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Love Your Priests – All of Them

Blessed John Paul II gave the Church many beautiful gifts; among them were the Year of the Rosary (2002-2003) and the Year of the Eucharist (2004-2005).  In doing so, he encouraged priests, religious and laity to use these gifts and harness the spiritual power and strength that flows from them. Both he and his successor have urged their priests to make the Eucharist the source, center and summit of their priestly lives and to fully embrace and live their unique vocation as “another Christ.” 

During the Year for the Priest (2009-2010) Pope Benedict XVI held St. John Marie Vianney up as the model for all priests because the Cure of Ars accepted the cross, was full of zeal for the salvation of souls, was an ardent Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament, was greatly devoted to our Blessed Mother, a lover of sinners who spent hours daily reconciling them with their merciful God, a model of purity, humble in all things, lover of penance and mortification, and a good and holy priest.

Not a single priest should be hesitant to imitate this great priest and saint! There have always been John Vianneys in our midst. Thankfully, more priests are responding positively and wholeheartedly to the Holy Father’s challenge. We are beginning to experience the fruits of their faithful embrace of that call! While we certainly need more priests, we first need holy priests whose Christ-like example will attract other men to the priesthood they love.

Unfortunately, some have rejected this humble and obedient man as a model for their priestly lives. This should not be surprising.  We know from the words of the prophet Malachi and sadly from our own contemporary experiences that there will always be some who “have turned aside from the way and have caused many to falter by their instruction” (Mal.2:8).

There are a multitude of reasons why some priests have chosen not to follow the Cure’s example. There are those who have succumbed to a false sense of humility believing they are not capable of living such a life; or who refuse to make the Eucharist the source, center and summit of their priestly lives; or who have abandoned the cross, the altar, the pulpit, fraternal correction, the confessional, zeal for the salvation of souls or a life of self-sacrifice; or who have treated their priesthood as if it were no different than the secular vocations of lay men and women, by becoming community organizers and social activists instead of fishers of men; or who have placed a premium on being politically correct; or who have devoted most of their energies to the worldly sphere of influence instead of the supernatural and eternal one that flows from the Eucharist and the confessional; or who have failed to faithfully teach and defend the Truths of our Faith; or who, instead of “faithful assent” to all of the Church’s teachings, mislead themselves and untold numbers of others by suggesting that there is such a thing as “faithful dissent;” or who have remained silent in the presence of sin; or who have abandoned clerical dress for worldly attire; or who aspire to be treated more as a regular guy than “another Christ,” or who prefer to be called “sacramental minster” rather than a priest.

Our priests have supernatural tasks which cannot be done by relying on their natural abilities.  Yet some insist on trying to. How sad it is whenever I hear one of Christ’s overburdened priests claim that there are days when they are so busy they don’t pray! How can that be? Did not Jesus tell Martha to set her priorities in the right order? Were not the Cure of Ars, Fulton Sheen, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa busy people? Yet each of them spent at least one hour daily in front of the Blessed Sacrament because they knew it was He not them who would accomplish that which He asked them to do. Never once did their daily Holy Hour impede their ability to complete God’s work. To the contrary, it was because of their daily faithfulness to spending time in His Presence that they were able to do what they did. Why do so many doubt this truth?

Where are the lay people who have the expertise to do the worldly tasks that drain so much time and energy out of men who were ordained first and foremost for the salvation of souls, to say Mass, to forgive sins and to administer the other sacraments? None of our priests should be bookkeepers, financiers, purchasers, social workers, community organizers or clerks of the works. They are and must be about saving souls! Similarly, we lay people should be about using our skills to lighten our priest’s administrative tasks and evangelizing the unique areas in which we live and work instead of yearning for quasi-clerical positions.

The good news is that despite any shortcomings among some of our priests, all of them can yet be the holy priests God called them to be and that we need. They must put the Eucharist and the Mass at the center of their daily lives. They must listen and obey Christ’s Vicar on earth.  They must (as Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote) recognize that their sanctification (as well as ours) starts with a “lively faith in the Divine Presence,” “that their holiness makes the Church holy,” that their primary concern must “be the tabernacle, not the rectory, not the ego, but the Lord, not [their] comfort, but God’s glory,” and that “only those who believe the incredible can ever do the impossible.” 

Our priests certainly would also be well served, as Pope Benedict XVI suggested, to reflect on the words spoken to them as newly ordained priests when their Bishop presented them with the chalice and paten: “Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.”

I must hasten to acknowledge that we lay men and women share some blame for the current crisis in the priesthood. We have not fully appreciated our priests, or the enormous demands placed on them, or the unrelenting attack to which the Evil one subjects them.  In that sense, we have let these special men down. Too often we have failed to support or encourage them when they have shared the sometimes difficult demands of our Faith. Some of us have actually discouraged them from preaching the Truth.

Whatever we have failed to do, now is the time to make amends. Our priests need us and the power of our prayers. Just as there is no reason for any of them to fear emulating St. John Vianney, there is no Catholic who should hesitate offering a monthly novena to that great saint on behalf of our priests. It is a simple but powerful gift we owe them. You can find the novena here. Today would be a great time to begin!


Mike Seagriff is a Lay Dominican, husband, father, grandfather, attorney and former Administrative Law Judge. Mike is the author of Forgotten Truths To Set Faith Afire! – Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct. Visit his blog at Harvesting the Fruits of Contemplation.
  • Kathleen Woodman

    God bless you for writing this. Our priests do need a lot of prayerful and practical support.

  • www.TheName.ph

    I would like to thank you for opening my e-mail and giving me an opportunity to share with you some things that were revealed to me in my search for God.

    1. Why do the religions teach of Jesus from the book of the apostles if Jesus himself said,

    *”This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses,
    the Prophets and the Psalms.”
    Luke 24:44 (NIV)

    In these books there are things revealed that the religions never even gloss over. Such as the psalm of the morning star being attributed to Satan. In the Book of Revelations Jesus says,
    *”I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
    Revelation 22:16 (NIV)
    For the churches. If they have it right, why would he need to send a messenger as a reminder? And notice Jesus did not say it was him returning but his angel/messenger.

    2. Why do the religions say Jesus died for our sins, when in the Book of Ezekiel it clearly states from God’s own words,

    *The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.
    Ezekiel 18:20 (NIV)
    We will be responsible for our sins we commit to God and to other men. Do we still need Jesus for our sins to be forgiven?
    *”But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.
    Ezekiel 18:21 (NIV)

    3. Why do the religions teach Jesus died for our sins? Let us read the prophecy of Jesus:

    When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.
    II Samuel 7:12 (NIV)

    This is the promise given to David; a descendant will come from his bloodline. What will be the work of the descendant?

    He is the one who will build a house for my Name,
    and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
    II Samuel 7:13 (NIV)

    “to build a house with the Name of God” – if the descendant is successful, his kingdom will be forever, and what else will God give to him in return?

    I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong,
    I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.
    II Samuel 7:14 (NIV)

    “I will be his father, and he will be my son” – the descendant will be considered or be privileged to be “called” the “son of God,” this is the honor or title which will be conferred on him if he succeeds, though he is just a man.

    What is the condition?

    Maestro Evangelista says we should remember, when God summons His prophet, He always gives a blessing and a curse; if the prophet obeys and fulfills his mission – blessing and…

    …When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men,
    with floggings inflicted by men.
    II Samuel 7:14 (NIV)

    Now there is a condition given to the descendant, if he commits “wrong,” which is different from sin. When you commit sin, you did it yourself. When you commit “wrong,” it means you have made others to also commit the transgression. It will have a heavier punishment.

    These are just a few things that I discovered in my search for God. Also something that may help you against “mother church” is that God has a name written in the Bible. He told us in The Good Book. These revelations come from the website http://www.thename.ph, and make more since than the indoctrination that we recieve from church. If you have any questions once you have read this site please contact Maestro Erano Evangelista. He asks for nothing, but is willing to discuss with anyone the True Teachings of God. Please do not ignore this message, for even if it is the enemy it will be good to know the strategies he will use. If not you will see that God gave us a duty,

    Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
    Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the whole duty of man.
    Ecclesiastes 12:13 (New International Version)

    One of God’s most important commandments was keep the Sabbath, for it symbolizes the covenant between God and man. Did Jesus keep it? No on multiple occasions. Also honor your mother and father so you may LIVE A LONG FULFILLING LIFE. Jesus embarassed his family on many occasions. He even stated that if anyone comes to him and does not hate his mother and father… .Please I beg you read this and form your own opinion. God loves us and does not demand sacrifice, but fear of him and understanding of his commandments. Thank you so so so much for your time

  • www.TheName.ph

    Also read in revelations:
    Babylon the Great
    One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
    Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead:
    MYSTERY
    BABYLON THE GREAT
    THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
    AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
    Revelation 17:1-5 (NIV)
    “the punishment of the great prostitute” – A woman will be punished, who was she?.

    “who sits on many waters” – her presence is found in all nations in the world.

    “With her the kings of the earth” – the woman have connived with the leaders of the world throughout history in making the people of the world suffer under her.

    “the wine of her adulteries” – her false teachings.

    How was the woman described?

    “a woman sitting on a scarlet beast” – this woman was riding the “beast” which was mentioned earlier; symbolically, Jesus.

    “covered with blasphemous names…” – Yes, this was Jesus as exposed; he claimed to be a

    “son of God” and…

    “ten horns” – Its power is not infinite.

    “seven heads” – many, one main religion that had spawn many other religions, churches and beliefs.

    “crown” – Being given recognition and authority.

    Now, the woman is symbolic of the main religion that had taken and propagated the teaching of Jesus to the peoples of the world – Christianity!

    “The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.” – she is honored in many nations, and had accumulated wealth throughout the millennia through deception!

    “a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries” – her deceptive teachings and blasphemies, that made us suffer the Curse.

    “BABYLON THE GREAT” – likened to the great civilization of ancient times, that was also destroyed

    “THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” –
    Christianity that spawned many other forms of religions, all placed their faith in Jesus!
    This prophecy speaks of the destruction of the faith that has been placed on Jesus – the destruction of Christianity!

    What else?
    I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of
    those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
    Revelation 17:6 (NIV)
    “saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus” – who have died, executed or murdered

    “in the name of Jesus,” – they did it because the religions told them to sacrifice one’s life for Jesus is giving glory to God, which was not true.

    Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
    Revelation 17:7 (NIV)

    When “the foreigner” comes, who is Maestro Eraño Evangelista, the “beast” will be exposed together with the “woman” – Christianity. This is not only the Roman Catholic Church, but every religion and church that had put their faith in Jesus.

    The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
    Revelation 17:8 (NIV)

    “will come up out of the Abyss” – the “beast” will be unmasked of its true identity – Jesus.

    “go to his destruction” – The religions and churches that have put their faith in Jesus will also be destroyed.

    “whose names have not been written in the book of life” – Maestro Evangelista says, the teaching of God that gives life. Jesus was sent only to the people of Israel. When other people and religions had put their faith in him and came to be called Christians or with any other names, they were not included in the Promise of God that is only given to the people of Israel.

    “This calls for a mind with wisdom. THE SEVEN HEADS ARE THE SEVEN HILLS ON WHICH THE WOMAN SITS. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
    “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
    Revelation 17:9-13 (NIV)
    “seven hills on which the woman sits” – The seven hill of Rome! The Vatican, mother of all religions!

    “seven kings” – The other religions which have put their faith in Jesus.

    “an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction” -This is Islam; they have the same history and tradition with Christianity, regarding the return of Jesus and other teachings.

    “one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast” -This is the secret of the power of the beast, all religions are converging in the form of an ecumenical meeting where the Pope sits as the host, the mother of the religions, in the name of Jesus.
    They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with him will be his called chosen and faithful followers.”
    Revelation 17:14 (NIV)

    There will come a time when the religions will try to go against the modern-day “anointed” of God, Maestro Eraño Evangelista, “the foreigner.”

    What will happen to the religions? They will not succeed, because “the foreigner” is given authority by God to reveal the truth regarding the Name of God and the Testimony of Jesus.
    The religions with their deception will not prevail over the truth which Maestro Evangelista brings.

    Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.
    Revelation 17:15-17 (NIV)

    The people of the world never noticed, until now, that the religions and churches that had spawned from the Vatican were trying to topple its “mother,” without knowing they are truly fulfilling the teaching of Jesus, the teaching of “division!”

    The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
    Revelation 17:18 (NIV)
    “great city” – The Vatican, seat of Christianity, in the name of Jesus.

  • www.TheName.ph

    Also why is the Lords cross a mystery? God said,

    Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
    Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the whole duty of man.
    Ecclesiastes 12:13 (New International Version)

    Do you see a mystery there?