On the Catholic Priesthood

Tuesday March 05, 2019

Lenten Reading plan: Daily readings from St. John Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests

There are forty days of Lent – but there are more than forty days listed below! This is because Sundays and the days of the Sacred Triduum are not counted as part of the forty days of Lent. But in our spiritual discipline, it is good to have a certain consistency every day. Therefore, I have included enough daily readings for all of the days from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday.
The texts provided below are taken from the catecheses, exhortations, and sermon excerpts of the Holy Curé of Ars, Saint John Vianney. During this Year for Priests, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has held up this important saint as a model for all parish priests. His writings contain a great depth of spirituality and wisdom.
These daily readings, which vary in length, will be a spiritual nourishment for all who read them. And as you read them, remember to pray for your priests: who baptized you, confirmed you, married you, anointed you, heard your confessions, and celebrated Mass for you. Your priest prays for you each day in his Mass and Breviary; do not forget to pray for him!

Source: Fr. Bryan W. Jerabek (Huntsville, Alabama, 2010)

Sacrifice and Reparation

Given the fact that the deepest sorrows of Christ's Heart are the scandals that involve His "other selves," His priests whom He has so loved and has so desired to draw into the highest sanctity, "How then shall we respond?" It should be the response "that a son or daughter would make; would go over and take the mother's hand and say, "Never mind, mother, I'll make up for the one that has hurt you. I'll make reparation. I'll pay that bill. I'll take up that burden. I'll lighten your cross." In a word, the evidence of infidelity in priests should arouse in the hearts of Christ's faithful the wish to expiate.


Why reparation? Because "this devil in the priestly heart is cast out only by prayer and fasting." Not by prayer alone, but by prayer and mortification. This need not mean extraordinary bodily austerities. But it does mean the patient endurance of whatever trials the Lord may send; or the withdrawal of the pleasures and satisfactions previously had; or the silent endurance of rejection and mistrust; or the quiet bearing up with a painful illness, disability or wasting disease. What form the mortification takes is secondary. What is primary is the will to expiate. And this will should become imperative: "Progressively and always with the restraint that is guided by humble obedience to spiritual direction and to superiors, way down deep we must develop a thirst for reparation; and it will come logically in the supernatural order, as we grow in the love of Jesus."

Source A Prophet for the Priesthood, A Spiritual Biography of Father Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald. by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.