Wednesday, October 9, 2013

HWP: Prayer for Priests

This week I am with my brother priests on our annual diocesan retreat. Don't worry - I'm writing this and scheduling it for publication on Wednesday. While on retreat we priests are blessed with the opportunity to enjoy one another's company, share about our ministry experiences, and hear insightful reflections. But more important than all of those things, we get to have a special time set aside to encounter the Lord. Each priest comes to the retreat bearing on his heart the intentions of many family, friends, parishioners, and others to lift up to the Lord. Speaking for myself, I have also become increasingly aware of my need for the prayers of others as well during this time and throughout the year. So with that in mind, our Half-Way Prayer this week comes from the Little Flower, whose feast we celebrated just a week ago:

A Prayer for Priests
by St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

Let Your holy love surround them and
shield them from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here 
and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.