Dear Seminarian by Catherine Doherty

“Priests really become another Christ. It is the hands of Christ that anoint. It is the lips of Christ that pronounce the words that change the bread and wine into his Body and Blood.”

1. Teach us to pray – “Teach us that in order to make contact with God we must begin to smash the idols within ourselves that we worship, perhaps without fully realizing that we do so. For they are like stones tied to the kite of prayer.”

2. Be seen; be approachable – “The priest must be seen. Today, we have to leave the one just, in order to go after the ninety-nine lost! Today it is a matter of bringing God back to people and people back to God.

3. Set us on fire through your preaching – “The priest has the job of rolling back the stone from where Christ is buried in people’s minds – the stone of sin, fog, and confusion. Priests are called to bring him forth from this tomb. Be not afraid to ask much of us. Ask all of us. We are much more likely to answer your challenge if it is great, fiery, and full of love of God and us, than if you ask just a little of us, and so somehow leave us discontented and humiliated because we have not been found worthy of more.”

4. Form us to live out our prophetic role as baptized persons

5. Overcome human weakness through the Mother of God – “Every aspect of priestly formation can be referred to Mary, the human being who has responded better than any other to God’s call” – St. Pope JP II.  Mary is your mother and can form you as a priest, because she formed her divine Son.

6. Bring youth to Christ – Youth are at a crossroads.

7. Prepare for the long haul – A zealous priest, a fervent parish; a tepid priest, a cold parish. Dispossession brings freedom. Be poor. Rely on Christ. Priests need to find a quiet place to get renewed and restored.

8. Keep the flame of love burning in your parish – He who stands still, goes backward. Give your parishoners strong food for their souls, hearts, and minds, in order to help them to keep on growing in knowledge, love and sanctity.

9. Prepare to give us spiritual direction – You have to be alert, too, so as not to allow your own personality to impinge on spiritual direction. St. John of the Cross said, “It is the Holy Spirit who directs, so I have to disappear.”

 

 

 

 

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