Have you ever made a long-term sacrifice – like giving up something good that you love – for someone else? Many people are doing that for our priests, who deserve our prayers and sacrifices. So what kind of sacrifices are people making?
It can be anything you’re inspired to do that isn’t harmful. And most of us need to choose something that’s not so hard that we drop it right away (say, giving up caffeine!). Things like switching from cola to diet cola, leaving out the cream in your coffee, or saying a few extra prayers every day will open up a lot of grace for priests who sacrifice so much for us. The goal is joy. Find something that gives you deep joy, because true joy is always connected to love.
I joined some friends in making little sacrifices for priests about a year ago. But I’m the original Ms. Weakling and every day I get hit by a wall of temptation. “Aw, c’mon, why are you doing this? You’re having a rough day, you deserve to….” (You can bet any sentence that starts that way isn’t God talking!)
But last week I was hit by another wall – one of encouragement. I thought, “This must really be doing some good or I wouldn’t be having this temptation.” The upside is that if we’ve decided to do something beneficial, a temptation is only confirmation that it’s helping great things to happen — or the devil wouldn’t care.
What kind of great things is our sacrifice making possible? Well, we don’t know exactly. It’s kind of none of our business. Those we pray for may be given insight as they counsel an addict or get the strength to make a midnight hospital visit to someone who’s dying. God floods his grace where it’s needed most.
He doesn’t require our help, but invites us to participate in his generosity. So we don’t give up doing the good things we’ve started just because we’re tempted. It happens to everyone. And like St. Paul, our power is made perfect in weakness.