It is Holy Thursday 2014. It is a sunny day in La Paz, Bolivia and by now most Chrism Mass celebrations are taking place right now. I was reading a post by one of my acquaintances, where he was greeting all GOOD Priests and bluntly criticizing those who need to work on their vocation and minister.
Honestly I find this disgusting. We are prone to see the splint in our brother's eye, but we never realize the log in ours. More so we say "Do not judge", yet we stone these men who have set a distance between their vocation and the way they act.
When I was younger I was very much like that. I was very much like that until a year or so. The challenge came with Fr. José María from my local parish. This man found much delight in giving his homily and then collecting applause. The bad point aside from the applause? The fact that his homily was a rhetorical speech about values in our society and almost never he would address what we had listened in scripture. I was literally BORED. Eventually we stopped going there, and would rather take extra 10 to 15 minutes and attend another parish. Some how in one of the other homilies that I was able to listen the challenge came....PRAY FOR HIM!
I know I don't pray that often for him, but to my surprise a Sunday that I was running late I had to attend the celebration he was proceeding. To my surprise and rejoice he was asking people not to clap after his homily. ONE STEP ahead! Fast forward after ash Wednesday I attended a Friday mass again with him. For some months I've been called to kneel for Communion. This time with him, I was denied to receive Communion on my knees. Quite frankly, it almost seemed the priest thought I was kneeling for him!!!!! Gladly God granted me Grace to stop complaining right away and realize how much more prayer and penance he needs.
Once when I was talking to Sr. Martin (my spiritual sister MC), I told her that I had a top list of priests who had lead me to LOVE more and whose teaching is really a treasure. It is really easy to keep them on my prayer all the time. So now I'm trading lists. Well not really trading but expanding it and putting in the first places those priests I know that need more prayer and penance. After all if the #1 has my Bishop, then it is really an emergency for La Paz Archdiocese.
May God touch their hearts, so they will burn again with the fire of Christ, so that they will again, lay down their lives for the Bride of Christ.
(BTW, if you want to know who are my top priests, know they include our two Popes, Fr. Cantalamessa, Fr. Muir, Fr. Di Quatro, Fr. Eleuterio, Fr. Lino, Fr. Clements, Fr. Auñion, Fr. Rastislav. God keep blessing them.)