Yesterday the Diocese of Knoxville was blessed to celebrate the ordination of Fr. Dustin Collins. In his homily Bishop Stika mentioned many of the ways Fr. Dustin will be blessed and challenged as a priest. The thing that most struck me in the homily was the bishop’s mention of one of the private prayers that priests are called upon to pray each time they celebrate the Eucharist. Just after the Agnus Dei the priest quietly prays,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood, from all my sins and every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.
There are many times when I am celebrating the Eucharist when I wish these beautiful prayers were ones that the Church instructed us to pray aloud. This prayer that is meant to prepare the priest for his reception of the Eucharist is just as appropriate for all who dare to approach the altar to receive Christ’s Body and Blood.
Please keep Fr. Dustin and all newly ordained priests in your prayers that they may be holy priests who will remain always faithful in their love and service of God’s people.