St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, once said,
"A priest goes to heaven or a priest goes to hell
with a thousand people behind them."
Graces flooded into St John Vianney and he gave God his "Fiat", every moment of every difficult day. He passionately loved his priestly life winning souls for God through a radical self-surrender into crucifixion with Christ. He fought spiritual battles for the souls in the Shepherd's care. He endured interior and exterior sufferings in union with the Shepherd, the Christ.
St. John Vianney lived the life that every priest is ordained to live in God for us, the sheep of the Shepherd.
Each year, across the world, on the Third Saturday of October, we, the people of God, unite to offer prayer and sacrifice for all priests, those who were, those who are, those yet to be ordained. Our spiritual offerings are not bound by place or time (St. Therese of Lisieux). Our priest gave his "FIAT" to God on the day of his Ordination and every day since. And Christ began to share His mystical gifts with him.
The priest, IPSE CHRISTUS, gives us Christ in the Holy Eucharist. He forgives our sins. He calls us to follow him into white martyrdom. His voice walks us into Eternal life as he anoints us at our physical death.
Christ Jesus shares the gifts of His Passion with every ordained priest, His suffering and His death to Self, totally surrendering into Father (St. John of the Cross). The priest participates with the High Priest in His mighty battle to win multiple souls for the Father when he embraces Christ's gifts in His Passion.
When a priest willingly endures Christ's suffering or persecution or abandonment, he fulfills his vocation to purchase for God all the souls who have been entrusted into his care. Whether his suffering is interior or exterior or both, there will be Mary, standing at the foot of the priest's cross, praying him into her Son, our Shepherd, the High Priest.
We look at the crown of thorns that adorns the head of our priest. One thorn may be his desire for earthly security, another perhaps a desire for honor and praise, another a desire to be liked, another his loneliness, another, discouragement. Many more thorns pierce his head and soul, some of which may never be spoken aloud but every thorn may cause a priest to stumble. Each thorn rips the flesh of our priest and when embraced, each tear purchases a soul for God. And there, beside Our Mother Mary, we too stand at the cross of the priest, praying him into Christ as he suffers under his crown of thorns to win our souls for God.
"The guards in charge of Jesus began poking fun at him, punching him. They put a blindfold on him and taunted him, 'Who hit you that time?'" (Luke 22: 63-65)
CHRIST. IPSE CHRISTUS
When the spirit of the world blindsides our priests with assaults that come from unexpected places and people, it is our prayer and sacrifice for them that will steady them, restore their spiritual balance.
The priest. IPSE CHRISTUS.
Our prayers are our presence, standing beside them as they shield us from those blows.
The 17th, ANNUAL, GLOBAL LAY FAST FOR PRIESTS will take place on SATURDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2022
On Saturday, October 15 our sacrificial prayer will be offered, a sacrifice unseen by those around us but grasped by the whole of Heaven.
We place our fast and our prayer in the thurible of angels as they ascend and perfume Heaven for our priests: for those around the world who are enduring white or red martyrdom for us; for the protection of their souls; for a deepening of their vocation to embrace their thorns; for a renewed abundance of graces so that they will lead "a thousand people behind them" when they go to Heaven.
Will you join us this year in our world-wide fast for our priests?
Fasting is praying with the body.
In recent years, a deacon in Namibia invited his entire village to fast from water for priests. And they did.
Women from Afghanistan courageously fasted with us, under threat of persecution.
And the Lord will never be outdone in generosity for any gift we give to Him out of love for others...
"Truly I say to you... you will receive a hundred times as much... in the age to come."
PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING US BY SIGNING UP AT THE LINK BELOW.