Priests who neglect prayer fall to worldly temptations, says Manila archbishop

March 29, 2024 - 4:08 PM
Cardinal Jose Advincula leads the Chrism Mass at the Manila Cathedral on March 28, 2024. (Manila Cathedral/Eric Paul Guanlao)

At his annual Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jose Advincula has warned that priests who fail to pray are susceptible to worldly temptations.

In his homily at the Manila Cathedral, he spoke to priests about the value of prayer in their priestly lives, emphasizing that it is the way to intimacy with God.

“Kaya’t sa huli, ang paring hindi nagdadasal ay nawawala at nagwawala,” Advincula said.

Without prayer, he emphasized that priests would perceive the benefits and privileges accompanying their service as earnings and entitlements.

“If we fail to pray, we will end up reducing our priesthood to a mere task or role. We would see God as an oppressive master or boss,” Advincula said.

“Eventually we would feel burdened and burnt out by our priesthood with an underlying resentment that is expressed as an insatiable demand for compensation and perks,” he said.

The cardinal also stressed that priestly prayer is always in solidarity with God’s people.

This means a priest’s prayer, according to him, is not confined to his own issues or concerns or does not cut him apart from God’s people “but binds him closely and deeply with them.”

“A priest who is truly intimate with God has profound solidarity with God’s beloved people,” he said.

A packed cathedral turned out for the Mass, during which the cardinal, as the archbishop of Manila, blessed the sacred oils for use in the archdiocese for the year.

Aside from the clergy who renewed their priestly vows, among those who attended the Mass were two former Manila archbishops: retired Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who currently serves as the pro-prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization.