Fr. Thomas Colyandro
Helping Priests Who are Truly Sick
There is an evil in our days that strikes at the heart of Christ, His Most Holy Mother, and all the people of God. When priests are truly sick, they desperately need prayers, anointing, and in some cases, exorcisms. That is why it falls upon the shoulders of the elders of parishes, in conjunction with other, healthier priests, and the bishops, to reach out - and in some cases, demand - that a priest seek psychological and spiritual help. James 5:14-20 makes this clear.
"Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest. My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."
Priests in our day are wandering from the truth. The people must rise up and demand that they get help. Priests must rise up and demand that bishops get help. This sacred duty - this caring for people's spiritual lives and their salvation - requires healthy minds, bodies and spirits. Even though we must be patient, merciful and loving to priests, we must also not pretend when they need help.
Thriving in God is everyone's job. Go to confession and get to work!