Thank God for Priests!

1 Timothy 5:17-18

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."

It can be a temptation of Catholics to take our priests for granted. It is worth asking, when we do, how much we should like to have to shoulder the burden of spending a large portion of one's life listening to the confessions of other people.  Not that this would necessarily be crushing.  Few among us are mass murderers.  Rather, it would be numbing, because so many among us sin in more or less the same monotonous ways.  It's tough, of course, to confess any sin.  But we are only in the confessional for a few minutes.  Father is in there off and on for his whole life, listening to the same litany of human failure and depravity.  It takes a hero to do that and, if you haven't lately, why not thank your priest the next time you see him?  He is worthy of double honor.  Then thank God for him too and see if there is something you can do to support him more consistently.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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