... poof! Insta-priest. How to Grow a Priest explores the influencing factors of becoming a priest.
Pat Gohn writes from Pope Benedict's letter to seminarians, encouraging them to learn and live in a constant state of prayer. Gohn continues, illustrating my next point;
"Here’s something I learned a little too late in life: Faithful priests come from, well, the faithful. The call to the ministerial priesthood grows out of the common priesthood that all the baptized share, since the People of God participate in the Christ’s three offices of priest, prophet and king.
So let us consider just how deeply we live out our own intimacy with Christ. We never know – we may be influencing a future priest in our midst!" [source]
I can not stress the importance of guarding our words, spoken or scrawled. Every time we lambaste the priesthood, especially in our blog writings, we never know who we may be influencing through our written word. A seminarian struggling with his vocation may look upon our words and wonder why they are bothering to venture into a service that is viewed suspiciously or vilified. Even in gatherings with friends and family, a snide remark or joke could extinguish the fires of a vocation in a young man or woman's heart.
I want to shift the direction of this post a bit to ask where do priests come from? Families. I think equal attention needs to be given to the vocation of fatherhood. While we pray for an increase in priests and religious it is just as important to pray for an increase to the vocation of fatherhood. For this is where are priests are born. From holy families and fathers. We should be praying for both with equal frequency and just as fervently.
So if you are a father, be encouraged.