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January 28, 2007

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Prester Thomas

To a Frustrated Clergyman

Frustrated: [1.) to be prevented from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; 2.) to cause feeling of discouragement or bafflement in]

The frustration felt because of the inability to accomplish a task, a purpose, or a desire to which you feel committed to and passionate about is a difficult situation to deal with at times for both priests and those who actively minister in the church. Not to mention the frustration our priests have felt over the sexual abuse scandals in the church as well as trying to deal with how the world and laity view all priests.

As you mentioned, there are many priests who take their vocations as a 24/7 commitment. They actively seek to better them selves and their pastoral styles and skills through formal on-going education, formation, spiritual direction, personal study and prayer and all the while work at empowering the people they serve. Unfortunately there are times that they are not always fully appreciated for all that they do. They are not told often enough how important they are to the parish and how much the work that they do is appreciated by those they serve and minister to in their parishes. I can only imagine how discouraging and sometimes disheartening that can feel. But, as frustrated and discouraged as they may feel at times, through God’s grace, they continue in the ministry that God has called them to.

I reflected on what was written for today’s 1st Reading and Gospel and you’re right; there are many people who do not want to hear what God has to say or what God calls them to do, but it also made me think of those priests whose homilies have affected me in some way and whose words made me stop to reflect and discern what God was saying to me or calling me to do. They made a difference and with the grace of God, I hope they will continue to make a difference in the lives of those they minister to, despite the frustration they sometimes feel.

"Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with God"


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