Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prayers for Bishops

During the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, we always pray for our Bishop(s). I think I know why.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would accept the role of Bishop and less still continue as a Bishop.

I've been able to see just a small part of their lives in a close up way. I briefly held a chancery position and was able to see the daily working of the diocese and what is required of a Bishop to keep things moving. Our new Auxiliary Bishop has chosen to live in my rectory, so I see how a newly consecrated Bishop begins to learn what it means to be a Bishop and what it takes to be a Bishop. A friend was named the Bishop of Gallup, NM a few years ago, and I hear back from him and from other friends what is happening in his life.

From what I have witnessed, it takes an impossible mixture of holiness, fortitude and humility. I once heard Marriage described as a 'Saint making process.' I have the feeling that being a Bishop is a 'Martyr making process.' It might not be a red martyr, when actual blood is shed and life is lost for the faith, but a white martyr in which lifelong suffering and ridicule is accepted and offered to God in union with Christ on the Cross.  Many times that suffering comes from the ones who are supposed to be the closest collaborators with the Bishop, the priests of the diocese.

Pray for our Bishops.