Father Mercy

A holy priest is the love of God visible in a human being. A priest with genuine concern for souls can touch the heart of sinful man in a deep, profound way. A priest can do something that even the angels can’t do: he can place the flesh and blood of the Son of the Living God on our tongues for the nourishment of our souls. He can forgive our sins and faults and failings while uttering the most beautiful words on this side of paradise: “I
absolve you from your sins”. The power of the priesthood! It should move us
to pray and fast for our priests that they will be holy, that they will be true fathers to their spiritual children who need them so much. No priest, no Eucharist, no Eucharist, we die.
I watched the movie “Father Mercy” with my wife and children last night. The story of an Italian priest during World War II who volunteers to go to the front lines and minister to the men who “need me”, this film portrays a priest whose heart is “after the heart of God”. Courageous, passionate, tender, concerned, masculine & tough – this priest’s name was Father Carlo Gnocchi and he has been declared Venerable by the Holy Father.
The key word here is “Father”. A good friend of mine told me of the time that his wife called her kindly pastor at 2:00 in the morning for help – his response was not to tell her to call him in the morning or to make an appointment – he told her “you come here right now”. He counseled her for 2 hours into the wee hours of the morning. THAT is the heart of God – all attention on his child who needed him.
I just read this morning that the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is having difficulty housing the growing numbers of young men eager to begin preparing themselves for the great adventure of being a priest of God.
Saint John Vianney wrote extensively about the priesthood – his simple style of writing is worth reading for a better appreciation of our priests. It is reported that when he died and his outer garments were removed, St. John Vianney’s emaciated frame resembled a skeleton – he lived on very little food and his rigorous fasting revealed the heart of a true shepherd, a spiritual Father willing to expend himself for his people.
Lastly, we should always remember that our priests are Our Blessed Mother’s favorite sons. They are very special to her.
Daily snippet: Mother Theresa of Calcutta: If we can’t love our brothers and sisters who we see, how can we love God who we can’t see?
More later….