This letter was presented to our parish priest, Father Peter, on the Feast of Epiphany, 2021. The letter has been modified slightly to remind all of the priests God has placed on our path how grateful we are for their daily Yes. It truly matters.
We have no idea the battles our priests wage for our souls daily. Please pray for your parish priest - all priests, and thank them often.
Thank you, a truly heart-felt thank you for your daily, “Yes!” I know I say it a lot and will continue to say it – thank you.
Your daily, “Yes!” opens heaven for my family and me, laying yourself down as a bridge between heaven and earth through your prayers, sacrifices, and the sacraments. Your, “Yes!” draws down grace upon grace for your sheepfold, nourishing us with the grace we need to continue to climb the mountain of holiness. These graces are unmerited, yet through you, God lavishes His love and mercy on our souls. You give of yourself for our sanctification. And, in the immortal words of St. Mother Teresa, “You give until it hurts.”
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, this blessed action of Our Lord in our tender children’s souls, the divine life was imparted in them. You are a channel of grace for the Holy Spirit, enriching our children with the new life of sanctifying grace, through the door of baptism, becoming members of His Mystical Body – cleansed of Original sin.
Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, you enrich our understanding of His word, with thoughtful, inspiring, and even challenging truths. You bring Jesus to us in the Eucharist, present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - the Source and Summit of our Catholic faith. Thank you for allowing us to receive Him with reverence.
Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you allow Jesus to lavish His love and mercy on our brokenness – cleansing our souls in His love and mercy. Thank you for making this available to us frequently. It matters.
Through the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, you are a channel of grace, bringing spiritual and physical strength through the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for blessing us with this precious gift. Many sheep in your flock have been blessed by your generous “Yes!” in the Last Rites, bringing many of these graces together, equipping souls as they fall asleep in this world, only to awake in the hope of eternity with Our Lord. And I know this call requires you to avail yourself at all hours of the day and night. You give, and you give, enabling the Lord to bless us through you. Again, it matters.
Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, you allow the Holy spirit to enrich our children with a special strength, equipping them to be true witnesses of Christ, spreading and defending their faith by word and deed. Your zeal for God’s grace through the sacraments, and generosity for your flock, is changing the world, one soul at a time, refreshing us on our journey back to Him in an eternal family. As parents to seven of these precious souls, we find ourselves at a loss for words, as your generosity is supernatural and larger than life.
As you promised at your ordination, you most assuredly “exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely”; “celebrate faithfully and reverently the mysteries of Christ, especially the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation”; and I personally witness you strive to “pray without ceasing”; and “resolve to be united more closely every day to Christ the High Priest, having consecrated yourself to God for the salvation of all”.
Thank you for living a life of sanctity, striving daily for holiness. Your flock sees and is inspired by your example. Your life in Christ is a witness for our children, should they be set apart and called into the priesthood or consecrated life as you have been. Your example is leading our children’s hearts to openness to God’s call, should this be His Will.
Thank you for living out your call in Christ’s Church for love of Him and your flock. Again, it matters.
Sincerely, in Christ,
Nate & Kristen & Co.
Source: Eucharistic Adoration for Priests: Catholic Priests: Bridges Between Heaven and Earth & The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1