Monday, May 28, 2012

The Gift Of The Priesthood

Ordination 2012 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Newark, NJ
(photo courtesy of The Star Ledger)

Jesus gave us the promise that He would remain with us always on that first Holy Thursday. He chose to do this through the gift of Himself in the Eucharist. The Apostles were, in a manner of speaking, ordained as our first priests on that night. And so it has been ever since. Jesus is made present on our altars every hour of every day somewhere in the world, and it is only through our Catholic priests that this life giving and life saving miracle occurs.
I am always edified this time of year as I read of all the new priests being ordained. This year the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ ordained 16 new priests. They are of various ages and cultural backgrounds. I had the privilege of giving my post~abortion witness to this class last month. (The priest who teaches the Reconciliation class is a dear friend of Rachel's Vineyard in our archdiocese.) I could see then in speaking with some of them afterwards that we were truly blessed to have these men serve our archdiocese.
Please join me in praying for them (pictured above) as they begin their priesthoods.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, grant Your Church many and holy priests.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for priests.

The Beautiful Hands of a Priest 
(unknown author)
  We need them in life's early morning,

We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek them when tasting life's woes.

  At the altar each day we behold them,

And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness;
Their dignity stands all alone;

  And when we are tempted and wander,

To pathways of shame and of sin,
It's the hand of a priest that will absolve us,
Not once, but again and again.

  And when we are taking life's partner,

Other hands may prepare us a feast,
But the hand that will bless and unite us
Is the beautiful hand of a priest.

  God bless them and keep them all holy,

For the Host which their fingers caress;
When can a poor sinner do better
Than to ask Him to guide thee and bless?

  When the hour of death comes upon us,

May our courage and strength be increased,
By seeing raised over us in blessing
The beautiful hands of a priest.


Nancy Shuman said...

Wonderful. It really made me think. And pray - and what better thing can there be than that. Thank you for all you do.

mary333 said...

Priests are our greatest gift. No priests, no Eucharist. (Not to mention the other Sacraments.) Yes, I'll join you in prayer.

Great picture and beautiful prayer!

Anne said...

Thank you for this wonderful and uplifting post! Many congratulations on 16 new priests-that's fantastic! Many prayers of gratitude!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.