The gift of ordination is a gift given to only a few chosen men. It is a gift given to men who passed not the standards of humans but the standards of God. They may not be stand outs in those areas being used by the world to gauge success but, the mere fact that they were hand-picked by God from among men, makes them equipped and the best tool of God for whatever purpose He may have for them.
They are just ordinary men like you and me and they are also imperfect men like anyone else. They are sinners and SOME of them are unfaithful servants of the Lord in His altar of sacrifice. However, I believe that MOST of them are still faithful to the call and to their ministry.
They are men in this world but not of this world. They are in this world but they must transcend the world in almost all things that this world offers. They long to own, possess and enjoy the things of this world but never to be so attached to them. He must always be ready and willing to let go of things that that the world may give him as a reward or as a privilege.
They are a normal human and social beings not by choice but by their very nature. They may long for relationships and friendships but never to possess them. They are also a member of a family, but apart from them, for they have a larger family to keep and nourish, their parishioners.
Priests possess a body not so much designed to be like a superhuman but a body which, at times, succumb to illnesses and pains. The grace of ordination is not a guarantee nor a pass for them not to get sick. They long for the care and attention of other people around them, but most of the time find themselves alone in their pains and sufferings mostly in silence. And if their mortal bodies cannot go on working further for the flock, because of age or health issues, they will be given a place in a retirement house which is far from being a real home, though better than a hospital room.
Their minds, like anybody else, are also prone to commit errors, mistakes and false judgments. However, their faults are almost always unforgivable unlike the rest of human errors committed by people who were created just like the way they were created, in God’s image and likeness. On the other hand, their contributions to the community do not get the best and the loudest applause just like when politicians or a government officials do the same. Still, they can smile genuinely because they know that what they did are part and parcel of their mission as a sharers in the priesthood of Christ, who never required high popularity ratings and million likes in order to get the job done.
There is a lot of good things and happy moments in the life and experiences of a priest! The sense of fulfillment of a priest is best delivered by those people whose lives were touched and brought nearer to God by their priest. It is both consoling and rewarding for a priest that there are people who came to know and started to follow Christ because of him as the messenger of hope and inspiration.
After their earthly life, I wonder where they will go. Is there a place prepared for them in God’s kingdom? Will the Master welcome them saying: “Well done my good and faithful servants! Welcome into my Kingdom and take your rest!”
A priest is not a perfect person and, in fact, he is also filled with so much defects and commits a lot of mistakes and errors in his lifetime here on earth. But I do believe that when the time comes for him to face the Master in his death, a room is ready for him and prepared just for him in God’s kingdom. Just by virtue of the many children whom he baptized and the many couples whom he united in marriage. All those penitents who found peace and forgiveness through him, and all those faithful who found direction in life and were inspired by his sermons plus all those whose lives he was able to touch makes him worthy to enter the kingdom of God. After all, he tried to live the life of Christ in his limited capacity and imperfections.
If I will be given a second chance to choose, I will still choose the life of a priest. I am very much aware of all the bad things I have done as a priest and with all sincerity I am asking for forgiveness and understanding. If there will be a second life, I still would want to be a part of the clergy of the Diocese of Virac. We may not be a perfect kind of a presbyterium, but I am sure that we are still closer to the life of the ultimate high priest, Jesus Christ, because we share in His suffering and poverty a lot better than priests coming from other dioceses. How I wish we will be able to stick it out through thick and thin, as brothers caring for one another in the name of love for the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Fr. Philip Morales, the Commission on Youth Director of the Diocese, underwent just recently an open-heart surgery. He is recovering, but he needs financial assistance from generous hearts, as the diocese, together with his family are in no position to shoulder all the cost of his treatment. If you are willing to extend your generosity to Fr. Philip, please feel free to see our Chancellor at our Chancery Office located at San Jose Street, Virac. Thank you so much and may God shower you with His graces. You can also deposit your donations to this BDO Account:
Account Name: Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Virac
-For the Diocese’s General Fund-
BDO Account Number: 006030001948
We are encouraging those who want to donate to please still get in touch with Rev. Fr. Eric Rojas, our Chancellor, either in person, or by phone, for records purposes. He may be contacted through his Smart Cell Phone No: +63 9196090792.
Our deepest gratitude to everyone. May God continue to shower you with His graces and blessings!