From a distance, priests may seem almost divine – but they are not. Priests are human people, who get tired, feel dejected, even at times get depressed. Sometimes people can be too demanding, other times priests wonder if they are doing any good.
In taking time off for prayer and relaxation, priests imitate their Lord: even Jesus had to get away from time to time, to spend time with his Father and renew his energy. Like the Lord Jesus, priests need to be allowed and encouraged to take time off.
Intimacy with the Lord is a power priests can draw on, but sometimes the demands of pastoral work make prayer hard. Sad things happen to people at all times of day or night, so it's hard for a priest to take time for prayer, without the risk of being disturbed.
Time with brother priests helps to restore the spirit, but again, it's hard to be sure of this precious time apart: the joys and sorrows of people intrude unexpectedly.
Pray for priests who work hard, that their strength will constantly be replenished by the Lord who understood what it is to be tired.
- Fr. Bernard Cotter, extracted from Living Prayer