November 21, 2008

From My Confessor

It's lonely to be a priest. It just is. But in a certain and very real sense this is necessary. The priest has to know something of the loneliness of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, because this is where we see the classic expression of the perfect unity of his human and divine wills.

For us who are mixed in our motivations, it will be our daily practice and cooperation with grace that will bend our will to the divine. As with Jesus in the garden, it is in our own loneliness that we see this task before us most clearly. Our experience of alone-ness can be either the occasion of the sin of turning back on ourselves and indulging in loneliness, or turning from ourselves in the solitude that reaches out to the One who is.

3 comments:

GrandmaK said...

I wonder if John the Baptist felt that "aloneness" when he urged his followers to go to Jesus. Is there joy in that form of loneliness? To know that by sending them away he was working for the greater good. And, though alone, still joined in that eternal cooperation. That desert experience is frightening to me. My admiration to you and all religious as they journey alone. Thank you for your insight. Cathy

Gentledove said...

Yes and St Paul knew it too, he asks are we [St Barnabas]the only ones among the apostles who have no right to lead about a sister wife? but he forewent his right that he might have the greater prize of winning people to the holy faith. St Barnabus is the patron saint of comfort.

Pia said...

I think living out any vocation can be lonely, even marriage. In any case, may your loneliness be vast and fruitful...(see my latest post).