Today I had a phone call from a friend of mine who isn't long ordained. He was assigned a busy parish in South London where he has been an enthusiastic supporter of vocations promotion. He is one of those priests who seem to be known an loved by everyone he meets and he exudes a wonderful enthusiasm for priestly ministry. He called today to ask my prayers for two things. First of all for a young lad who was tragically murdered on Saturday and whose family had come to the parish seeking a priest. He spoke of the great faith of the lads parents and the humbling experience of being called on to help a soul on its way home to God.
He also asked for prayers for himself as this evening he is beginning a retreat. Priests are encouraged to make a retreat each year. It is good to get away from the tumble of parish life in order to spend time more closely with the Lord. A retreat helps us examine our conscience in greater depth and be more open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It prompts us to greater generosity and a renewal of our initial 'Yes' to the Lord. It gives us time to put special effort and devotion into the celebration of Holy Mass each day as well as our norms of piety such as the daily Rosary.
My friend was looking forward to this opportunity. Please keep him, his fellow retreatants, as well as the retreat giver in your prayers.