Ask God to send his Church holy shepherds who truly lead their flocks closer to him.
Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard wrote in his book The Soul of the Apostolate of the importance of good and holy priests.
If the priest is a saint, the people will be fervent;
if the priest is fervent, the people will be pious;
if the priest is pious, the people will at least be decent;
if the priest is only decent, the people will be godless.
The spiritual generation is always one degree less intense in its life than the one who begets it in Christ.
Here is a short prayer composed by Pope Benedict XVI for priests, asking God to send his people good, holy priests, capable of leading by example.
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest,
You offered yourself to the Father on the altar of the Cross
and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
gave Your priestly people a share in Your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial priesthood
may be ever more conformed to You, the Divine Master.
May they preach the Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to Your own Heart,
single-minded in service to You and to the Church
and shining examples of a holy, simple and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother and ours,
draw all priests and the flocks entrusted to their care
to the fullness of eternal life where you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
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