Lay Fast for Priests - 14 October 2006
Lay Fast for Priests 2006
Lay Fast for Priests - a justification
(Delivered to the faithful at Masses preceding the Lay Day of Fast for Priests)
Please come back in time with me to one hour ago. You and I are arriving as members of
the body of Christ to rejoice with one another, to receive our God. But there is no priest
here – and we cannot and do not receive Holy Communion.
Let’s go forward in time when we need to be reconciled with God through the Sacrament
of Penance – but there is no priest – the confessional sits empty.
During the sacrament of the Eucharist, it is the Priest who lends his voice to Christ and
when he speaks the words of the Consecration, the Lord Himself comes into our midst
and into our beings.
At the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it is the priest who lends his voice to Christ and we
hear our God say to us “Go, your sins are forgiven.”
At the very end of our lives, it will be the priest who lends his voice to Christ and in the
Last Rite of the Church we will hear the Lord pardon us. It will be the priest at that
appointed time who lends his hands to Christ as he lovingly anoints us and sends us on
our final journey. It is the Priest’s voice that walks us into eternity. Without priests, we
would have no Eucharist, no Sacrament of Reconciliation, no-one to administer the Last
God the Father told the great Saint Catherine of Sienna that the priest is His Christ,
appointed and anointed to protect us, to inspire our hearts and our thoughts with his holy
prayers, as does an angel, and to serve us by administering the sacraments to us. The
Father instructs us never to judge a priest even if that priest sins because the Father
Himself will judge him terribly at the end of his life.
In recent years in the United States, the majority of our priests have humbly and silently
accepted the responsibility for their brothers in Christ whose actions have deeply
wounded certain lay members of the body of the Lord. It is these priests who have been
their brother’s keepers, who have been ridiculed, shouted at in airports, spat upon in
malls that we, the lay people, will offer to our Blessed Lady’s care and protection on
Saturday, October 14. Fasting is praying with the body and on October 14, a Fast will be
held for our priests, for their Spirituality, their needs, the sacrifice of their lives which they
daily offer for us.
Will you join us in this Lay Fast for Priests? Will you storm Heaven with us for a healing of
all the wounds and wounded, for our present priests of the La Salette community here
and worldwide and for many, many more men to hear and respond to the Lord’s call to
become “His Christ” on Earth ? If you would like to do so, you will find an information
sheet and a sign up sheet at the back of the Church. There is a list of suggestions and
ways to fast on the information sheet. It doesn’t have to be only from food. If you decide
to make this offering to Our Lady, just begin your fast with a prayer when you waken up
and then fast until 3PM, the Hour of the Lord’s death. At that moment, you say a prayer,
remind Our Lady why you made this offering and then you break your fast. Or, if you
would like to join us here at 3PM, we will have Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed
Lay Fast for Priests - Sign Up Sheet
Lay Fast for Priests - Concluding Remarks
“ Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high, this is the
fasting that I wish which will release those bound unjustly and untie the thongs of the
yoke. It will set free the oppressed. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and
your wounds shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you and the glory
of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Then you shall call and the Lord will answer, you
shall cry for help and He will say: Here I am!” (adapted from Isaiah 59: 6-14)
It’s been three weeks since we began to invite the faithful to join us in this Fast for Priests
and Religious. The team involved in the Fast translated information sheets into different
languages, posted the Fast on the internet. Many signed up. An information pack
advising the La Salette communities about this event was sent worldwide. We have had
many “Thank Yous” from Canada, Argentina as well as Connecticut, New Hampshire,
Texas, New York and here in Attleboro. One priest wrote to tell us how delighted he is to
be involved in this fast today more than any other day – today is the anniversary of his
ordination! Another priest from Argentina asked that the names of the following young
men be read out at this benediction before the Blessed Sacrament because they are all
considering joining the community: Luis, Ariel, Arnando, Juan Carlos, Norman and
Marcello. Most members of the communities that contacted us have joined in the Fast for
their brothers and fellow priests.
Although we have had 124 sign up sheets filled out and placed in the basket which is
now on the altar, this number does not reflect the actual total. The enclosed order of
nuns at Mount St Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts have prayed with us today.
Many people have taken the sign up sheets and have posted them in other churches all
the way from Waltham to London in England. Neighbors have shared them and those
who can’t leave their homes because of illness, whom I call our “Homebound
Missionaries” have also joined this Day of Fast.
We can’t estimate the actual number of souls involved, but we do know that heaven has
indeed been stormed with prayer today; that Our Lady has blessed us and great good
will come from it. Praise God!
National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Attleboro, Massachusetts