Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 08 August 2022
My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ:
Thank you very much for your greetings and prayers last August 04, the feast of our patron saint, John Marie Vianney.
Thank you for showing us and sharing with us Jesus Christ our Lord and High Priest.
Thank you for your trust, for your friendship and support to us your priests.
Thank you for your many gifts and for providing for our needs.
Thank you for journeying with us.
So often, you ask us your priests for prayers.
Today, please allow me to share with you some prayerful requests for us priests to remain holy like Jesus Christ and most especially, for us "to smell like you his flock" as Pope Francis had told us priests during the first few months of his pontificate.
It is not enough that you pray for us to become good and holy priests; give us also the chance to be one.
First of all, give us the time to pray.
Yes, we priests have to be with you the flock but please keep in mind, we must first spend more time with our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Before you came and all the other ministries and activities we have to attend to, Jesus Christ came first to us. He called us first to be with him. Allow Jesus to have more of our time and attention in real prayer.
We do not have a night life like you; once in a while, we may join you for dinner and get together but please be conscious of time when inviting us in the evening. We should be home in Jesus at night, praying and preparing for the Mass early the following day. We are not supposed to get drunk with beer and alcohol or coffee nor attend your ballroom dancing. Most of all, we are not supposed to be recreating late in the night especially with lay people, young and old alike, regardless of your social status. Buhay po namin ang pagdarasal.
Second, give us the chance to do something good.
Our life is a life of service, of doing good. We are happy receiving all kinds of gifts from you. But please, believe us when we refuse to receive especially money or anything for a service rendered to you. It is purely out of love. We feel sad, even insulted, when every thing we do is given with financial remunerations.
We are poor but the same poverty is our gift to you. When we visit you to anoint your sick family member or simply to see how you are doing, that's true! We just miss you because we love you and care for you. Huwag ninyong bigyan ng ano mang kapalit ang mga paglilingkod namin sa inyo. Bahal ang Diyos sa amin.
Third, do not be sad and insulted when we give or share with others your gifts to us.
Rejoice and thank God when priests share with others your gifts because that means God had used you as his instruments in helping the poor and needy. Most of all, when we priests give your gifts to others, that means we are not selfish; be afraid, be concerned when priests hoard goods and other gifts from parishioners. Baka may pamilya na siyang binubuhay!
Fourth, help us to remain celibate.
Celibacy is the most beautiful gift of priesthood to priests and to people alike: in renouncing marriage and choosing to remain single for God, celibacy enables us priests to proclaim our faith in the strongest terms as witnesses of the goodness of God, the reality of heaven, and the truth that love and sacrifice are one.
You find us "abnormal" for renouncing sex and marriage? Fine.
Celibacy is a state of life that is most unusual only God understands. Iba po talaga kami. Hindi po kami normal kaya huwag ninyo kaming hanapan o asahang nakababad sa social media gaya ng Facebook at Messenger. Hindi namin buhay iyon. Huwag kayong magagalit kung madalas kaming mag-seen zone, marami kaming ibang mas mahalagang gawain at gampanin. Kung nararamdaman ninyong feeling close kami masyado sa inyo, kayo na lumayo sa amin. Tulungan ninyo kaming manatiling malinis sa harap ng Diyos at ninyong mga tao.
Lastly, do not "spoil" us your priests.
Hindi po binebeybi ang pari pero huwag naman ninyo kaming patayin.
Remember we priests are also human like you - weak and sinful. We get tempted in everything just like you. Many times as we age, we become forgetful too as our memory bank becomes full or sometimes bugged.
We get hurt too with words and gestures. Alalahanin, mas maramdamin kami sa inyo kasi nga mag-isa kami sa buhay, walang napaghihingahan ng sama ng loob o nararamdaman.
In short, always give us some room, some space to keep us apart from you, separated from you not for anything else but for Jesus Christ and his Church, our spouse and beloved. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,