Updated: Jun 25, 2021
Our priests need us – to pray for them – for always!
I was teaching a student the other day, and while we were searching for something that he needed to see online, an advertisement for a new Marvel Series popped up on my screen. “Wow.” He said to me. “I can’t wait for that to come out.”
I do not really follow the comics or the action heroes that go with them and I am shamefully unfamiliar with all the latest Marvel instalments, and apart from some Spiderman and Batman bedding and a few dress ups when my children were younger, I have not have a lot to do with superheroes.
But just because I am not really interested in them, does not mean that I do not understand them. For I do. I know what those superheroes are like. They are usually muscular and strong and brave and true and they do good things for others to help to save the world from terrible disasters and dangers, like the lunatics of Gotham or the corruption of Loki. And they usually do these things with the help of a faithful sidekick. The superhero archetype is a popular one in Western culture.
Recently, the Hollywood actor Zac Efron met a waitress in a Byron Bay café and dated her for a period of time. Though Zac Efron has not played a superhero in film, his personality as a Hollywood star means that the media watched their every move and dissected their entire relationship. Why? Because we are continually fascinated that a star like that could collide with a mere mortal one of us, and it gives us hope…
Part of this fascination with celebrities is because we are easily bedazzled by fame and fortune – perhaps this really is the wickedness of the Evil One that encourages us to place our value in what the world perceives as great.
But there is another part – another explanation – of this fixation too.
We humans are social creatures. Made as we are in the Image of God, we cannot help but be social. After all, God Himself is THREE PERSONS in the Blessed Trinity. And if God is social with Himself as three Persons in one God, then surely we – who are made in His Holy Image – are also social in nature. And it is because we are social, that we are constantly attracted to other humans, and the more brightly those humans shine the more easily we are attracted to them.
I was reflecting on this today in my prayers.
I was thinking of the powers of these chosen few – both in their films and in life. In their films they have superpowers and in real life they have fame and fortune. And it suddenly occurred to me today, that we could classify our Priests as superheroes too!
Now, this is not to say that our priests are perfect. THEY ARE NOT.
But let us think about it for a minute…
Our priests have amazing superpowers. During the Holy Mass – and indeed during all the sacraments – the hands of our priests are not their own hands. At those times, the Hands of the Priest are the very hands of God.
It is God Himself – through the hands of our priests – who works His wonders through the sacraments.
And they have no fame or fortune here – at least a Holy Priest should have none. And yet they are richer than words can say.
After all, they have access to the most valuable thing in all creation…
They have access to the Blessed Sacrament. They have the GOD-GIVEN POWER to turn a scrap of bread and a slurp of wine into GOD HIMSELF – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity!
I cannot fathom a more wonderful superpower than that.
And upon reflection, I can see how I fit in to all of this. Me – sinful and weak as I am…
Now, I shall finally and truly take the advice of one of my sisters, who has for years been asking me to pray fervently for priests… I shall follow the example of Saint Therese of Lisieux – and though I am no Carmelite, I shall be inspired by her, for she wrote in her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”, “I came to (Carmel) to save souls and especially to pray for priests.”
For after all, every superhero needs a faithful sidekick…
For the superheroes exist to give us hope… And if we stay close to them in prayer, what wonderful hope we shall have!
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.