Friday, July 22, 2011

The Devil's Grip on Priests

A good friend of mine, who does not have cable television, was urged to see Father Corapi speak last Fall while he was still traveling around the country to hold conferences.  She didn't know anything about him except that he was a favorite among some very orthodox priest friends.  She came away somewhat discouraged, feeling like he had spoken more about himself and his personal trainer than he had about the Lord and His Holy Mother.  Needless to say, when news broke about Father's very public fall, she wasn't surprised.  My mother also just learned the details of the accusations against Father Corapi. She is shocked at some of the details have been made public, but not necessarily surprised that yet another priest has fallen from grace.

"The Devil," she said, "does not easily loosen his grip, especially on priests."

I have heard some very disturbing things not only about priests whose names are well-known, but others who toil anonymously.  I received some very shocking news about one in particular yesterday.  The details and diocese are not important.  Suffice it to say it leaves me cold to hear of such hard falls from grace.  This was one I would never have seen coming.

Why?  Why are priests such a valuable conquest for the father of lies?

Because they are the only ones who can confect the Blessed Sacrament.  So-called women priests and Episcopal priests can wave their hands over bread and wine all they want, but they cannot consecrate the elements to become the Body and Blood of Christ.

It's been about 4 years since I made the decision to do everything possible to get to Daily Mass.  Sometimes, I look back on where I was spiritually a year ago, and I'm amazed at the progress I seem to have made.  Then I realize it has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with Jesus Christ and the graces I have received from frequent reception of the sacraments.   There is no bigger threat to the devil's grip than the Eucharist, so it should come as no surprise that priests are so often his target.

What to do about it?

-Make every effort to get to daily Mass.  At the very least, try to go on Saturday morning, a day traditionally devoted to Mary.

-When you receive Holy Communion, don't forget to lift the priest who celebrated the Mass to the Lord.

-Do not develop an attachment to any one priest.  Believe me when I tell you I am preaching to myself more than anyone else where this is concerned, but priests are priests, they're not rock stars and they don't need groupies and adoring fans.

-Much better to pray quietly for your priest than to inflate his ego with compliments and other words that will contribute, intentionally or not, to his vanity.

Prayer for Priests by St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus,
I pray for your faithful and fervent priests;
for your unfaithful and tepid priests;
for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields.
for your tempted priests;
for your lonely and desolate priests;
For your young priests;
for your dying priests;
for the souls of your priests in Purgatory.
But above all, I recommend to you the priests dearest to me:
the priest who baptized me;
the priests who absolved me from my sins;
the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion;
the priests who taught and instructed me;
all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way
(especially …).
O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart,
and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.


  1. I know you're right about daily Mass Joyce, and I feel the Lord tugging at my heart to make every effort to do that. How wonderful that you have seen His grace in action in your life. That is an encouragement for me to really take the step...Lord knows I desire change in my heart.
    About 3X a week is all I've managed so far.

    These falls from grace are very hard to take..
    Every time I hear it I feel such sorrow...It should drive us all to our knees..

    Thanks for this beautiful prayer by St Therese.

    Blessings and +PAX always

  2. It's sad, but you know there is so much focus on fallen priests (understandable given the news) but perhaps we should be focusing on all the good and great priests. They are human; they will fall like all of us. I bet the percentage of fallen priests is less than your average person on the street. I bet if we could gather statistics on it we would be surprised at the incredible high number of great and wonderful priests. Fallen priests make news becuase it's not what you expect. You've heard that journalist saying as to what makes news. If a dog bites a man, that's not news; if a man bites a dog, now that is news. LOL. My prayers to the fallen or falling priests.

    On a separate subject Joyce, I wanted to tell you how I stopped at Eucharistic adoration today, right around 3 PM and they had a Divine Mercy Chaplet recitation and I participated. It was wonderful! I find it very hard to recite repetive prayers on my own, but in a group setting it was great. I thought of you after, since you speak of it so often. Unfortunately i'm usually at work at that time or I would do it often.

  3. hi Caroline, yes, if there is one thing I will promote til I can't anymore, it's daily Mass. What an absolute treasure we have and how few take advantage. I truly feel for those who have jobs that prohibit them from getting to daily Mass. My family is worried I'd make them starve if I ever had to take a job where I couldn't get there most days. I don't know how anyone could just go to Mass once a week and be satisfied with that.

    Manny, the problem is that we have so few priests to begin with. It's true that some of the problems in the priesthood happen with probably the same regularity as they do in other religious communities, like the one where little Leiby was murdered last week. There was an eye-opening piece in the New York Times about how closed communities often bury problems such as pedophilia, etc. So it's not unique to the Catholic Church, but it doesn't make it any less painful.


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