Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Thoughts from Father Ryan for the Year of the Priest

Father Lloyd Ryan, Co-Founder of SOLI
Priesthood: No man goes to heaven alone

These are just a few of the spiritual notes Father Ryan wrote for himself while still a seminarian. Father was a priest whose everyday life was a passing from prayer to charity towards his neighbour and back to prayer again. For me, reading over his little notebook is always like seeing Father again...everything that he wrote in that little black book so long ago was truly reflected in his priestly life, as many who knew him would agree. His love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, His devotedness to Our Blessed Mother, his love and fidelity to the Church and his vocation to the priesthood, together with his zeal for souls could be said to be his very person. May the Lord grant the Church more holy priests like that of our Beloved Father Ryan.

"The time has passed when a priest can sit back and not take part in civil affairs which concern him. He must get out there and speak and act when cause arises. He must not take a back seat, and let someone else do the talking when he should be doing it. He is a leader, and as such has the obligation to lead his flock well and look after their needs and their rights. He is their shepherd.

"Get out among the people. Show them you care for their good, that you wish to help them and are willing to make sacrifices for them. This will win more souls than words from the pulpit. Time, energy, sacrifice of self, though sometimes seemingly in vain, will all have their reward in saving souls.

"No man goes to heaven alone. He takes and must take others with him. This is true most of all, as regards a priest, for it is his work to take other souls to heaven, in order to get there himself. Therefore in all your duties, spiritual and temporal, remember our neighbour and never become individualistic. God has made us social beings and given us duties to those around us. Therefore we go to God through and along with our neighbor. Remember this especially in prayer.

In anything we do we must put all our energy into it—the results will be in proportion to the amount of energy and prayer we expend.

Remember always the teaching in “The Soul of the Apostolate”—it is the supernatural, the spiritual force which you have and which you must foster which will make your apostolate fruitful—it is God working through you."

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