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Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Priest and the Legion

OK. My first post :p

I read in an allocutio by Fr Francis Ripley that "[O]ne of the greatest glories of the Legion of Mary - a principal reason why it has made such rapid progress and is so respected throughout the Church - is its dependence upon the priest. The Legion is a living, compelling application in the practice of what could well become a slogan through the Catholic world: "THE PRIEST MUST HAVE MEMBERS." He is another Christ...Christ's work would have been brought to nothing if He had not formed a body for Himself of members united with Himself, as it were multiplying his personality, to carry on every aspect of His work. So does every good priest yearn to form a body for himself by gathering around him a group of people whom he can trust, to multiply his personality, to radiate his message, to be a living bridge between himself and the masses of the people and between the mass of the people and himself...
In every case the reason for the Legion's success was that bishops and priests saw the Legion in action. They soon became convinced that time spent at Legion meetings was not time wasted but time, as it were, multiplied...From that meeting twenty people may go out visiting in the parish. They are not priests, but they represent the priest and so share specially in his graces and spiritual power. If the Legion system has been followed exactly, they will be trained as specialists in all the techniques of apostleship. In many cases they may be more experienced than the priest himself. Often they can access where the priest cannot. If their spirit is all that it should be, they are imbued with the supernatural power and motherly gentleness of Our Lady, which in combination are utterly irresistible. "

I think this is very inspiring. Admittedly, our tertiary praesidia, or at least the ones at NUS don't seem to be aiding our spiritual directors in a obvious, direct way. Maybe we can slowly find ways in which we can be "members" of our SDs.
As a first step, let's always pray for them.

The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus last Friday, and the month of June (which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart) are good reminders to us of this since the Sacred Heart is associated with the priesthood (May 30 was also the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests).

So here's a prayer for priests that I came across:
Lord Jesus, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
and living perpetually among us through Your Priests,
grant that the words of Your Priests may be only Your words,
that their gestures be only Your gestures,
and that their lives be a true reflection of Your life.

Grant that they may be men who speak to God on behalf of His people,
and speak to His people of God.
Grant that they be courageous in service,
serving the Church as she asks to be served.

Grant that they may be men who witness to eternity in our time,
travelling on the paths of history in Your steps,
and doing good for all.

Grant that they may be faithful to their commitments,
zealous in their vocation and mission,
clear mirrors of their own identity,
and living the joy of the gift they have received.

We pray that Your Holy Mother, Mary,
present throughout Your life,
may be ever present in the life of Your Priests. Amen.


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