In our own times there are circumstances, headlines and concerns that often and easily burden a pastor. Sometimes these lead to fruitful introspection and growth and sometimes they lead a priest to doubt his faith and the value of his ministry in peoples' lives. I'm no stranger to such influences. I know how they can stir my conscience and deepen my fidelity and I know how the evil one can use them to plant seeds of fear and doubt to dispirit me .
I also know that among priests I'm not alone in this.
But through the grace of God, there come moments of support, affirmation, trust and joy that remind a priest of the many ways the Lord works through him to bless and heal the hearts, the minds, the souls of the people he serves.
In the past couple of days I've been renewed and refreshed in my ministry in many ways, by a number of events, encounters and people. This has happened in church, in the sacristy, in the parish office, at lunch, at the dry cleaners, in a local restaurant, over the phone, at meetings, in one-on-one conversations, in text messages, through my blog, on FaceBook and in email.
The older I get and the longer I'm in ministry, the more I understand the truth that it's all the Lord's work and that, at best, my ministry is but one small tool on the Lord's belt.
For all of this I'm very grateful!
Join me in thanking God for the graces of the last couple of days and, wherever you might be, pray for the priest in your own parish or faith community -- especially as Holy Week approaches.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
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