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ZE09091809 - 2009-09-18
Do You Appreciate Your Priest?
Spanish Bishop Composes Test
PALENCIA, Spain, SEPT. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Year for Priests isn't just an internal celebration among the clergy, but rather an opportunity for all the faithful to assess their appreciation for the priesthood, says Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Palencia.
"Do we appreciate the priesthood and love our priests?" the bishop asked in a posting on the Web site of his dioceses.
To answer this question, the bishop composed -- "with a bit of humor" -- the following test titled "Priestly Appreciation." The test is complete with instructions to evaluate your answers and your level of appreciation for the priesthood.
* * *
1. Have you prayed recently for your parish priest, your bishop or the Pope?
a. I don't even know their names.
b. At Mass there is usually prayer for them, and I add myself in that petition.
c. I do so every day in my personal prayer.
2. Have you disclosed your conscience to a priest, trusting that he can help you in your problems?
a. Each one has to solve his problems.
b. "Four eyes see more than two." It is always good to listen to and accept the advice of someone who can help us.
c. The greatest help I have received from a priest has been when his advice was joined to God's forgiveness in the sacrament of confession.
3. When I hear among my friends comments criticizing priests ...
a. I followed their lead, so as not to stand out.
b. I tuned out, and pretended to think of something else.
c. I said what I thought, giving witness to my faith.
4. I see in a priest ...
a. A "relic" of the past.
b. A "professional" of religion.
c. A minister of God; "another Christ" among us.
5. How many times have you invited the parish priest to your home?
a. The priest is only called when someone has died.
b. When grandmother is with us, he usually brings Communion.
c. Several times. I was delighted when he told us the story of his vocation at the dinner table.
6. When you hear a priest give a homily ...
a. I listen, if he has good oratorical skills.
b. I listen, I am interested in the topic he is addressing.
c. I see him as an instrument through which God is speaking to me.
7. When a collection is taken up for seminaries ...
a. I think, "Priests" are always begging.
b. I say to myself, there are collections for so many things! One more!
c. I collaborate gladly, because I believe no vocation should be frustrated because of lack of financial means.
8. When I see an elderly priest in the Church or on the street ...
a. I think the Church is on the decline.
b. I hope he says the Mass quickly.
c. I thank God for his fidelity and for all the good he might have done.
9. When I see a young priest at the altar ...
a. I mistrust his lack of experience. What is he going to say to me?
b. I observe what he does and "classify" him.
c. I thank God for his vocation and pray intensely for him.
10. How would you react if your son said he wants to be a priest?
a. I would ask him if he's gone mad, and I would remind him that we must take into consideration what others might think.
b. I would ask him to give it considerable thought and to have a university degree first.
c. It would give me one of the greatest joys of my life, and I would support him fully.
11. Have you asked a child, adolescent or young man about the possibility of being a priest some day?
a. I don't get into jams. Let everyone live his life.
b. I am of the opinion that all vocations must be appreciated, even if they are different from our own.
c. Yes, I have thought of someone specifically, and I pray for him ... One of these days, "I will let him know."
12. What do you think of the expression of the Saintly Curé d'Ars: "The priest is the love of Jesus' heart"?
a. I think it is a disembodied spiritualism.
b. I think that can only be said of a saintly priest.
c. I believe it is exactly so, though "they have this treasure in earthen vessels" (2 Corinthians 4:7).
* * *
Guide to evaluating the results:
If the letter "a" appears in the majority of your answers, I am surprised that this test reached your hands. But, I thank God that this happened so that I can tell you as the priest that I am, that God loves you the point of folly and that he expects from you an answer of love.
If you have responded to the majority of questions with the letter "b," I would like to tell you that you are not enjoying the treasures that God is offering you through the priesthood.
But if the letter "c" is yours, then I ask you not to cease to pray to God for the sanctification of priests and for the increase of priestly vocations, because I am very sure that God is going to listen to you.