A priest, reminiscing with friends concerning the times they spent together on Mondays for talks on different aspects of their work, remembers that it was not easy to sit attentively while hearing lectures. He mentioned that during these lectures a few of the priests were valiantly trying to keep themselves from dozing, and the professor, seeing the effort, commented that they must have had a busy weekend.
incident was recalled by the priest in his column for the Catholic
Times. At the time, the speaker, was an assistant priest who was responsible for
the funeral and wedding Masses, morning Masses, and Masses for the
young; it was a busy week, he told the Professor, who was surprised at
the answer. "I understand the work that you are doing, he said, "but it
seems to me that when you are saying Masses it should recharge you to do
your work with new vigor and energy."
that time on, the priest never ever said he was tired from the Masses he
said. Many decades have passed and the Masses and communions have been a
source of recharging and renewal for the work.
Mass has, indeed, been life-giving. An antidote to our common experience
of life, which at times is difficult and tedious, leaving us with a
feeling of burn out, and dreaming of the kind of existence we would like
to enjoy. Stress is felt by all of us. Even priests, who have devoted
their lives to the service of others, find that even relating with their
parishioners and fulfilling the requirements of a sacramental life can
be tiring and unsatisfying.
is at those times that we have to reflect not on what we are doing as
much as on the one doing. Our being is what is important. By focusing on
the one doing the work, we nourish the work, making it more effective
in helping others. Seeing ourselves with different, more understanding
eyes allows us to receive new strength for the work. God has led us to
where we are. We should trust that he will continue to move us with
grace, making our
response one of surprise and gratitude--and more effective.