Dear Spiritual Fathers, I am one of your spiritual daughters. I have great love for the priesthood, for priests, and I pray and sacrifice for many of you daily. You have sacrificed yourselves for me. You have given your lives so that I will have access to the sacraments. Without you, there would be no Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or Holy Communion. Without you, there would be no sacramental absolution. Without you, my life in pursuit of holiness would be made that much more difficult. You hold a special place in my heart.
But I must ask: Are you willing to wear the Crown of Thorns? Have you endured the darkness and loneliness of the Agony in the Garden, praying “not my will but Yours”? Have you entrusted yourself and your life to the hands of the Father? Have you known betrayal and offered forgiveness? Have you stood with Jesus during the Scourging at the Pillar? Are His wounds your wounds? Is His suffering your suffering? Are you willing to wear the Crown of Thorns?
The more your life mirrors the life of the Lord, the more you can lead your people toward holiness, sanctification, eternal beatitude. The more they can see Jesus in you, the more they will be drawn toward Him. The more they embrace His life, the more they will begin to see the beautiful paradox within His sufferings. To the world, His Passion looks like a defeat, like a horrible, painful, and needless torture. Yet we can see that all His suffering points to His victory over sin and death.
You, priest of God, must be willing to conform yourself to Christ deliberately. Conform yourself to His suffering, to His death. The world wants to take this away from you, away from us. It mocks those who sacrifice comfort and pleasure. It puts stumbling blocks in the way of the clear path leading toward eternal life in Heaven. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord. Stay on the straight and narrow path: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If you lead us, we will follow. We look to you. What will your example be? Are you willing to wear the Crown of Thorns?