Prayer and Sacrifice for Priests and Vocations
Where do priests come from? We cannot simply sit back and expect priests to continue to show up at Mass. Jesus told us that we have a direct impact on our future leaders through our prayers: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:36-38). Jesus calls us to action in our prayers and support for future shepherds.
One of the easiest ways to pray in support of future vocations, including our current seminarians, is to remember them during our regular prayers. Add vocations and seminarians to your intentions for Mass and the rosary. Include St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, to your list of intercessors. We can also add additional prayers for vocations, specifically asking the Lord to fulfill his promise to send us laborers for the harvest:
“God our Father, Who wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of Your Truth: We beg you to send laborers into Your harvest, and grant them grace to speak Your Word with all boldness; so that Your Word may spread and be glorified, and all nations may know You, the only God, and Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ your Son, Our Lord. Amen.”
Within the Exodus calendar, we are striving to remember the Ember Days, three penitential days (on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) that occur four times a year to mark the new seasons. Not only are they days of thanksgiving and penance, thanking God for all that he provides and asking his pardon for our sins, they also served as traditional days of prayer for priests, as ordinations often took place on Ember Days. As these days come up in the Exodus app, remember to pray especially for our current and future priests, offering your prayer and sacrifice for them.
Overall, we have to remember our Lord’s promise, “ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7). One of the things for which he told us to ask is more shepherds and laborers. Let’s remember this and never take our priests (current and future) for granted.
Dr. Staudt serves as Director of Content for Exodus and as an Instructor for the Lay Division of St. John Vianney Seminary. He is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option: Brewing a Catholic Culture Yesterday & Today (Angelico Press). He holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Ave Maria University and B.A. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He and wife, Anne, have six children and he is a Benedictine oblate.
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