On the second Thursday of each month, we priests here at St. Mary’s Academy and College all gather together for a day of recollection. The day starts with a morning spiritual conference, given by one of us, on whichever topic the preacher chooses. For example, this month’s recollection is on the topic of “Union with the Sacred Heart.” After the late morning Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the chapel until evening. At the noon meal, we all take turns reading aloud from a spiritual book, usually one which further touches on the topic of the morning conference. Each priest then takes advantage of the free afternoon to spend a Holy Hour in the chapel, as well as to catch up on any other light work or rest he may need. The day of recollection ends with the evening rosary and benediction.
It is a day set aside especially for prayer and silence, a day of deep reflection, as well as rejuvenation. We priests are not exempt from the danger of activism, so common in the modern world. We need regularly to purify our intention, to do a thorough examination of conscience, to see if we are faithfully fulfilling our priestly obligations, especially those of each day growing in charity and diligently tending the flock entrusted to us by God. It is a day more directly and more especially consecrated to Christ, who personally showed us, while He Himself walked this earth, the importance and the need of these dedicated times of prayer, solitude, and recollection. “Having dismissed the multitude, He went into a mountain alone to pray. And when it was evening, He was there alone” (Mt. 14:23). The servant is not greater than his Master, and we priests are certainly no exception. There is a constant need for us especially to hear and heed those words of Christ: “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you” (Mt. 11:28). Please pray for your priests.
~ Fr. Torzala