Somebody is praying for you! Priests and the ministry of prayer

061213Ordination season is upon us now and a new group of men are being ordained all over the country. Never forget how necessary priests are not just in the obvious and external ways but also in more hidden ways.

Holy Order – As priests we are ordained to Holy Orders. Thus, among the many ways we can understand the ministry of the ordained clergy is that we provide “holy order” by our obedience to the Bishop or Superior and by unifying the faithful under our care to the Bishop and the Church. Nothing is more egregious (and also silly) as a disobedient priest who thereby creates disorder. By our obedient link to the Bishop we help exercise a threefold office of teaching, governing and sanctifying. Priests preserve order in the Church by uniting their parishioners in the truth of the Gospel. And, like it or not, priests also unify the faithful by the charitable but clear authority of the priestly office which is meant to resolve conflicts, set directions and  observe proper limits. Unity is a very precious gift from the Lord which He, by his own design, has rooted in the Sacrament named for that very gift of Holy Order.

Sanctifying Ministry – I would like to mention only very briefly one aspect of the sanctifying ministry of the priest. Surely we sanctify the faithful in a unique way through the celebration of the Sacraments and the proclamation of God’s Word. But another way we do this, a way perhaps more hidden and ordinary, is to pray for our people. The Church both commends us to pray for the faithful under our care and also commands it.

A Ministry of Prayer – How does she command it? By the obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Breviary. Every day we priests are obligated to pray this somewhat lengthy series of prayers and to earnestly pray for the faithful and in union with the whole Church. The basic series of prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours includes: The Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Mid Day Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer. Ideally we should pray it through out the day at each appointed hour. But, due to our busy and often unpredictable schedules many of us pray large sections of it in the morning and another part of it later in the evening.

An image: But you must know that your priests pray for you. As I hold the Breviary in my hands I often imagine I am holding the faithful of my parish in my very hands. It is my duty and privilege to pray for them, and also for the whole Church.

Someone is praying for you – I want to keep this brief (always a challenge for me) because I simply want you to know that someone is praying for you. Surely my prayers are especially for my parishioners. But you who regularly read this blog are parishioners of mine too. I pray for you each day.

I also wanted to keep this short in hopes that you might see this video which is a very touching way of depicting how priests pray for their people and their people pray for them.

18 Replies to “Somebody is praying for you! Priests and the ministry of prayer”

  1. What a beautiful reality….Our holy priests, spending themselves for the sake of their flock. The video is indeed also, a powerful reminder of how grateful we all should be to God for these, our spiritual fathers! THANK YOU!!

  2. Repeating my earlier submission about the ocean of prayer from our religious communities underpinning our world thank you.

  3. Merci, Monsignor!!

    I hope I’m in your prayers! I keep you in mine, as well. And if you don’t mind, please keep my children in your prayers, too. I know these prayers make all the difference in the world.

  4. Msgr. Charles Pope,

    I start every day off with your blog and a big mug of coffee. I have spiral notebooks that I often takes notes from your blog to write in so I can go back and read and remember your words of wisdom and inspiration that are special to me. You are helping my spiritual journey in many ways. My father was a Lutheran minister and preached great sermons. But I am learning a lot more about the meaning of certain passages of the Bible from your blog. You’ve also given me new ideas that I’ve never thought about before about the spiritual life. I did Buddhist meditation for many years, but through your blog I have now transformed it into my mental prayer time with Abba. I feel closer to Him than ever before.

    I just want you to know how much I appreciate the time and effort you put into your blog everyday. It has helped me tremendously. I feel like I know you. Thank you so very much for this wonderful work that you do.

    Heidi J.

  5. Isn’t the breviary an amazing discipline and blessing that the Church provides? I just love starting my morning with Matins and Lauds — even if I don’t get around the rest of the hours. And I am always knowing that so many are praying these at the same time — in the quiet of their homes, chapels, churches, fields — praising God and interceding for all. I have the 1962 Latin/English 3-volume version of the Liturgy of the Hours which I purchased via amazon a couple of years ago. I carry it with me all day — in my messenger bag – so that I am ever-ready to place myself attentively at the feet of God.
    Monsignor, you are always -by name- in my Lauds prayers.

  6. Grazie mille, Monsignor! We do need to be reminded of our “men in black” and how, very quietly, they sustain us without our even knowing it. Loved the video, too. Powerful!

  7. Thanks, Monsignor Pope. You are in both some of my general and individual daily prayers, as well. God bless you.

  8. Isn’t the internet wonderful! What a blessing for us to have you share your thoughtful insights. Thank you Monsignor, I needed this. And I needed that one just before on sloth. And the one before that. I haven’t been to you for confession, but you know what to say. I say “God is good all the time.” Thank you.

  9. I’m so happy you’re praying for us! Please be assured of our prayers as well. We get the priests we pray for and I pray for holy priests who persevere in their vocations for the salvation of souls!

  10. Know that we pray for you too, Msgr. Yours is a great office, a great vocation; but I suspect a great challenge too.

  11. Thank you Monsignor! Today your words touched my heart, as they have so many times before. I read your blog from across the world, and your words are a source of great comfort and inspiration. God bless you

  12. Thank you so much, Monsignor. Our family recently came into The Church (2011), and my oldest son is in the process of applying for our archdiocese seminary. I am so grateful for all of the holy priests our family has been impacted by even in the short time we have been Catholic! My daughters and I even are starting a guild at our parish, the St. Anne Guild, where we will be making freezer meals for our priests & transitional deacons as well as helping to do what is needed to serve the men God has called to serve us. We love to pray for our priests!

  13. thanksgiving for favors received,anyone in need of prayer,need money for home repairs,poor souls in purgatory

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