19 August – St. John Eudes: “Bad priests are a sign of God’s anger”

Today is the Feast of St. John Eudes, a great saint of the 17th c.  A great missionary. He was a promoter of devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and spiritual writer. Canonized in 1920’s, he has a gigantic statue in a niche in Saint Peter’s Basilica.  He founded the “Eudist” fathers.

I have posted this from St. John Eudes before, from The Priest: His Dignity and Obligations

On bad priests…

Bad priests are a sign of God’s anger

The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness. St. Gregory the Great says that priests and pastors will stand condemned before God as the murderers of any souls lost through neglect or silence….

When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, “Return, 0 ye revolting children . . . and I will give you pastors according to my own heart” (Jer. 3, 14-15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge visited upon the people in consequence of sin.

A good priest…

He is an ever burning and shining light set in the candelabra of Mother Church, burning before God and shining before men: burning in his own love for God, shining by his charity for his fellow man; burning with the perfection of his inner life, shining by the perfection of his exterior deportment; burning in fervent prayer for his people, shining by his preaching of the word of God. The priest is a sun cheering the world by his presence and bearing. He brings heavenly blessings into every heart. He dispels the ignorance and darkness of error and radiates on every side bright beams of celestial light. He extinguishes sin and gives life and grace to the multitudes. He imparts new life to the weak, inflames the lukewarm, fires more ardently those who are aglow with the sacred flame of divine love. He is an angel purifying, illuminating and perfecting the souls that God has entrusted to him. He is a seraph sent by God to teach men the science of salvation which is concerned only with knowing and loving Almighty God and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ. The priest is an archangel and a prince of the heavenly militia, waging constant war against the devil who strives to drag countless souls into the depths of hell. He is the real father of the children of God, with a heart filled with love which is truly paternal. That love urges him to work unceasingly to nourish his flock with the bread U the sacred word and of the sacraments, to clothe the faithful with Christ and the Holy Ghost, to enrich them with celestial blessings and to secure for them every possible assistance in the salvation of their souls. …

He is a captain in the mighty army of God, always ready to battle for the glory of God and the defense of Holy Mother Church. He is ever prepared to lay siege to the world, the flesh and the devil. For him the conquest of kingdoms means only the salvation of souls for each soul is a kingdom more precious than all the empires of the world.

Please pray for priests.  Pray for me.

Always on the right sidebar.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Cornelius says:

    Yes, and bad Bishops and Cardinals, plus a bad Pope, are signs that God’s patience with us is at an end.

  2. Ave Maria says:

    God is terribly angry with His people. The blood of the countless aborted children cry out. And when the lead shepherds turn to idol worship and embrace pagan practices, that is a final straw. Read the Old Testament and see what happens when the people turn so wicked and evil. Add to this the sacrileges and blasphemies and there is the perfect storm for punishment. (and bad shepherds)

  3. Not says:

    Thank you Father Z,
    Yes, we do pray for you and thank you for your post. You once again show us through St. John Eudes, that are answers can be found in our great church Fathers. Faith HOPE and Charity. If the next Pope is a good strong orthodox Pope, maybe his Papal Crest will contain a broom, to sweep away all the problems within the Church.

  4. Chiara says:

    I will pray for you with pleasure, Father. I pray for my own good pastor and vicar every day before the Blessed Sacrament. My Third Order Franciscan (not OFS) fraternity schedules us to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for the Pope, our bishops, our parish priests, and all seminarians every day of the week.

    Yes, there are some bad priests, some because of being badly formed and educated, or for other reasons. At one point my parish was in the hands of two consecutive bad pastors. As a fellow parishioner mentioned, “We must pray him into heaven.”

    Finally, thanks be to God, after 10 years of dealing with bad pastors, the Bishop sent our parish and sister parish a young pastor, only ordained for 7 years. He absolutely radiates the joy of our Faith. He is very faithful and hard-working. We love him and hope he never leaves. The recently improved quality of our seminary really shows in him and other young priests. Our vicar is recently retired, and they work together beautifully. We are blessed indeed.

    I encourage all who have a less than satisfactory pastor to pray hard – every day without fail. Several of my fellow parishioners and I prayed, “Good Jesus, in Your mercy, please send us a pastor who loves us, but who loves You more, and who will lead us faithfully.” And we prayed for the current pastor’s and future pastor’s spiritual and physical health and protection, again, every day without fail.

    It took a while, but I cannot tell you what peace and joy we have at my parish now.

    God bless and protect you, Father, and all here.

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  6. MrsBridge says:

    My parish had two young priests for three years, one from India and one from the local diocesan seminary. They were very bright and wonderful and they connected well with each other. This summer they were both re-appointed elsewhere. To my great joy, the two new and even younger priests we have received in their place have been equally if not even more serious, bright, joyful, and enthusiastic, just a year or two out of seminary. I love the camaraderie among the staff here. It makes this parish feel like a family. I am very encouraged about the young priests coming up. Thank you, Lord!

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