“Only Jesus is the true priest; the one who can offer sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Every other priest in the world simply shares in his priesthood.”-CCC #1545
Being a priest isn’t just a job. It’s an entirely new life for a man. The two books that revealed to me just how much a priest does is To Save a Thousand Souls by Fr. Brett Brannen and Geekpriest by Fr. Roderick Vonhogen. In To Save a Thousand Souls, Fr. Brannen lists all of the things a priest does. In addition to celebrating Mass, a priest also baptizes babies, celebrates marriages, visits the sick, and buries the dead.
Diocesan priests take care of a parish or, in the case of Father Roderick, specialize in a certain job. Some priests are teachers and others help out in communities dedicated to serving the poor. A priest can be called to visit a hospital at a moment’s notice, or give counseling to someone who is discerning a vocation. In other words, the priesthood is a vocation with a lot of responsibilities.
In Geekpriest, Fr. Roderick recounted a time in his life when he took on too much and felt like he was failing as a priest. After spending a rainy day in Disneyland Paris and talking with a counselor, he realized that he was trying to handle every problem on his own and said “Yes” too many times. He started asking for help when he needed it and he learned that sometimes, you have to say “No” to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Sisters in Christ, we can learn a lot from priests. We are tasked with a lot of responsibilities in our lives and we have to learn to rely on God to help us instead of trying to handle things on our own. There’s no shame in lifting our hands and asking God to carry us. Just ask Saint Therese!
Say a prayer for a priest you know and love today. Who is that Priest?
To Jesus through Mary-Monique