Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Thank God for Priests!

1 Timothy 5:17-18

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially
those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, "You shall
not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves
his wages."

It can be a temptation of Catholics to take our priests for granted. It is
worth asking, when we do, how much we should like to have to shoulder the burden
of spending a large portion of one's life listening to the confessions of other
people. Not that this would necessarily be crushing. Few among us are mass
murderers. Rather, it would be numbing, because so many among us sin in more or
less the same monotonous ways. It's tough, of course, to confess any sin. But
we are only in the confessional for a few minutes. Father is in there off and
on for his whole life, listening to the same litany of human failure and
depravity. It takes a hero to do that and, if you haven't lately, why not thank
your priest the next time you see him? He is worthy of double honor. Then
thank God for him too and see if there is something you can do to support him
more consistently.