Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Priests

Every Tuesday night we recite this prayer for priests, which has been variously attributed to St. Therese de Lisieux and Cardinal Cushing. I like it because it is simple and practical and not weighted down with a lot of sanctimonious language. So I've translated it for Thanksgiving and am offering it for all the many priests who enrich my life. It's always dangerous to name names, but I would like to single out:

  • Fr. Miguel in Peru, who reached out and brought this lost sheep back into the fold;
  • Fr. Joe and Fr. Tim, who guide our little Hispanic community in Arlington and who aren't afraid of diversity, be it ethnic, spiritual, or ideological;
  • Fr. Mike in Chicago, whose words and life give me a model of Christian discipleship to which to aspire;
  • Fr. Evelio in DC, who by sharing prayer, reflections and food with us, teaches a weekly lesson in comensalidad;
  • Fr. Jose Eugenio, por su entrega total a la Renovación en Arlington y a los inmigrantes, aun cuando él estaba sufriendo mucho en su vida personal;
  • Fr. Virgilio, Fr. Juan, and Fr. Allen, who -- separately -- encouraged me to take the Hispanic Ministry Course at MACC in San Antonio, some of the best advice I've ever received. This course continues to be a reference point for me;
  • All the priests who have put their religious careers in jeopardy to stand up to the institutional Church on behalf of women (Fr. Roy, Fr. Larry, Fr. Greg,...) and gay people (Fr. Nicolas) because we need to support them like they are supporting us.

I could name many, many more but I'm going to stop here and I would like to encourage folks who read this post to add comments, mentioning the priests for whom they are giving thanks this Thanksgiving.

¡Un gran abrazo a todos ustedes, padres solidarios, en este Día de Acción de Gracias!

Oh Jesús!
Te ruego por tus fieles y fervorosos sacerdotes,
por tus sacerdotes tibios e infieles,
por tus sacerdotes que trabajan cerca o en lejanas misiones,
por tus sacerdotes que sufren tentación,
por tus sacerdotes que sufren soledad y desolación,
por tus jóvenes sacerdotes,
por tus sacerdotes ancianos,
por tus sacerdotes enfermos,
por tus sacerdotes agonizantes
por los que padecen en el purgatorio.
Pero sobre todo, te encomiendo a los sacerdotes que me son más
al sacerdote que me bautizó,
al que me absolvió de mis pecados,
a los sacerdotes a cuyas Misas he asistido y que me dieron tu Cuerpo
y Sangre en la Sagrada Comunión,
a los sacerdotes que me enseñaron e instruyeron, me alentaron y
a todos los sacerdotes a quienes me liga una deuda de gratitud,
especialmente a...

¡Oh Jesús, guárdalos a todos junto a tu Corazón y concédeles
abundantes bendiciones en el tiempo y en la eternidad!

O Jesus!
I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests,
Your lukewarm and unfaithful priests,
Your priests who work close by and in far off missions,
Your priests who suffer temptation,
Your priests who suffer loneliness and distress,
For Your young priests,
For Your old priests,
For Your sick priests,
For your dying priests,
For those who are enduring Purgatory.
But above all, I commend to You the priests
who are dearest to me --
the priest who baptized me,
the one who absolved me from my sins,
those whose Masses I attended and who gave me Your Body
and Blood in Holy Communion,
the priests who taught and instructed, encouraged and
counseled me,
all the priests to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, especially...

O Jesus, keep all of them in Your heart and grant them abundant blessings now and in eternity!

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