Thursday, April 5, 2012

A True Priest's Prayer

What is a parish priest? How do humans dare to take upon themselves the mantle of Christ’s Eternal Priesthood? With what words can a priest speak authentically about this vocation?

Only those clergy who have learned that Christ is the only true Deacon, the only true Priest, the only true Bishop, may ever truly serve in holiness—for they will shine with the light of Christ and draw others to God.

This prayer, part of a larger work on the priesthood, is an example of the true spirit of priestly humility that must be recovered amongst us for the Faith to be renewed in our lands.

O Lord, I know that I am wholly unworthy to be counted among the ministers charged with public exercise of the universal priesthood of Your Church. He who receives such a commission should be better than those he represents. But I, to the contrary, am more culpable than they are, since I have been offered greater illumination and more abundant grace than they. I have often neglected and even profaned that grace. I am a priest only insofar as I participate in Your own infinitely holy priesthood; and nevertheless I am so often far from You, doing things that displease You, refusing to do Your will, injuring souls by the very hand that You have consecrated to bless and to heal. O Lord, I confess my great misery! Make or remake of me a true priest, by drawing me to Yourself, the only Priest, the supreme Bishop of our souls. Amen.
-- Fr. Lev Gillet (“A Monk of the Eastern Church”) in Be My Priest

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