Today is the celebration of the Chrism Mass here in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, when we priests will all gather together alongside Bishop Muench and recommit ourselves to serving the people God has blessed us with as parishioners and spiritual children. It was a beautiful thing to see as a seminarian and even more powerful to say those words now as a priest. It's humbling because I realize that my own faithfulness is only because of God's grace poured out through by prayers of so many people. So, as I promise today to recommit myself to deeper, more humble service to you and the Church, I beg your prayers for me that I might be able to truly put those words into action. Thank you. So, it is with this gratitude of heart that I offer this:
Prayer for Priests
Lord Jesus, we your people pray to You for our priests. You have given them to us for OUR needs. We pray for them in THEIR needs.
We know that You have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood. You have consecrated them, set them aside, annointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood.
Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses. We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we, needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we. Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.
We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.
We pray to You, O Lord, through Mary the mother of all priests, for Your priests and for ours. Amen.
composed by John Cardinal O'Connor