I Love My Priest


Gail DeMasi // Genius of the Call

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April 13  

During your homily this morning, I experienced a stoppage of all outside noise: I could only hear you voice. You spoke of Divine Mercy: after sincerely calling us all saints, you said Divine Mercy is for the soul in our lives who is suffering, or the person who has left the church, or the beloved with an addiction. You lovingly called each of us into the heart of Divine Mercy to find solace, comfort, and hope, believing that Mercy goes forth to all our loved hurting ones. I cried. My family thought it was because I was thinking of my son, but it was not for him. It was for the many minutes I was held in the beauty of you—Priest: an ethereal moment of being held spellbound in a supernatural love from my Lord, Christ, shining in you—Priest. It was a great mercy, that he enveloped me and you, Priest, in an experience of the invisible made visible. I will not forget.

In reflecting over my lifetime, I have known so many priests, yet I do not remember them as I ought. That changed in an instant. My mind has been flooded with memories of the good priests the Lord has placed in my path. I say “good” to be mindful of my reader who has had a deceptively sinful priest in their life: one who was an imposter and brought lifelong suffering. I am not immune to your pain and can say God knows you and he loves you.

I love my priest. I love all my priests I know now, my priests I have known, and my priests I will know. My mind is seamless in bringing forth my priests:

—The father I loved when we shared the presenters table, God rest his soul. You, Priest, gave all of yourself and brought the healing mercy of Christ to so many couples and individual souls. You shuddered when I told you we had blown your picture up, framed it, and hung it in our living room; I smile at you every day, and I feel loved.

—And you, Father, who have shared your heart and ministry with us in Rwanda and in our home. You suffered so much during the genocide, yet you worked untiringly for peace and reconciliation. You, Priest, holy man, and holy priest. May you now rest in peace.

—So many priests who have formed me and therefore my family. I see you all and see the Mercy of Christ. Forgive me the times I saw you only as man, only your faults, only the ways I did not “agree” with you.

Today I have been brought to my spiritual knees in thanksgiving for all my priests. Christ has opened my eyes to receive the gift of seeing him in my priests. He has cleansed my want to judge and replaced it with all heart, tears, and prayer. I would be nowhere without my priests, for they bring me Christ: body and soul, spirit and flesh. They have brought me my Lord and my God.

And I love my priest, who is my son, but is now my Priest. I weep, I am not sure why . . . is it love? Is it Mercy? Is it Truth?

We all have priests—who is your Priest?

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