Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's the best part of being a priest?

I was at lunch with two young laymen today and one of them asked me this question. Of course my initial reaction was to say that the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highlight of my day. And so it is. But from the point of view of personal satisfaction, i suppose you'd call it, I had to say that hearing confessions is both the most challenging and rewarding part of my ministry.

I have had the privilege of really encountering Jesus christ through the ministry of a priest in the confessional and from that liberating experience my passion for the priesthood arose. I have often said that my call to the priesthood was, in a sense, born in the confessional. I so wanted others to experience the liberty and joy I had been granted in this great sacrament.

Of course it is only one of many things that make the priesthood so fulfilling for me - though of course there are days when things aren't always easy.

Still, Cross and all, I love being a priest!