"For what Christian can doubt that at the very hour of the offering, at the words of the Priest, at the words of the priest, the heavens are opened, the choirs of angels are present in that mystery of Jesus Christ, the lowest things are knit with the highest, the earthly things are united with the heavenly, the visible and the invisible are made one?"
-- St. Gregory the Great (Dialogues)
Prayer for Priestly Vocations
Jesus, who in the tenderness of Thy divine heart uttered the first cry of compassion in behalf of wretched humanity, eager to be guided towards the Way and the Light through the rough paths of the world; O Lord, who makest of Thy angels and ministers flames of fire; to this people which is and which wishes to be Thine, send many priests and clothe them in justice, that Thy saints may exult.
Thou who knowest all hearts, designate the elect to whom Thou wouldst confide this sublime ministry of truth and love. Enlighten their minds, that they may know the priceless grace of Thy divine call; fortify their wills, that they may not let themselves be conquered by laxity and pleasure, that they may not yield to the laxity of vain enjoyment; that they may not dally in the lowlands in the mists of human cupidity, that they may not tremble in the face of sacrifice, but, spreading their wings, may fly like the eagle towards the serene, resplendent heights of Thy eternal priesthood.
Convey to their parents how great and how incomparably fine a thing it is to give their sons to Thee; give them the strength to conquer attachments and contrary interests. Inspire generous souls with the efficacious desire of giving a helping hand to Thy elect whose poverty would be an obstacle in following Thy call; give to their teachers the necessary light to cultivate in these young hearts the delicate flower of vocation until the day on which, ardent and pure, they will be able to ascend Thy holy altar.
Then let them be, O Jesus, true angels for Thy people! Angels of purity, who prefer Thy divine love to any human love, even a tender and holy one; Angels of charity, who renounce the pleasures of an earthly family to create another, greater family, in which they will be the fathers and pastors, and whose little ones, the unhappy, suffering, and abandoned will be the special objects of their love; angels of light, who will make faith in Thee shine, like the morning star, in the mind of man; angels of sacrifice, who, like holocaustal flames will be consumed for the welfare of their brethren; angels of counsel and comfort, who will console them in sorrow, sustain them in their struggles, and point out to them in times of anguish and doubt the luminous way of virtue and duty; angels of grace, who purify souls, drawing them to Thee and uniting them with Thee by distributing to them the bread of life; angels of peace, who, in their last hour, will lead them to the inexpressible sweetness of desire for union with Thee, and caught up in the ecstasy of Thy divine embrace, will open for them the gates of heaven, where Thou art the light and the infinite joy of hearts forever. Amen!