In her broadcast for today (click here to listen), Sr. Ann Shields takes Sunday’s first reading from Jeremiah (“Woe to the shepherds. . .”) and uses it as a platform from which to encourage us to pray for our priests. It’s a message that I needed to hear. Yes, we have our Holy Hour every Monday evening with rosary, prayers for priests, and Benediction, but that gets to be so routine. Just as St. John Vianney did penance for the sheep of his flock, so we lay persons need to pray for and do penance for our pastors.
While I won’t be doing anything as dramatic as donning Fr. Brunner’s penance shirt shown at right (yes, Russ, I finally found a way to work it in – thanks for the image), I can put the suffering that I inflict upon myself during my training runs to good use. Maybe knowing that the suffering has been given meaning will strengthen me to endure the punishment.