Priests…Have we forgotten them?

Priests…Have we forgotten them?

What has happened? Why is the priesthood in such turmoil? Is it because we have tried to mold priests into something we want instead of allowing them to be what we need or most importantly what they have been called to be?

It seems as though the dignity of the priesthood has been trampled upon. We no longer see them as alter Christos, [other Christs] but our “weekend buddy”. They are asked, by various “lay ministers” of this and that, to perform tasks that by Church Law they cannot do and when they refuse a letter or phone call goes out to the bishop to complain. Since the bishop wants no strife in his life or the diocese he forces the priest to perform the task that has been asked of him, and possibly, to make a public apology for his error. If that is not bad enough, persons have left the Church because the priest has denied their request and gone off to a non-catholic faith to get what they want.

How often do we, as Catholics, pray for our priests, bishops and the Holy Father? If anyone in the world needs prayers, it is them. All of our clergy and religious need our prayers because they are under constant attack and at times succumb to the temptations of the evil one, who is always on the prowl trying to destroy the sacred ranks of the priesthood and religious life.

We have come to relish more the worldly allurements than to strive for a perfect faith. This makes it even more difficult for priests to preach the Gospel because our ears are closed and our minds are on what we are going to be doing as soon as we can get out of the church. Our Mass has been cut short with the Novus Ordo. We don’t even give a whole hour of worship anymore. The priest has to do a comedy act to keep our attention, lest we fall asleep or totally lose interest in what he is saying. So much that needs to be said is not, because we won’t allow the priests to really get down to brass tacks and tell us what we really need to hear and practice in our daily lives.

I know of one new priest, ordained for only a short time, becoming so disillusioned that he wanted to leave the priesthood less than a year after his ordination. All that he hoped and desired to be was dashed on the rocks. The secular Carmelite community, of which I am a member, was asked to pray for him during his struggle for discernment. To this day, I don’t know if he has remained a priest or not. What a shame. What a shameful people we are!

These days our priests are practically mauled when everyone is leaving after Mass. Women are hanging all over him. Years ago the proper way to greet a priest was to kiss his hand and maybe say along with it, “Praised be to You, Lord Jesus Christ.” Saint Jean-Marie Vianney said, “When you see the priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Do we see Christ in our priests? Or are they our buddies that we just slap on the back and joke around with? How deplorable we have become.

Women come to Mass dressed…how should I say, dressed like street walkers; during the summer months, the clothes will get more scanty and tighter. It’s as though they have no concept of the true Presence or the person of Christ in the priest. Men with their T-shirts advertising who knows what and young people…don’t even get me started on that path.

Let’s face it; we have no respect for the Office of the Priesthood. We are working hard to bring it down to the lowest level when we should be doing just the opposite. The Church and the Priesthood have enough problems from other sources and doesn’t need garbage flung within its own walls.

Let’s clean up our act and start giving our parish priests the respect they deserve. Stop calling him Fr. Bob, or Fr. Ted, but by his sir name as it should be out of respect. Dress appropriately not only for Father, who is another Christ, but for Christ truly present in the Tabernacle. The floor of the Tabernacle must be covered with Christ’s tears as He watches us parade in so poorly dressed and so irreverent. Pray for your priest! The crosses they must bear are heavy and it makes them weary. Let them be the priests they have been called to be for the good of your own soul.

The Holy Father is going to declare this year, 2009, The Year of the Priest. Pray for them! Everyday should be filled with little prayers and sufferings for our priests. Pray for strength and courage, for faith and virtue because they are human too and can fall prey to the wiles of Satan. They are our generals to lead us through the battles of this earthly life so that we may rejoice in Heaven forever and ever. Don’t forget them. Don’t leave them wounded on the battlefield.



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10 Responses to Priests…Have we forgotten them?

  1. E James says:

    (Nice to see you back and that you survived the long winter)
    Very interesting and applicable article. I’ve mentioned related things to friends. People come in late, chat during prayers and leave early. I don’t understand. Is an hour of reverence and undivided attention so difficult? I don’t mind common clothes because not everyone, with today’s economy, is able to dress well. I do agree they can still dress appropriate since it’s not at a bar or a bonfire party. I also wonder how much this complacency and indifference affects our priests. It must certainly be discouraging for our priests to be giving so much to so many who do not appear to have an interest.
    I am curious what tasks you’re referring to that are being asked of priests which they should not be doing.
    Again I feel this is an excellent article and I appreciate the thought that has went into it.

    • admin says:

      Yes, winter was most certainly long, in fact we had a few flakes yesterday. Now, the one task that I had in mind was several years ago. Our pastor was asked to have a Christian burial for a man and women who been away from the Church for about 20 years, on top of that it was a murder suicide. Our pastor said absolutely not. Well, the phone call was made, the Christian burial was forced along with a public apology. I know there were other incidences, but they were not made public. This priest was not well liked and he suffered greatly for it.

  2. E James says:

    Hi. Snow flakes=yeck! Had a little bit chilly here-enough so I only saw a couple young people in shorts and tshirt at Mass, but no snow. A fantastic spring with tons of beautiful flowers everywhere.
    A sad story. Interesting how people don’t attend until they want something from the Church. Suddenly want an annulment(given way too easy I think) and then they’re in Church. Young ones want their children baptized and suddenly they’re in Church. Where I mostly attend(go to three different ones) the Pastor won’t baptize children unless the parent/parents are attending regular. Maybe something to do with Church numbers dwindling. I was surprised at the smaller than normal attendance at 10am Mass considering it was Mother’s day===Hey= I hope you had an excellently happy Mother’s Day.

  3. E James says:

    Morning. A beautiful day here.
    I’m returning to this due to having spent time observing the people at Mass and how they are dressed. Most of the clothing that I would like to see improved upon is being worn by the younger people. I’ve waited until the warm months to see how things would go. Yes, I see some inappropriate clothing, i.e. shorts and t-shirts being worn by many and mostly in the younger people ages 25 and younger. In fairness to them I’ve taken time to look back when I was younger than I am today. I’ll address the 21-25 age group due to that being a time when I was most responsible for my behavior as far as when I was in the younger group.
    I’m sorry, but at least they are attending Mass. I didn’t during those years. I enjoyed my time of going out to the bars, dancing and enjoying life. Certainly I’d like to see them dress more appropriately, but they are at least there. Maybe I’m a little more tolerant and understanding now. I try much harder at looking at life from different perspectives.
    So I’ll ask=what were you doing when you were in the 21-25 year old age group? Were you attending Mass every week? Every other week? How were you dressed when you attended if you did? Maybe you were there every week. If not I am not trying to fault you whatsoever. I’m merely saying as far as Church they are doing better than I did and I’ll commend them for that. With the years going by they will probably improve in many areas and this area will probably be one of them.
    Hope you had a happy holiday weekend.

    • admin says:

      and good morning to you . . .

      I am working on a new article to address the topic of Catholic Dress Code. We do actually have one, but it certainly is not being enforced.

      In answer to your questions as to what I was doing between the ages of 21-25… well, I was at that rebellious time in my life, and my best friend was my worse influence. I did the drinking thing too, which is doubly bad for me being a brittle diabetic. I should have died many times. Attending Mass became less frequent. My attire was dresses or skirts most of the time, but after I married at age 23, I couldn’t afford to keep up the wardrobe and succumb to wearing slacks. I was never comfortable wearing them to Mass. I always felt like people were staring at me; probably because of the way other women in pants looked to me. I feared I looked as bad or worse. I’m not a heavy person, actually quite thin, so there were no bulges and such. I stopped wearing pants to church.

      I have a little chapel in my house and one day I was doing the Stations of the Cross. When I came to the Tenth Station where Jesus is stripped of His garments, I began to weep. I looked down at what I was wearing and vowed never to wear pants again nor makeup of any kind. Now I make my own jumpers, ankle length, wear long sleeved turtle necks (no matter the weather) and no makeup ever. Now, I am comfortable at Mass as to what I am wearing, but tears come to my eyes when I see what other women wear.

      If you were invited to some stately affair before a dignitary, or even a king, would you wear jeans, slacks, shorts, tube-tops, T-shirts, or sneakers; or would you dress in a dignified manner? Chances are you wouldn’t be allowed the audience dressed improperly. Why do people think they can go before the King of kings and the Lord of lords dressed improperly? Makes one wonder if they truly believe He’s there, doesn’t it?

  4. E James says:

    Hi. I find your idea of an article on a dress code quite interesting. I wasn’t aware of there being a dress code other than to be respectful. Maybe because and why I visit Catholic sites.
    When I was in the years of 21=25 I did go to hear the bands and I loved the dancing and many of the people. I also got married at 23. Neither attended Church except for weddings. One Catholic and one not. I wasn’t. Both having strong beliefs, but neglectful of attending. Other than that my spouse always walked in a good way and very moral. It wasn’t until years later than I had some quiet time. Decided to look for the good and to make a point of attending to give back and learn. It was just after becoming a Godparent. I chose to look into the Catholic Church. The Priest is an excellent one. Always helped me to feel welcome. He invited me to RCIA classes and stressed that if I went it didn’t mean I had to convert and even if I didn’t I was always welcome at the Parish. I did become Catholic and I love it and always attend Mass.
    Another site that I’m a member of is more active and I’ve posted many questions and have learned quite a lot. Your idea of posting about a dress code is one I haven’t seen before. Once you get it posted I’d like (with your permission) to post your article on the other site. I can give you the link if you’d like so you can see what the site is like first(maybe you’ve already been there).
    I very much admire that you’ve created a little chapel in your home. And I kinda have to believe that even though they were your “rebellious” years that you have always walked in a good way.

    • admin says:

      After Vatican II many of the rules have not been enforced or even brought to anyone’s attention. I guess, you are proof of that since you had no idea that Catholics have a dress code. I hope to have the article up soon.

  5. E James says:

    Hi. I hope this finds you in excellent health and able to enjoy the last days before winter arrives.
    I’ve done a little checking on dress code and even posted on another Catholic site. A lot of viewings on my posts, but no comments or opinions posted. I asked what others though of the apparel being worn to Mass. Of those that I speak with most seem to accept on things have changed. At best they comment that maybe some should dress a little better, but what could be done. Only you and another friend from north of Detroit have strong feelings about something should be done. My friend from north of Detroit will only attend Mass that is consistent with Pre-Vatican II. There is one Church in the area that holds a Pre-Vatican II, but only once a week and it’s not very close by.

    • admin says:

      Greetings! It’s been busy here. We are preparing for winter and a lot needs to be done. Now with that out of the way . . . .

      You have spoken to people who are comfortable with the status quo. The bishops have allowed the people in their dioceses to dress inappropriately for so long that they think it’s OK and a normal way to dress. If you would do some research to see what past popes and the Church actually say about the way a Catholics should dress, you would find that the majority are not inline with the Catholic Dress Code. People have just become too complacent and do whatever makes them “feel good”. That is the mind set of this generation and it is very sad. Yes, I do have strong feelings about this issue and it is so disgusting to see how irreverent people are every weekend. I’m sure some would say, “God doesn’t care what I’m wearing only that I showed up.” That statement says a lot and I have heard it. You mentioned that someone wanted to know what could be done. Well, they could dress properly to start and encourage others to do the same. Talk to the priest and he could tell the people about how Catholics are to dress for Mass or any other time spent in the Church before the Blessed Sacrament. If the priest doesn’t want to rock-the-boat, then pray for him, a lot. So there is something that can be done. Also, a letter to the Bishop can’t hurt either. Let him know how bad it is and something should be done, soon.

  6. E James says:

    Hi. Yes it is also time to address the preparation for winter=maybe less than 100 inches of snow this year….
    I totally agree with your feelings about the “feel good” situation. The “feel good education system”, if it continues, will probably be the destruction of a civilized and moral society here. Fortunately there are those that are fighting that mind set. And obviously you still have some “rebel” in you and it’s focused in a good way.
    You have made a difference because I’ll go with your approach. Maybe I got too old, but I was contemplating going to a church with pre-Vatican II Mass. Wouldn’t have a dress code problem, but your post gave me reflection time. My approach would be an “out of sight-out of mind” method. Wouldn’t change anything-only what I saw.
    I will take your advice and see what reaction I receive from the local priest. If I get branded a rebel I’m going to say it’s your fault (lol)
    You walk in a very good way.

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