Friend about to be ordained - needs encouragement!

My closest friend is going to be ordained on Dec. 14. Although he is a very good man, he is nervous. He is sensitive to the dignity of souls, and recently said this in emails:

I am beginning to be a little bit nervous about my ordination and the responsibilities for the good of other people. Sometimes I just think I can’t give enough of myself to others, and do not love them with all my strength; an inherent doubt in my own goodness, but God will perfect my failings.

I have a few exams to prepare, among them the exam of jurisdiction: allowing me to hear confessions, and to preach. Time is running short my friend, and I am getting very nervous: It is my own advent, in a sense, that I am experiencing: the wait, and the anxiety, and the trepidation in front of responsibility for others…

Does anyone have memories of seminarians or new priests who you encouraged? Can you offer any insights for gifts, words of encouragement, or help I can give him? Other than prayer, I’d love to know ways to aid him in his journey, especially in the days of joy afterward. Are there any services or special things that can be used to edify him?

Please pray for him. His name is James.

I can’t say that I’ve ever known someone to be ordained… But I can probably imagine that this is a good thing that James is feeling this way… it shows that he truly feels unworthy of such a humble and important task: to save and heal souls… I would imagine that many priests felt this way before their ordinations. It’s probably a good sign from the Lord, and in this time of trial, it would be best to pray for him, and to pray with him… praying the rosary from the heart would be a beautiful thing.

Know of my prayers.

Peace,
Al

I don’t think that there was ever a priest-to-be that did not go through this kind of self-doubt. Think about it–what other “job” has that much ability and responsibility? Just let him know that we will be praying for him.

Saint Faustina’s Prayer for Priests

O My Jesus,
I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
grant it love and the light of Your Spirit;
give power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts
might be brought to repentance
and return to You.

Lord, give us holy priests:
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.

O Divine and Great High Priest,
may the power of Your Mercy
accompany them everywhere
and protect them from the devil’s
traps and snares,
which are continually being set
for the souls of priests.

May the power of Your Mercy,
O Lord, shatter and bring to naught
all that might tarnish
the sanctity of priests,
for You can do all things.

Amen.

I’ve never personally been very close to religious people, or anyone considering religious life.

I would think some nerves would be normal, like someone about to get married, for example, knowing it’s for life.

I’ll offer a prayer. The previous one was very good.
**
Saint F:gopray:austina’s Prayer for Priests**

O My Jesus,
I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
grant it love and the light of Your Spirit;
give power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts
might be brought to repentance
and return to You.

Lord, give us holy priests:
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.

O Divine and Great High Priest,
may the power of Your Mercy
accompany them everywhere
and protect them from the devil’s
traps and snares,
which are continually being set
for the souls of priests.

May the power of Your Mercy,
O Lord, shatter and bring to naught
all that might tarnish
the sanctity of priests,
for You can do all things.

Amen.

Just tell him we trust him and we know that every man is limited by his own abilities and, most of us at least, we don’t expect him to do hand springs - and we recoginze he is human like the rest of us. Tell him just to do his best and be trusting and don’t plan on doing big things. These will come all by themselves.

Linus2nd

I’m personally glad that he is nervous and feeling this way. I think he is supposed to approach these duties with great humility. Tell him to just remember, Christ is the one hearing the Confessions, and will give him the words to give to Christ’s children at the time he needs them!

Thank you for the advice and prayers, friends and brethren.

I am trying to write some things to him now, for the feast of Christ the King:

Do not be afraid; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – the Eternal King, the Royal Master, the Immortal Priest – will preserve you.

The night is spent, and the day is at hand; cast off, therefore, the works of darkness [fear!], et induamur arma lucis [fides!]. Your chasuble shall be as plate armour, your stole as chain-mail, and your alb as padded leather. Hold Prayer as a sword, and Faith as a shield. The Great King is leading you on. Follow Him, without shame or fear!

May the Lord Jesus accept you into His purple robe: of royalty, and of suffering. May He kiss you with the Kiss of Peace: of greeting, and of sending. May He bestow the holy oil of blessing on your hands: through the material anointing, the spiritual unction – that you may worthily hold Him up for the Poor to see: in life, in death, from the Word, and above the altar.

I will pray for you every day for the rest of my life, that you may hold to Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Always dwell on the fact that Christ is risen, James! His resurrection is the key which will unlock all your nerves and anxiety about priesthood, and which will open the door to eternal life.

Pick up the poor, and carry them to the living water of Siloam; approach the starving, and give them the Bread of Life; seek out the dead, and graft them onto the True Vine for sustenance; go to those in darkness, and show them the Light of the World; leave the high roads, find the broken-hearted in the ditches, and bring them to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

It seems to me that exhortation is very useful, as well as prayers. Thank you for praying. Please also pray for all priests. Pray for those who are friends of priests, that they may bring priests joy and rest when the going gets tough.

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