When did you asked a priest last time : `How do you feel, father?`
When did you stay beside a priest for him and not for you and your needs? When did you have the patience, interest to feel his own needs?
Have you ever stood beside a priest in the night of his loneliness to see how he holds in his hands the Holy Cross or stares at the Icon of the ever Virgin Mary…not understanding why he feels so alone having God so near but understanding the loneliness of the Saviour on the Path of the Cross? Why the waves that crush on the seashore are fewer than his worries?
How he prays for those who don`t pray?
How he wants all to come and feel the joy of the communion with Christ?
How he cries for all?
Have you ever seen him for a moment in the middle of the night getting up and reading eagerly the pages of the Breviary or of another prayer book or rushing to the church or chapel and seeking God?
Have you ever been beside a priest when he stayed helplessly and speechless before a pain which was confessed to him ? To be near him when the people confess their troubles, when the mothers bury their sons and are torn by pain and ask him: `Why? Why, father, why?`
Or have you ever left your home and children and wife when they probably wished the most to be in your presence, like the priest who at home is a husband and a father as well and who left in the middle of the night to confess someone who is ready to leave this world?
Or when he has to finish properly everything he has to do? Have you ever thought what a priest feels when returned home after hours of standing up and many times without having been eaten he has to be able and full of joy to take care of his children who want their father?
When he is glad like a child for someone who was healed of a disease or who had received as a gift a baby ?
Then because God fulfilled his prayer he remains in prayer and thankfulness even if the man forgot ?
Do you know how is like to see people expecting miracles from you and you are not able to make them?
Have you ever been near the confession chair ? Have you felt the fear of his helplessness and the tiredness when the man comes to confess his sins? Do you know how much pain and how many questions remain in the heart of a priest after a soul confesses his sins?
Have you ever sweated at the pulpit preaching ? Do you know the emotions he has when opening the door and entering the church for the Holy Liturgy, fearing God for being unworthy to approach Him and for the decreasing number of the people attending the service? Do you know his feelings from the Holy Sacrifice? His passion? His love? His power?
Do you have any idea how it is to watch a a man who receives a blessing on the deathbed and who although dying is smiling quietly to you? Nobody understands the smile of his suffering… except for the priest.
Therefore who is the priest? Who dares to say he knows everything about him? Who can judge him? The priest can offer to the man what nobody else can offer him: The Holy Eucharist!
So let us pray for one another! Pray for the priests and do not judge them! Because the priests pray for all the people!
A time will come when everything comes into light and when we all understand that in the tree full of fruit you can`t throw the rod. May God forgive and bless us all!
Priest Cristian Deheleanu