I dedicate every third Friday of the month to praying and fasting for all of our bishops and priests, and for all men who are being called to the priesthood.  It’s wonderful that this third Friday coincides with the Assumption, given Mary’s special motherly love for priests!

We laypeople look to our priests to be faithful, holy, wise leaders, and we can be harshly critical of them when we feel they are not.  Criticism is not always unwarranted, of course.  But even then, we must be sure that we are: praying for them, being cooperative and constructive in any way possible, and not hastily judging and being overly-critical about things we don’t fully know about or understand.  We can’t always know what they may be going through, what their circumstances are, or the reasons behind every action or inaction.  Our priests and bishops need us to support them, above all with prayer and sacrifice! 

And we need more priests, many more!  This is pretty common knowledge among most laypeople, and this is a situation that also requires our prayers and sacrifices.  Not just the sacrifices of those who are called, or of their families, but of each and every one of us.  We all must have the best interests of our Church in mind.  And having plenty of priests is essential.  Without the priests, there are no Sacraments, and without the Sacraments, we don’t receive the sanctifying grace they give us–the supernatural life we need and long for.  If we believe in God’s providence, we know that God is calling plenty of men to be His priests.  Those men and their families need prayer and sacrifices from us all in order that that extraordinary calling can be heard and fulfilled.

It is important for us laypeople to remember that although we are not ordained, by Baptism we too share in Christ’s priesthood–we too are called to give of ourselves and offer sacrifices. 

So, let us pray today and every day for our bishops and priests, and for all men who are called to the priesthood.  Let us pray that they our priests may always grow in faithfulness, holiness, and wisdom, whereby they may help us all to do the same.  Let us pray that those with priestly vocations may grow in courage and selflessness, and that they may receive the support they need from their loved ones and their communities.  Let us pray for ourselves that we fulfill our own priestly duties of prayer and sacrifice.