A Saintly Jesuit's Prayer for Priests

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"O my God, I burn with desire for the sanctification of Thy priests."

On this feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, I am pleased to offer a prayer by the saintly Irish Jesuit Father William Doyle. Those familiar with Father Willie's writings will recognize straightaway his distinctive blend of manly fervour and passion for the Most Holy Eucharist.

O my God, pour out in abundance Thy spirit of sacrifice upon Thy priests.
It is both their glory and their duty to become victims,
to be burnt up for souls,
to live without ordinary joys,
to be often the objects of distrust, injustice, and persecution.

The words they say every day at the altar,
"This is my Body, this is my Blood,"
grant them to apply to themselves:
"I am no longer myself, I am Jesus, Jesus crucified.
I am, like the bread and wine, a substance no longer itself,
but by consecration another."

O my God, I burn with desire for the sanctification of Thy priests.
I wish all the priestly hands which touch Thee were hands whose touch is gentle and pleasing to Thee,
that all the mouths uttering such sublime words at the altar should never descend to speaking trivialities.

Let priests in all their person stay at the level of their lofty functions,
let every man find them simple and great, like the Holy Eucharist,
accessible to all yet above the rest of men.
O my God, grant them to carry with them from the Mass of today,
a thirst for the Mass of tomorrow,
and grant them, ladened themselves with gifts,
to share these abundantly with their fellow men. Amen.


Such a perfect prayer. I will say it often.

Thank you and God bless you, Father.


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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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