Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Acquainted with Sorrow

Wednesdays at the seminary, we break with the typical daily schedule to spend time doing more specifically formative activities. These range from brief talks delivered by the rector or director of spiritual formation to classroom style lectures on various aspects of priesthood. Last Wednesday, Fr. Jeff Huard spoke to the deacon class about the public nature of living as a cleric. Among other things, he recommended that the priest needs to be a man "acquainted with sorrow."

As I understand Fr. Huard, he was suggesting that the priest needs to be a man who can enter into the sorrow of others and help them carry that burden. In doing so, the priest lifts some of the weight of suffering and sorrow on himself. He in turn, carrying his part of the burden, must then offer them on the cross. This occurs in his offering of the Mass and in his daily prayers.

This idea was not altogether new to me, but its reality was struck me afresh yesterday as I visited a woman in my teaching parish. She is a recent widow. He husband died of cancer about a month ago. During his illness, she was also diagnosed with cancer, and for a period of time, the two of them shared the beautifully intimate moments of caring for one another. Now, though, he is gone and she remains, still sick, more worried than ever, and terribly lonely in her house. She told me that she wants to get out and try to distract herself from her sorrows, but she cannot because of her own illness. Ths she is left to sit around at home. She constantly plays music just to create some noise. The house is too quiet now that she is alone.
I stayed with her for about forty minutes until her son arrived to help her with some household chores.

Her sorrow has been very close to me today. I think that is a good thing.

1 comment:

J. Thorp said...

Good thing you've got deep roots and strong limbs, my friend. You can bear it.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.