This Friday, June 19, 2009 on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, begins the Year of the Priests set forth by Pope Benedict XVI. During this year the faithful are encouraged to pray for priests that they may be faithful to their sacred calling.
St. Teresa was concerned for the Church in her time and proposed to her nuns that they would be able to help the Church by praying for the "defenders of the Church and for preachers and for learned men who protect her from attack". In other words, the nuns should be saying prayers for the bishops, priest, ministers and theologians. Her logic was a very good one for she came to "realize that if the bishop is holy the subjects will be so too". Praying for the holiness of priests should be in the heart of all Discalced Carmelites. The leaders in our Church need our love, support, encouragement and prayers.
The apostolic element of the Tereisan Carmel can be clearly seen in the following taken from chapter three of The Way of Perfection:
"I beg you to strive to be such that we might merit from God two things: First, that among the numerous learned men and religious there be many who will meet these requirements I mentioned that are necessary for this battle, and that the Lord may prepare those who do not meet them; one who is perfect will do much more than many who are not. Second, that after being placed in this combat which, as I say, is not easy, they may receive protection from the Lord so as to remain free of the many perils there are in the world, and stop their ears in order not to hear the siren's song on the dangerous sea."