I’ve gone back and forth on this, but in an effort to encourage people to pray for priests, I wanted to share some meditations that I wrote to go with the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. I wrote them for a holy hour for priests we had at our parish on the Memorial of St. John Vianney. These are for personal use. If you are going to use them in prayer ministry or parish events please contact me directly first at firstname.lastname@example.org . Pax.
1. The Agony in the Garden
While in fervent and agonized prayer, Our Lord seeks to unite His human will perfectly to the will of the Father. He accepts the chalice of the Cross in loving obedience for the glory of the Father and in order to bring about our redemption.
Let us pray,
Eternal High Priest, we pray that Your priests will constantly seek to submit in obedience to the will of the Father in all things and to align their vision to Your supernatural vision. May they unite themselves fully to You in prayer in the Garden as they endure the sufferings they are called to embrace as Your priests. Lead them to willingly accept the agonies and desolations that come from a complete surrender to You, so that by their great love for You, they may glorify the Most Holy Trinity and be perfected in charity through their promise of obedience.
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
Through the desolation of the scourging at the pillar, Christ heals us by His stripes. He endures the sufferings of the flesh so that we too may overcome the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil by uniting ourselves to Him at the pillar.
Eternal High Priest, we pray that Your priests will accept all of the lashings they must endure in their priestly ministry as the means by which they are configured more closely to You. Fill them with great fortitude and patience. Give them the strength to overcome the temptations of the flesh, the devil, and the world and anything that may lead them away from perfect union with You. Give them the strength they need to persevere in their priestly ministry and to find joy in their afflictions and periods of loneliness united to You at the pillar.
3. The Crowning with Thorns
Our Lord is crowned with thorns as an inversion of His Divine Kingship. He is derided, persecuted, mocked, and beaten. He calls us to unite our own persecutions and humiliations to Him, which we are promised in this life as His disciples.
Eternal High Priest, we pray that your priests may unite their humiliations, criticisms, calumnies, spiritual warfare, misunderstandings, and persecutions to You. Remind them that they wear a crown of thorns in this life, so that they may bring many souls to you in eternity. Strengthen them in the knowledge that they will exchange their crown of thorns for a crown of glory in the next life. May they keep their eyes fixed on You their “thorn-crowned captain” despite the hatred and spiritual warfare they encounter living their sacred office.
4. The Carrying of the Cross
Christ carries the Cross burdened with the weight of our sins. He does so in love and in order to show us the way to eternal life. We must follow Him on the Way of the Cross in order to become the saints we are called to be.
Eternal High Priest, we pray that Your priests will lovingly embrace the heavy cross placed upon their shoulders at ordination. Keep them from abandoning their cross despite how many times they fall and how heavy it becomes along the way. Lead them into the depths of Your love, which can only be found in the desolation of the Cross. Help them to see Our Heavenly Mother walking beside them guiding them deeper into Your Most Sacred Heart. Show Your priests that she is united to each one of them in their burdens and how she daily ministers to each one of them through the tender love of her Immaculate Heart.
5. The Crucifixion of Our Lord
Our Lord dies on the Cross in expiation for our sins. He pours out every ounce of His blood for the salvation of souls in kenotic love to the Father united to the Spirit. It is on the Cross that He calls each one of us to die-to-self and to love as He loves.
Eternal High Priest, we pray that Your priests will seek to be crucified with you on the Cross in every moment of their priestly ministry. May this crucifixion lead them into deeper union with Your Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, which is the source of their priestly identity. Give all priests the courage to abandon themselves completely in love to the Father, united to You in the Spirit on the Cross, so that they may be transfigured into the priest-saints they are called to be. By Your grace, may their dying-to-self every day lead to the salvation of countless souls and an outpouring of Your radiant love throughout the world.