Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Weight of Criticism

I find it very distressing when people, especially the Catholic faithful, slam priests. I just had a phone conversation with a lady from my parish who is in charge of the Catechism program - I was signing up to teach grades three and four- and partway through our discussion this woman started to tell me things I didn't want to hear about a priest I consider a friend. I told her to stop and pray a Hail Mary, but she just continued on, informing me of things I didn't need to know, and quite frankly, don't believe. I do know that this priest encountered difficulties as a pastor of this very liberal parish when he purchased kneelers for the pews and tried to have them installed. He was moved shortly afterwards, and I believe the kneelers are collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Several times I told this woman to pray for the priest she had difficulties with, but she kept on with her tirade - that is, until I said, "Stop right there! Let's get back to discussing Catechism. I don't need to know any of things you are telling me."

There is a prayer for priests in my Pieta book. I may slip her a copy when I meet her at my first Catechism class. Prayers are what priests need most, not criticism.

Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
Keep them, for they are Thine -
Thy priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure, -
Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them, and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
They have no one but Thee,
Yet they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host.
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Lovely prayer..

Dancing With Pussycats said...

I agree with you. The last time I visited Washington State (2002), there were many areas where the priests are so few that they each have to cover large geographic areas, and so one town has mass on Monday, another on Tuesday, etc. There is no daily mass for all. Our priests are unappreciated and those who criticize so freely don't realize how blessed they are to have a priest available.

At the end of the Year of Priests, there was a special prayer service in my parish. Less than 12 people showed up. And at a major parish in a nearby large city, five people showed up.

Our priests need our prayers and so do our fellow Catholics.

Thanks for your great blog.

paramedicgirl said...

Dancing - thanks for stopping by, and welcome!

It is so sad that our priests are under appreciated. We have the same geographical problems here, with a few priests taking responibility for multiple towns. They really need our prayers, and I just submitted three of their names for Mass intentions. We don't pray enough for our priests.

Anita Moore said...

A priest who wants to correct the problem of not kneeling during Mass needs to be given a medal, not criticized!