And why are many Catholics leaving this tradition?
We may not have the size of the grace we receive from God by having priests by our side. For this reason, we often let the value of the blessing they give us go unnoticed, for example, and we lose this custom.
Saint John Mary Vianney, proclaimed by the Church as the patron of priests, said: “If I met a priest and an angel, I would greet the priest before saluting the angel. The angel is the friend of God, but the priest stands in his place. “
When ordained, the priests assume to act in persona Christi, that is, they are, for us, representatives of Christ himself. Therefore, the saint said that the priest “occupies” the place of God, therefore, was worthy of the first salutation, even before an angel. Moreover, the priest received from God the power to bring Christ into our midst, a function that even angels can not.
Thus, during the ordination of every priest, there are two important moments: the imposition of the hands of the bishop and the anointing of the hands of the then priest. When receiving the oil in the palms of his hands, the priest assumes four important dimensions: welcome, bless, offer and consecrate.
The second dimension is the one that speaks to us today. When we ask for the blessing of a priest, it is a gesture that says that we want to participate in this anointing received by him, we want to be part of this blessing. There are some who even have the custom of kissing the hands of priests, precisely because they bring the Christ to us, they are instruments of God’s grace for the faithful.
Why do not many ask for a blessing from their parents?
Father Camilo Júnior, a Redemptorist missionary and member of the Youth Commission of the National Shrine, warns that often not asking the priest for a blessing is a reflection of people who no longer ask for blessing their own parents.
“Asking for a blessing is a custom taught by parents. Both for themselves and their families, as for the priests. There are always mothers who speak to their children: ask for a blessing from the priest and the child reaches out. Now, those who do not ask for more blessings from their parents, will not even bother to ask the priests. “
Therefore, be sure to ask the priests to bless them and participate in this anointing given by God. And do not forget to always pray for your parish priest and priests you know. They are God’s instruments to us, riches given to us by the Church, they need our prayers, and it is our way of showing our gratitude to dedicate their lives to God’s people, to us.