I experienced a marvelously refreshing silent spiritual retreat last week. This quiet time to be focused on God and not on the everyday stuff came just in time to help me find my center for Advent. Besides giving us deep messages from Scripture and Church teaching to ponder, daily Mass served faithfully and reverently, this priest spent several hours in the confessional so that if in our examinations of conscience we found anything requiring confession, that was available to us. This priest was so dedicated he was in the confessional so long that every participant in the retreat could have gone to confession three or four times and not filled up his time.
I returned home, spiritually refreshed and open to whatever changes God would have me make in my life. At the Sunday Vigil Mass our transitional deacon gave the homily and again I was struck by the blessing of God. His homily had SUBSTANCE. There was Scripture and Church teaching and a quote from the work of Blessed John Paul II, and I was stirred in my soul with love for God and a desire to live His way with even greater diligence.
These men gave a good example of dedication to their vocations. Am I a good example of dedication to my vocation? Their example inspires me to work harder to grow in virtues and to seek holiness with greater determination. Their example urges me to seek to sanctify all aspects of my life and work. Their examples urge me to greater efforts in my vocation.
I feel so much gratitude to God for these marvelous examples of good priests that I could cry!
Dear Lord, Thank You for the blessing of good Priests (and transitional deacons). Thank You for the blessing of the Sacraments made available through their service to You. Thank You for blessing our priests and deacons. Thank You, for granting them abundant grace and Your protection. Thank You for calling them and for their response to Your call. Thank You. Amen.