Bizarre and unusual! …

In my earlier years after ordination (and since) people would sometimes say something to the effect of “how nice it was to see me praying.”  With all due respect (and I mean no offense at all) to those who said that, I always thought it a peculiar thing to say, akin to saying, “how nice it was to see you eating a meal” (it is debatable whether that’s a nice sight or not)!

But it did occur to me along the way that it is actually, and sadly, somewhat of a rarity to see priests praying (apart from the liturgical rites themselves).  One almost detected an attitude that prayers and devotions were for the laity, and somehow priests were beyond that.  I sometimes wonder if some priests do in fact pray.  Immediately on saying that, I’m forced to chastise myself about being judgemental.  Surely they do pray in private.  But wouldn’t it be edifying to actually see them do it?  Perhaps we shouldn’t need to be edified by such externals, but we are only human, after all.

Thank you to those priests who clearly do pray: not just the liturgical and sacramental rites, but also the Liturgy of the Hours, and who make visits to the Blessed Sacrament, or make a holy hour, or say a rosary, or bless themselves when passing a chapel or church.  Your example is a reminder to me, and being a weak human being, I am grateful for the reminder and edification you give.  It is good for all of us to remember the silent witness of good example that we can give, and the encouragement it gives to others, without us even having to say a word.

I was prompted to write this after reading this post over at Psallite Sapienter, wherein the reader is reminded of canon 909 of the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 909 A priest is not to neglect to prepare himself properly through prayer for the celebration of the eucharistic sacrifice and to offer thanks to God at its completion.