Sunday, March 23, 2008

Defend our Priests

March 21, 2008

There's one part of the movie "Dave," after Dave has semi-adjusted to the role of President of the United States, where he and Darryl, a secret service agent, are in the kitchen making the 'best' sandwich / snack. Dave asks Darryl if it was true that he, as a secret service agent, would actually take a bullet for the President. Darryl immediately answers 'yeah.' Then Dave thinks about that and asks if that also means that Darryl would take a bullet for him (Dave). Darryl doesn't answer but rather ponders on the idea.

For some reason this scene came to mind today after attending the Good Friday service and Adoration of the Cross at the Cathedral, celebrated by the Bishop. The service was beautiful yet solemn, with the help of Fr. E. and several acolytes, who made sure that everything ran smoothly so we, the faithful, could get the most out of the service. The part that struck me the most was after they walked the Cross down to the middle of the Cathedral, they slowly raised it up into the platform. A big 'thud' reverberated throughout the Cathedral when they lowered the Cross in place. The heaviness of the Cross was seen and heard; oh, how Jesus suffered for us! Confessions were heard after the service ended, with long lines at each of the six assigned stations.

Thank you, Jesus! Thank You for saving us -- saving
our souls--freely, willingly.

Then the thought occurred to me: would I give up my life for these priests? Fr. E., Fr. V., Fr. B., Fr. P., our Bishops - no brainer - of course! No, this is not what the thought was asking, but rather, would I willingly, freely, give up my life for ANY priest? Not necessarily the ones whom everyone likes and gets along with, but any who have made my life & faith challenging. The one whose homily drags on and on and on; the one who was accused of a heinous crime; the one who has had difficulty living the faith; the one who ___________ (you fill in the blank).

Would I fight for these priests? Would I willingly, freely,
defend my faith and defend these priests?

Wow! For those who have offered their very lives for my soul - how much would I defend them?

Mary, in her messages for her priests, asks us to love them. Love the ones whose homilies are endless, love the priest whose life is not as faithful as I think it should be; love the ones who have had difficulties in life and who are tempted by the evil one. Love them. Pray for them.

At the end of the movie, Darryl and Dave shake hands before parting. Darryl looks Dave squarely in the eye and says, 'Dave, I would have taken a bullet for you.'

On the train-ride back to my car, I seriously thought about this. Christ asks us to lay down our lives for our neighbor...would I do this for our priests? A resounding YES came out. Yes! By defending my priests, I could save a life. But our priests... they save souls! Pray for them! Defend them!

What is the worth of one life? Just look at the Cross.

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