“Activism by itself can even be heroic, but in the end external action is fruitless and loses its effectiveness unless it is born from deep inner communion with Christ. “
(Pope Benedict XVI, Homily from Holy Thursday Chrism Mass, Rome, 13 April 2006)
Diocesan Priests can be busy people who often have to be people who are multi-tasking. There is always the danger to be “on the go.” While this in itself is good and there is no doubt that the ministry of the priest can be sanctifying what he says and does there is always the danger that he may fall doing things “out of a sense of duty” or a vague or ill-informed functionalism. Inevitably he simply becomes a machine who consciously or unconsciously has eclipsed the reality of God from his Priesthood. Yet, no priest can ever own his Priesthood because it is gift. We must root ourselves in God. The aim of our Priesthood is to live it for the greater glory of God, for the good of the Church and for service in the Church. We must not become un-hinged. We must never become the lone-ranger because that is when the self-centredness of the individual becomes all too clear for others to see. We must maintain that relationship with Christ from which flows our relationship with fellow priests. Every priest must remember to say his prayers, not just the liturgy of the hours but his own personal prayers that keeps him connected with God and the people to whom he serves. If the priest becomes disconnected he, in time, fails to feed the people who are looking to be fed. If he prayers, his people knows that he prays through his sermons and the way in which he celebrates the Eucharist. It is easy for the Priest to feel that he must be on the go. Yet, the Priest who gives time to prayer, spiritual reading, study and personal reflection may be the more effective minister of word and sacrament which is at the heart of his Priesthood. We must always find a balance that allows us to be both engaged and active in our Priesthood and at the same time take quality time to remain in touch with God, other Priests for the good of the People we have been called to serve.
Rev. Paul Milarvie