By the late John J Cardinal Carberry
Keep them; I pray Thee, dearest Lord.
Keep them, for they are Thine
The priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart.
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure —
Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them and remember, Lord,
they have no one but Thee.
Yet, they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.
Lord, You have called me to priestly ministry in a particular moment of history, as in the times of the first Apostles, when You desire that all Christians, and in a particular way Your priests, might be witnesses to the wonders of God and the strength of Your Spirit.
Allow me to be a witness to the dignity of human life, to the grandeur of love, and to the power of the ministry which I have received. May my entire life be dedicated to You: for love, only for love, and for a higher love.
May my commitment to celibacy born of Your mission, be a joyful and happy affirmation and a total dedication of myself to others in the service of Your Church. Give me strength in my weakness, and gratitude for my steadfastness.
Holy Mother Mary, greatest and most wonderful mother of all time, grant that I may entrust my life to you each day. Mary, font of generosity and dedication, grant that I may be joined with you at the foot of the greatest crosses of the world, experiencing the redeeming pain of the death of your Son, so that I might enjoy the triumph of the Resurrection for eternal life. Amen ~unknown