In recently reflecting upon the great gift of the priesthood, I recalled a document that I studied last year in my Vatican II class. Presbyterorum ordinis is a decree on the ministry and life of priests. There are so many heroic priests that continue to serve God faithfully. Benedict XVI recently concluded the "Year of the Priest" in which priests were given recognition for the tremendous sacrifices they make day after day in bringing Christ to His people. It seems too short, this year that we have acknowledged them, and in an increasing climate of hostility and suspicion, we need to continue to pray for them and thank them for their willingness to take upon themselves the sufferings of Christ. I want to share a beautiful quote from this document of Vatican II that encapsulates the life of a priest:
"The purpose, therefore, which priests pursue in their ministry and by their life is to procure the glory of God the Father in Christ. That glory consists in this-that men working freely and with a grateful spirit receive the work of God made perfect in Christ and then manifest it in their whole lives. Hence, priests, while engaging in prayer and adoration, or preaching the word, or offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice and administering the other sacraments, or performing other works of the ministry for men, devote all this energy to the increase of the glory of God and to man's progress in the divine life. All of this, since it comes from the Pasch of Christ, will be crowned by the glorious coming of the same Lord, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father" (PO, 2).
Thank you, faithful servants of Christ. You are always in our prayers.