Each month Pope Francis invites the people of the world to join him in praying for a particular intention presenting a brief video to extend his invitation.
This month, July, he wants us to pray for priests.
I often ask people to pray for me, and I ask people to take my request very seriously.
The pope in his July video specifically refers to the virtues and defects of priests. At times every person experiences virtue. But the danger is that we fall under the weight of our defects and we struggle to get up. It is the support and prayer of friends and parishioners that inspires priests to continue in ministry. As the pope mentions, priests cannot remain inactive after a disappointment.
So please pray for your priests, and pray for me.
The pope’s July intention:
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
We are fortunate to have these guys serving us. They are human and suffer all the usual shortcomings of the lay. Some friendship and fraternity is easy to give.
In our Parish we have a Marian Movement of Priests where we meet every fortnight and pray for our priests. It is a privilege to do so. We know how hard they work and minister to the parishes. Thank you God for our priests. O Mary Mother of God we ask your renewed and continuing intercession for our priests: the strong, the good, the weak and those in danger of losing their way. Lord hear us.
Fatigue and loneliness come from overwork and isolation. How can our prayers become active? Is there more we can do to help our priests in their work? Do we include them in family meals and celebrations? Are they a part of our day to day lives?
The engine of prayer is very powerful, but it needs wheels.