Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Apologies

My apologies to anyone who gets ticked at the following.

The other evening I was cruising through the internet world of clergy blogs--seeing what was on their minds and in their hearts. 
I came across the following:
Being a celibate and obedient priest is not something that people understand. The priest has no money, no wife, and no self-determination, and a lot of responsibility at a young age. 

Okay maybe...but before you isolate yourself and start posing for holy are some thoughts;

The other evening I sat with an older man who's wife had suffered through advanced cancer.  Do I need to extrapolate every detail to show that others do live celibate and obedient lives--and that perhaps they may understand (and live) celibacy and obedience more than those who take public promises?

Do I need to suggest that there are young doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals also have "a lot of responsibility at a young age"  (like life and death responsibilities).  We won't even mention parenthood and the responsibility inherent in that gift.

Do I need to suggest that having no money is really not something reserved to the young clergy?  What about not making the rent that month?  What about being given a pink slip at the company Christmas party?  What about being too old to retool and simply being forced into retirement.  Come on--no money...really? 

Do I need to remind the priest blogger of his life?  The rectory is provided.  Furniture is provided.  Bedding and carpeting and lawn mowers and even people to do those things are provided.  Even his food is provided and if he wants a cook he can have that provided.  The only person a priest needs to get to Mass in the morning is himself (often times walking no more than a hundred yards)--try loading up a family in the wagon---so careful priest blogger--before you paint a picture of monastic hardship and no self determination.

And lastly, do I need to share the observation that no other vocation has the almighty--Day Off? (Hey--remember I started this with an apology)

So be careful, priest blogger, becuase maybe the people of God are not only aware of the challenges to being a priest tht you list--but they are also living them.
And even if they don't understand--so what, does it really matter to your priesthood?

Remember I apologized at the beginning, and before the comments start--please note I didn't say 'all' clergy.