Catholic Priesthood

“Mondays with Mary” – Christ’s Friendship with the Priest and Mary’s Role In It

Since yesterday was the 50th Day of Prayer for Vocations and Good Shepherd Sunday, today’s “Mondays with Mary” comes from the Holy Thursday Letter of Blessed John Paul II – Behold Your Mother: Mary in the Life of the Priest. As many of you know, I have a great devotion to Blessed John Paul II and have written about him many times on this blog. He is the one “Blessed” that I go too most often when asking for the intercession of prayers.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla counseled many couples preparing for marriage. He also gave us the Theology of the Body. This great body of work is already making large waves in the Catholic Church and will continue to be a major foundation of support for those looking to love their spouses (as man and woman) with the dignity we all deserve. If you are interested in learning more about the Theology of Body, contact the Catholic Publisher – Ascension Press. They offer fantastic trainings for individuals who want to know more about TOB and other Catholic topics.

The below excerpt is from the paragraph 6 in the aforementioned letter by Blessed John Paul II –

“Meeting today, on Holy Thursday, at the birthplace of our priesthood, we desire to read its fullest meaning through the prism of the Council teaching about the Church and her mission.The figure of the Mother of God belongs to this teaching in its entirety, as do the reflections of the present meditation. Speaking from the cross on Golgotha, Christ said to the disciple: “Behold, your mother.” And the disciple “took her to his own home” as Mother. Let us also take Mary as Mother into the interior “home” of our priesthood. For we belong to the “faithful in whose rebirth and development” the Mother of God “cooperates with a maternal love.” Yes we have, in a certain sense, a special “right” to this love in consideration of the mystery of the Upper Room. Christ said: “No longer do I call you servants…, but I have called you friends” (Jn 15:15). Without this “friendship” it would be difficult to think that, after the apostles, he would entrust to us the sacrament of his Body and Blood, the sacrament of his redeeming death and resurrection, in order that we might celebrate this ineffable sacrament in his name, indeed, in persona Christi. Without this special “friendship” it would also be difficult to think about Easter evening, when the Risen Lord appeared in the midst of the apostles, saying to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22-23).

Such a friendship involves a commitment. Such a friendship should instill a holy fear, a much greater sense of responsibility, a much greater readiness to give of oneself all that one can, with the help of God. In the Upper Room such a friendship has been profoundly sealed with the promise of the Paraclete: “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you…He will bear witness to me, and you also are witnesses” (Jn 14:26; 15:26-27).

We always feel unworthy of Christ’s friendship. But it is a good thing that we should have a holy fear of not remaining faithful to it. The Mother of Christ knows all this. She herself has understood most completely the meaning of the words spoken to her during his agony on the cross: “Woman, behold, your son…Behold, your mother.” They referred to her and to the disciple-one of those to whom Christ said in the Upper Room: “You are my friends” (Jn 15:14); they referred to John and to all those who, through the mystery of the Last Supper, share in the same “friendship.” The Mother of God, who (as the Council teaches) cooperates, with a mother’s love, in the rebirth and the training of all those who become brothers of her Son-who become his friends-will do everything in her power so that they may not betray this holy friendship. So that they may be worthy of it.”

Let us pray that our priests will be men of holiness and friendship so they can mirror Jesus Christ. We ask the Blessed Mother to guide them in their priestly ministry so that they can bring save souls for the Kingdom of God. We pray for the intercession of all the saints that are priests, especially Blessed John Paul II, to direct them in the correct practices and disciplines as holy priests. 

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