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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Happy Priests


After my first two years in North Africa, I was sent to my country to have my Ignatian retreat with the Good Shepherds... 
I was a bit surprised that we were in the company of about twenty priests from various dioceses. A friend told me they were there for "reform" and "therapy"... and I felt kind of blessed that I was there at that time... We journeyed for thirty days in silence and prayer since we were strictly forbidden to talk... but there were times, when I'd find myself with them and one priest even gave me a book by Henri Nouwen...

There was one moment when we became a little lax with our silence since we attended a play by the Trumpets, "A Happy Prince" in another seminary ground and we were reprimanded like little children.

A day before I ended my retreat, a middle-aged priest celebrated his 25 years of ordination... While others hugged and shook his hands to congratulate him after the mass, I did something that surprised not only him, but the other priests as well... 
I kissed his hands... 

I told him it is God who is faithful all those 25 years... 
 it is Jesus incarnated in his hands everyday when he celebrates the Eucharist...
I took my inspiration from St.Francis who loved Jesus well... 





 See, day after day He humbles Himself, as when He came down from His royal throne. (Wis. 18, 15) into the Virgin's womb. 
Day by day He comes to us personally in this lowly form. 
Daily He comes down from the bosom of His Father on the altar into the hands of the priest."  

That one month experience with them, made me understand priests as persons journeying towards holiness... wounded, fragmented, lost but found... It was there that I found out how God writes straight in crooked lines...
 when we allow ourselves to be under Christ's gaze of love...

________________________

* I wrote this as issues on priests regarding PCS0 continue to surge:

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2011/07/07/church-official-seeks-abolition-pcso-pagcor-165615

 

2 comments:

  1. Melissa - What an adventurous life you've led ...You are truly a seeker. I have friends and students who are priests - I know that they are human - it's us laypeople who put them on a pedestal and then are disappointed when they fall off. All of us have our part to play in the Church...
    I wrote this sometime ago when I was very pained by the Church - would love your thoughts on it http://www.everydaygyaan.com/2010/04/spiritual-sunday-they-have-taken-away.html

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  2. Beautiful and pure s always my soul sis

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