Crusade Meditations: May 2023

Prayer for Priests during the Eucharistic Revival

As we all know and will agree, prayers for priests are urgently needed today. In fact, Cardinal Sarah has gone so far as to say that the priesthood is in “mortal danger” (cf. The Day is Now Far Spent). For this reason, he believes the Church has been “overwhelmed by lukewarmness and mediocrity” (ibid.) So in the face of such a challenge: how should we approach the prospect of praying for priests? What prayers and devotions should we use for them that will be especially fitting and effective during this second year of the Eucharistic revival that has been declared by the Bishops of our country? Well, three come to mind. Three devotions with a Eucharistic orientation. Three devotions that can help both ourselves and the priests of our country grow in love, knowledge, and reverence for the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament

The first is simply to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. It is significant to note, then, that when the Church of Ireland began to suffer a severe crisis in the priesthood several years ago, Pope Benedict XVI told the Irish people that, “Through intense prayer before the Real Presence of the Lord, you can make reparation for the sins that have done much harm, while at the same time imploring the grace of renewed strength and a deeper sense of mission on the part of all bishops, priests, religious, and lay faithful.” Further, he recommended that in every diocese there should be churches and chapels devoted to Eucharistic adoration, so that as many people as possible could pray and intercede for priests.

It should be noted, too, that the Congregation for the Clergy sent out a letter to all the bishops of the world over fifteen years ago requesting that a program of twenty-four hour adoration be established in every diocese, not only for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, but above all for the sanctification of the priests themselves. It does not seem, however, that this directive has gotten nearly the attention that it deserves. Now may be the time to emphasize the great good that Eucharistic adoration can do for the priesthood in general, and for individual priests in particular, as well as for the faithful themselves.

Ideally, we should strive to make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament as often as we can, daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the accessibility of a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament reposed, and the degree or our devotion to the Eucharist. If we do not have the time or the strength to make a Holy Hour regularly, we should at least try to make a brief visit of a few minutes to the Blessed Sacrament whenever we can. And if our ability to get to a church is limited or restricted, we might consider remaining after Mass in silent prayer as long as we can, especially on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

Nocturnal adoration too is especially pleasing to the Lord, and can draw done special graces for priests. Jesus Himself spent many nights in prayer to His Father. St. Claude de la Colombiere pointed out that there are visits of courtesy, and visits of love. Visits of courtesy are those that we make when we are obliged to go to church on Sundays and Holy Days, but visits of love are those that are made when Jesus is left alone in the tabernacle late at night or in the early morning hours.

Communion of Reparation

The second devotion that we could practice is to make at least one Communion of Reparation every month to atone for the sins that have been committed against the Eucharist by priests. Surely, irreverent, if not sacrilegious Masses have been offered during the past year. Ideally, this Communion of Reparation should be done on a Friday, and if possible on the First Friday of the month.

Our Lord promised St. Margaret Mary that He  would give priests the grace to touch the hardest of hearts, if they honored His Heart. And so, by our Communions of Reparation and devotion to the Sacred Heart, especially on the First Fridays of the month, we can win graces for priests that will not only soften their hearts, but also allow them to touch the hardened hearts of sinners.

Daily Sacrifice

In conjunction with our Communion of Reparation, it would be fitting that we also make some sacrifice daily for a particular priest or priests in general. The sacrifice doesn’t have to be much, but at least it should be something. We all have little things to suffer every day, and sometimes many at that. If we can commit ourselves, though, to offering up just one of them, it can in the long run bring about an immense amount of good. These sacrifices don’t have to be even the ones that we have chosen for ourselves, for example, like fasting.

Rather, we could decide to simply offer up in advance for priests the pain we feel when we are unjustly criticized, or the annoyance we experience when we are made to wait for a long time in a doctor’s office, or the frustration we feel when we lose something or make a wrong turn when we are driving to a destination. The list of the number and kinds of things that we can offer up for priests is indeed seemingly endless. We simply have to be inventive and determined and the Lord will give us the grace to know what kinds of sacrifices He wants from us for His priests.

Remember, too, the words that the Angel of Portugal spoke to the three shepherd children: “Make everything you do a sacrifice and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which Our Lord is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.” Note, the Angel told the children in the broadest possible terms to make “everything” they did, that is, each and every one of their thoughts, words, and deeds into a sacrifice.” He did not limit or restrict their sacrifices to just prayer and penance. Therefore, we should follow his lead and consecrate everything that we do during the course of the day to the Lord, so that it can be placed spiritually on the paten that the priest will use to offer up his daily Mass.

We could make it a special point of concern, then, to include in our Morning Offering the intentions, not only of all priests, but also of a specific priest that we may know of who has need of special prayers on a particular day.


We may, however, feel the need in certain cases, for example, when a priest or bishop may be undergoing a severe trial or temptation, to make a greater sacrifice to help them, for example, with fasting. Pope St. John Paul stated that the, “First and most effective weapons [for fighting] against the forces of evil are prayer and fasting” (Evangelium Vitae, 100.2). Our fasting does not in every case have to be extreme, like having only bread and water on certain days of the week.  We can also fast from things such as social media, entertainment, or our favorite pastime or just drinking our cup of coffee without sugar.

Silence and Solitude

Remaining in silence and solitude for certain hours and days of the week in imitation of Jesus in the tabernacle can be another kind of special sacrifice that we could make. What we do does not have to be heroic, but the little efforts we make to pray and sacrifice for priests can earn great graces for them, especially if they are made lovingly, faithfully, and above all repeatedly.

Send your Guardian Angel

Finally, we should send out our Guardian Angel every day to all the bishops and priests the world over with the mission to strengthen and deepen their devotion to the Eucharist. It takes only a moment to do this, but if more people made this simple prayer more often an immense amount of light and strength could be given to overburdened priests who are struggling to faithfully fulfill their priestly duties, and grow in their knowledge and love for the Eucharist.

The angels, then, can be our heavenly counterpart to our earthly efforts to help priests. In a way, we could say that the diligent and zealous fulfillment of priestly duties means more to the angels than it does to the priest himself. For the angels can see more clearly than anyone else the issues at stake on the spiritual battlefield, namely, God’s glory and the salvation of souls.

We might consider, also, praying to Mary, under her title of Queen of the Angels. Since she is both their Queen and commander, the Blessed Mother is the most qualified person, both in Heaven and on earth, for directing those angelic operations that are designed to help priests. For as St. Louis de Montfort puts it, Mary is the, “Leader of God’s armies, the keeper of His treasury, the dispenser of His graces, the worker of His wonders, the destroyer of His enemies, and the faithful associate in His great works and victories” (cf. True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, no. 28).

The Priest and the Eucharist

To conclude, Bishop Athanasius Schneider in his book, Dominus est—It is the Lord, brings out strikingly the irreplaceable importance of priests, when he notes that during the communist regime in former Soviet Union, “Every sign that could remind men of God was removed from public life. Yet there continued to exist a reality,” as he went on to explain, “that could still remind them of God, namely, the priesthood.” For the communist persecutors of Christ and His Church, he said, “considered priests to be the most dangerous persons [around] because implicitly, they knew that only a priest could give God to men in the most concrete and direct manner possible, that is, in and through the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament as it is received in Holy Communion….”

For this reason, as Fr. Hardon once put it, a priest may be described as a “walking Sacrament.” Since only a priest is given the innate power on the day of his ordination to turn ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ when he offers Holy Mass. Therefore, without a priest there can be no Eucharist, and without the Eucharist there can be no Church. For the Eucharist is the heart of the Church, and without a heart the Mystical Body of Christ cannot flourish or even exist. Clearly, prayers for priests are of paramount importance today.

And so, it seems from what Bishop Schneider observed during his time in the U.S.S.R., the communist agents intuitively discerned the danger that a dedicated and holy priest with a deep and strong devotion to the Eucharist posed to their atheistic regime. For they unwittingly recognized the power of a priest to bring spiritual, health, healing, and happiness to wounded souls and darkened minds through the power of the Eucharist.

There are still many heroic and holy priests living and active today who have a deep and strong devotion to the Eucharist and are accomplishing a great deal of good. But sadly some priests are not only lacking in Eucharistic devotion, but also in zeal for the salvation of souls. It is urgent, therefore, that all of us strive through our prayers, works, sacrifices, and acts of charity to obtain the graces from God that will help the priests of today save as many souls as possible for Christ and His Holy Church.

Our Lord promises: “He who receives you receives Me… and whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will not lose his reward” (Mt 10: 40-42). May your reward be the grace that you might always have a priest who gives you daily Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and at the end of your life, eternal happiness. And so, let us ask Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of Priests, to give all priests, but especially those most in need of prayer and sacrifice, all the graces that they need to serve the Lord with joy and gladness all the days of their life.

Fr. Matthew Hincks, ORC

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