Prayer For Priests # 22
I come to pray to you for our priests:
our priests working in parishes or residence of retired people,
our priests teaching at the seminary or at the university,
our priests working in the diocesan offices,
our priests in foreign missions,
our religious priests.
I glorify your holy name,
I praise you,
I thank you for these men
whom you have given us as spiritual leaders,
these men responsible for our Christian communities,
our parish activities.
I know that, just like us,
they have their questions,
their doubts, their hesitations.
They say before their ordination and again after it:
"Do I really have this vocation?"
"Am I truly at the right place?"
"Will I be able to preach, for I am shy?"
"Shall I be able to pray my divine office
with the load of activities?"
"Am I not following a human ambition?"
Be with them, Father,
give them your strength,
your Holy Spirit.
our priests say they are unworthy of your calling.
And they are right, for no one is worthy of it.
Yet you have chosen them for the common good.
Inspire them, calm their hesitations, encourage them.
Let them know that they can always count on you,
that your love surrounds them,
that you are never far from them.
our priests sometimes find their tasks heavy.
They may get discouraged.
They wonder if they can respond
to all the demands we ask from them.
Be yourself their strength,
Give them a prayerful heart
for they need this intimacy with you,
for themselves and for others.
our priests are not angels.
Some of them have even their tough sides.
All of them have times of fatigue,
of impatience, their dark hours.
Be yourself their light.
May your Holy Word lead them day by day.
Speak to them in their meditations
and their moments of reflection.
our priests sometimes suffer of solitude.
They feel alone in their ministry.
It may seem to them that they can hardly endure
this heavy weight on their shoulders.
May the offering of our weekly day and our prayers,
to which we have committed ourselves as petals of Daisies,
relieve and help them somewhat.
But may your grace and strength
especially be their consolation,
their source of strength,
their support and their joy.
Thank you, heavenly Father,
for these men who are our priests.
May our prayers accompany them also every day.
Hear our prayers,
hear their prayers.
May we always give you thanks
for these spiritual leaders whom you send us.
[Francis de Ruijte, April 4, 2003, 39th anniversary of my ordination; translated by the author, April 14, 2003.]