"They are not perfect, but many give it their all until the very end"
In The Pope Video for June, Pope Francis speaks to all Catholics, inviting them to look around and observe the priests in our communities. His invitation to pray for them in June reflects the observation he’s often made, that holiness always attracts less attention than sin and scandal.
“They are not perfect, but many give it their all until the very end, offering themselves with humility and joy,” the pope observes in the video.
“A servant of life, he walks with the heart and pace of the poor; he is enriched by being with them,” Francis says of parish priests.
During this month of June, Francis invites us to take up a prayer of gratitude for the example of priests, who, with their availability and their closeness to their flock, bear witness to the love of Christ. The pope asks us to pray for them, that “through the modesty and humility of their lives,” they may “commit themselves actively to solidarity with those who are the most poor.”
Fr. Frédéric Fornos, SJ, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (which includes the Eucharistic Youth Movement), adds: “Prayer and love for Jesus Christ open our lives to be able to savor the Gospel. When we hear the word of the Lord, near to his heart, our desire to follow him grows, along with our desire to imitate his lifestyle, which is one of solidarity towards those who are poorest.”
Father Fornos calls to mind what the future Pope Francis wrote when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, regarding the importance of praying courageously for the people of God: “Do I pray? Do we—priests and consecrated men and women—pray? Do we do it enough when its needed? (…) When we pray, we’re fighting for our people.” (July 29, 2007)