Card. Hummes: Without prayer, priests die of starvation.

From CNA:

Cardinal Hummes calls priests to strengthen ministry through prayer

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2009 / 06:57 pm (CNA).- The prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, encouraged priests this week not to neglect prayer because it strengthens their ministry by cultivating “the intimacy of the disciple with his Master, Jesus Christ.”

“Truly without the essential nourishment of prayer, the priest becomes ill.  The disciple cannot find the strength to follow the Master, and thus, he dies of starvation,” the cardinal warned in a letter.

Cardinal Hummes recalled that “prayer occupies a central place in the life of the priest,” and is a weapon for overcoming the devil, who seeks to weaken the shepherd in order to destroy the sheep.

St. John Chrysostom warned that a decrease in shepherds always leads to a decline in the number of faithful in a community.  Without shepherds, our communities will be destroyed,” he explained.

The prelate added that a lack of prayer leads to “less joy and happiness in ministry each day.”  When a priest realizes “that his prayer life is weak, that is the time to address the Holy Spirit and pray.”

“The Spirit will reignite the passion and fervor for the Lord, who is always there…”

The cardinal encouraged priests to draw close to the manger in order to renew their friendship and discipleship, in order to be sent anew by Christ as his evangelizers.


I would add something.

Pray for priests.

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  1. I’ll continue to pray for priests. Thanks for this.

  2. yatzer says:

    Every day

  3. Agnes says:

    Absolutely. And I think it goes for all disciples of Christ, religious and lay. Fathers and mothers too – if we cease to pray, what happens to our children?

  4. AnnaTrad51 says:

    Prayers for priests is an absolutely essential part of our daily prayer.I think part of the problem today is that this practice has greatly diminished over the past 40 years. It is very easy to add them to our Rosary, offer small sacrifices and even pray to be able to help a priest and carry his cross, there are countless ways in which we can help and pray for them.

  5. idatom says:

    Fr. Z;

    I would add, Bishop Sheen in his retreats for priest, continuously recommended a holy hour each day before the Blessed Sacrament. Please Padres do this.

    Yes pray for priest, have Masses read for them, the devil hates them. He knows the Mass is real and he prevents them any way he can.

    I think many of today’s young priest will see their brother priest martyred, even here in the USA.

    Merry Christmas
    Tom Lanter

  6. albizzi says:

    Prayers fends off temptations.
    The paedophilia in priesthood is one of the the sad outcomes of the lack of priest’s personal prayers together with those of the catholic faithfuls.
    Let’s pray for our priests, let’s bring back the end of mass prayer to St Michael the Archangel that was insanely cancelled after the council.
    I wondered long ago if it was strictly forbidden by the Novus Ordo until our parish priest recently began to say it at each mass.

  7. Allan S. says:

    My Archdiocese distributed parayer cards for the Year of the Priest featuring a nice icon “Eternal High Priest” and a prayer for priests on the reverse, which I have at work and start the day with.

    Their resource page is here:

  8. An American Mother says:

    Our parish distributed little cards – which can be used as a bookmark – with a Prayer for Priests and the names of all our parish clergy on the back. They certainly need our prayers — they are on the go ALL the time.

  9. Bryan says:

    I add in, in between each decade of my rosary, after the Fatima prayer, and this is me…but, you all can take it as need be…Jerry Coniker’s prayer:

    “God our Father, please send us holy priests. All for the sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all for the sorrowful and immaculate heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph”.

    FWIW. Feel free to use it, as I do, in praying for these sons of our Blessed Mother, and tie them, in our prayers, more tightly to Mary.

  10. irishgirl says:

    I offer my Rosary every day for priests and seminarians. I include the names of priests I know along with the general intention.

    They are under such attack these days.

    Mary, Mother of Priests and Queen of the Clergy, keep them under your mantle.

  11. Ferde Rombola says:

    It has always been my opinion there is no group of people in the world more under attack from satan than Catholic priests. I pray for them daily — the ones I know by name and the rest generally.

    In our Adoration chapel there are prayers for priests within easy reach, one by St. John Vianney and another by Cardinal Cushing. We are encouraged to say those prayers at every visit to the Blessed Sacrament. We can never do enough.

  12. mrsmontoya says:

    I am saying the Luminous Mysteries now for all priests, those I know by name and those I don’t.

  13. JosephMary says:

    My Mondays and Thursdays are especially dedicated for priests; Sunday is for my Archbishop, bishop, diocese and parish.

    It shows when a priest is a man of prayer and it shows when he is not. And then, of course, we are all called to be souls of prayer (remember what St. Alphonsus said?) but priests most especially.

    I don’t remember who exactly said it but it might have been Arbp. Sheen who said that a priest, no matter how busy he is , needs to have a holy hour every day. Someone asked about bishops whose duties are so enourmous and Abp. Sheen said, well, they need 2 hours!

    And there was dear Mother Angelica who said she just prays and gives the first three hours of the day to Jesus and He takes care of the rest of the day.

  14. dvalle27 says:

    Good to see a Brazilian prelate giving good advice and being quoted at WDTPRS.
    There IS hope, after all



  15. Thank God, a brazilian Cardinal has said something not related to politics (when they do, it is always a leftisti comment).

  16. amsjj1002 says:

    I’m so glad the Holy Father made this the Year of the Priest. It has made me aware of the need to pray for them every day.

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