Sonship
and offer their own lives with You, the one saving Victim.

Make them helpful brothers of one another,
and understanding fathers of all Your people.

On this Pentecost Sunday, renew in Your priests deeper faith,
greater trust in You,
childlike reliance on our Mother Mary,
and unwavering fidelity to the Holy Father and his bishops.

Holy Mary, intercede for your priests.
St. Joseph, protect them.
St. Michael, defend them.
St. John Vianney, pray for them.


#5

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


#6

A PRAYER FOR PRIESTS

John Cardinal O’Connor

Lord Jesus, we your people pray to You for our priests.
You have given them to us for OUR needs.
We pray for them in THEIR needs.

We know that You have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood.
You have consecrated them, set them aside, annointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit,
appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood.

Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses.
We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we,
needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we.
Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us
as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us
and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.

We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to
Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their
spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.

We pray to You, O Lord, through Mary the mother of all priests,
for Your priests and for ours.

Amen.


#7

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


#8

#9

Hail Mary
full of Grace
the Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou amongst women
and blessed is the Fruit Of Thy Womb,
Jesus
Holy Mary,
Mother of God
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen


#10

Prayers today for Father Z.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Zdrowaś Maryjo, łaski pełna,
Pan z Tobą.
Błogosławiona jesteś między niewiastami
i błogosławiony owoc żywota Twojego, Jezus.
Święta Maryjo, Matko Boża,
módl się za nami grzesznymi,
teraz i w godzinę śmierci naszej.
Amen.

JB


#11

Lord, you know I pray for our priests every day. Help these priests mentioned in our first post in a special way and keep them close to You and true to their vocations. Grant them perseverence and grant them a good company of friends who will encourage them to walk the narrow pathway that leads to heaven. Amen.


#12

Praying hard.


#13

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


#14

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen


#15

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


#16

Strayed or faltering shepherds

Jesus, please safeguard priests as true shepherds of Your people. Be mindful of those who have left Your service. Give them the grace of knowing that You love them and that the Church cares for them.

Some priests abandon their ministry due to overstrain of their human resources, or because of doubt or loneliness. Please grant them renewal and the support of others. Love them back to full use of their faith, courage, generosity, and ability. Return them to Your service, with loving-kindness, right judgement, and peaceful balance in acceptance of human limitations that are made fruitful only through You in faith.

Jesus, do not allow You priests or people to flounder in doubt. Give them grace to repeat humbly—“I believe. Help my unbelief.” To Your priests and Your people, give trust that reaches beyond human limitations into eternal truth.

Heal those weakened by illness, worldliness, sensuality, or discouragement. In healing Your priests, please enable them to serve according to realistic judgement. To renewed and faithful priests alike, please grant wholeness and peace. Grant them encouragement, with prayerful, practical support of brother priests and parishioners. Every person has responsibility to share in care and support of others and in the mission of Christ. Let all experience Your love and reality in sharing gospel charity with Your ministers and fellow humans.

Where Your love does not animate their witness then egoism, pride or despair may compromise ministry or cause desertion. Do not allow Your priests to be overwhelmed by material desires. Inspire them to approach everything in a balanced manner. Please give renewal of love and grace to all whose hearts falter in self-reliance, in pride, rebellion, in neglected prayer-life, in mechanical, reluctant, or self-congratulatory good works. Let their humanity help them understand others’ needs and difficulties. Do not allow them to fall to scandal that harms others and results in their discredit and dismissal.

Let Your priests neither abandon You in worldliness, nor despair with Judas. Let them learn of Peter. He whom You had so highly favoured, abandoned You in time of greatest need, denying You before men—thus calling upon himself a similar judgement before heaven. Repenting, he trusted Your mercy. To his contrite heart, You imparted grace to reaffirm love for You, responding by raising him to guardianship of Your continuing life on earth, the Church.

Merciful Jesus, who longs to have Your chosen ones with You forever in the glory of Your Kingdom, have mercy on Your strayed and faltering servants. Please give them grace to return or to remain in Your faithful, loving service. 1982

Jesus, where scandal shadows Your priests, remember that Your own integrity was often questioned. Yet You are sinless God. Even so, You assumed the burden of our sin and died as a criminal. Your followers scattered in shame and fear, and Your cause was discredited. Have mercy, then and restore those hounded by scandal. Where offence is genuine, grant contrition, and pardon the offenders, granting them to rise again in You with courage, love and trust.

Do not permit Your priests to merit the curse of ‘he who gives scandal to Your little ones’. Where others are damaged or disillusioned by Your minister’s offence or misfortune, please grant repentance and pardon, or exoneration. Heal anyone wounded by his fault, sin, omission, misjudgement or misfortune. Please pardon and heal those who accuse or judge Your priest, for in doing so they may fall into grave sin. You alone may judge Your chosen ones.

By Your incarnation and life, death and resurrection, You restore humankind to a state more enriched than our original state of innocence. You achieved this out of a situation where humankind had so fallen from grace that only the Son of God Himself could redeem us. Please grant such restoration to Your chosen ones, to any soul, who have fallen from grace or reputation.

Renew in them the joyful consciousness of the miracle and mystery of Your love for each person. Grant them insight of the preciousness of each child of God, filling them with gratitude that You allow them to serve.


#17

Goodness and failings of Your priests

Jesus, behold all the faith, obedience, self-denial, all the beauty, wisdom, humility and love of so many faithful priests and religious. Grant that through Your great love for them, the Father will pardon, heal and make whole all within and flowing from them.

Yet a time may come when some prove that they are fallible men, with selfishness admixed with their goodness. Please minister to anyone injured by the frailties of Your priests. Give them grace to overcome hurt and disillusionment. Heal them in the strength of Your Spirit.

Jesus, please grant reparation for the offences of Your chosen ones for their sins against faith and hope, against humility and integrity, against obedience, chastity, and above all against charity. Please absorb into Your sacred passion, the suffering that such sin draws upon the offender and upon others—together with the prayer and merit of the communion of saints—so that it becomes reparation for the sin which occasions it.

Thereby make the grace that You intend through them no less efficacious—despite their sins and omissions—as You heal injury, supply what is lacking, and cleanse what is tainted. Jesus, minister to Your priests. Give them grace to become truly like You the Good Shepherd who never betrays or abandons his sheep. Let their hearts and lives overflow with Your loving goodness, in faithfulness to their vocation.


#18

Keeping watch

Jesus, please inspire laity to assist and collaborate with Your ministers. Even those who see priests and religious as set apart by their vocation may lack appreciation of their human and apostolic needs. Therefore, Your ministers may experience isolation or overload with tasks that should be shared by their parishioners and others.

Many priests and religious, while perhaps enduring periods of particular difficulty, may feel the anguish of little visible return for labour and may sometimes encounter opposition or apathy. Therefore, contemplation of life sacrificed to their people for Your sake may cause them inner conflict or discouragement, especially when they experience doubt, weariness, boredom or spiritual dryness.

Out of such trial, offer them grace and opportunity to mature into wholeness in You. While ensuring this growth within them, please grant them others’ prayer and assistance. Please give them sufficient enthusiasm and satisfaction to allow them to persevere.

Although we must seek to serve rather than to be served, You, who are concerned with the entire human personality, know the need to sustain not only the soul destined for eternal communion, but all aspects of human nature. Abuse of any element of humanity may lead to discouragement and stress that may crush the human spirit.

Faith and courage may be overwhelmed if there is little love of God in others to assist Your ministers. Each person is called to mutual service, in communion with the sacred office of the priest’s Sacramental ministry. Help them in us where possible, Jesus, remembering that while You suffered greatly, grievously alone, You accepted ministry offered by others, and at times sought aid unasked. Your weary walk to Calvary required another’s assistance to carry Your cross.

Jesus, You know when faith is best served by consolation or by its absence. Please grant what is required. At least prevent unnecessary hardship where others, by prayer, penance, word or kind support may encourage Your priests.

Like many people, I endure stress, uncertainty, and the discouragement of failing to see positive results of prayer, good intentions and self-sacrifice. I know discomfort and inconvenience, tiresome temptations, doubts, and guilt. I experience loneliness, yet also the burning desire to be alone. I offer all these experiences in prayer for Your priests.

Unite all pain in the hearts of Your priests and of each disciple, with Your own sufferings, so that You may present all things, redeemed in You, to the Father. Offer them in reparation for our sins and negligence and in atonement for the compromises that weaken our apostolate. Offer them in plea for consolation and hope, for faith and fidelity, for growth and wholeness of Your suffering servants. Offer them also for Your many faithful ones who endure imprisonment, persecution or death for Your word.

These things Jesus, so that in their struggles, Your chosen may glorify You—and that in their ministry and witness they may intercede with increasing efficacy and holiness for Your gifts and graces upon Your children in their charge.


#19

Vulnerable human reality

Jesus, You chose Your priests from amongst Your people, yet in the sacramental ‘laying of hands’ You do not perfect them. Like those whom they serve, they need pardon, healing, prayer and faith as they seek grace to become humble, genuine witnesses of Christ. Through Sacrament and intercession, teaching and act, they encourage and instruct Your people as You call them in their personal human history and reality, to be instruments of Your grace for others.

By your honest expression of rightly directed human emotion, intelligence and personality, You witnessed the wholeness of our nature when creatively lived in God’s love. In Your authenticity as a vital human, You revealed that each person’s salvation is projected around reality, not around some ideal self. Wholeness is found in one’s actual situation with its limitations and advantages. It is offered within one’s true personality in its abilities and handicaps.

Allow Your priests to recognise Your unique expression of love in each other person. Give us the gift of revealing to everyone they meet and serve—the image within him or her of the glorious, loving beauty of You amid human frailties and strengths. We thus encourage his trust and affirm his hope in Your patient lifelong moulding of him in the overwhelming love of Your personal plan for him, or her.

In Your priests, therefore—who are no less human than any other person—is manifest the wise charity and the gentle humility of Christ, to each person who comes before You in contrition, thankfulness, faith and joy. We thank and praise You Jesus, who shared all weakness of our nature except sin.

Help Your priests to respect and encourage everyone, pardoning those who offend or inconvenience them. In liberty of spirit born of obedience, faith, and of freedom from undue attachments—they allow Your grace and witness to flow through them to others. We trust that You accomplish this even where there is no evidence of Your action.

Please sustain Your priests as generous, inspired instruments of grace for Your continuing mission, as they alert others to the light of the Spirit in their lives. They glorify You, as they daily accept this joyful cross of their priestly ministry, while managing the challenges of their own vulnerable humanity! Thank You Jesus, Who throughout the ages lovingly uses Your imperfect creatures as instruments of love, service, and glory!


#20

Amen


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