There is reference to priests being "rushed off their feet" on the Catholic Gossip blog. Well, priests are just human and get tired like everyone else, but there are some special reasons why priests might get tired. First of all, many parish priests are in impossible situations. For example, some have to deal with houses and churches that in in a bad state of repair, but do not have the money to deal with these problems. They have to pay the Assessment fee to the Diocese (an important contribution) and may struggle to do it as well as keep the "parish plant" in reasonable condition. This can be a source of stress. Workmen come and go - and sometimes just disappear. A more serious problem is the state of the moral ignorance and laxity of many the faithful who often resent being reminded of the reality of sin. Young people who are "living together" come to have children baptised. Some of them know very little about Catholic moral teaching. Some of them do not know that there are different kinds of sin - many have no real concept of sin anyway. What do they think of the Church? Often their understanding of the Gospel and the Church is so poor they appear to be relatively innocent, but who is to blame for this ignorance? Is it "culpable" (their fault)? is it "invincible" (not their fault)? Is it, perhaps the fault of bishops and priests (and even some teachers and parents) who have failed to preach the Gospel and teach the Faith? What is a priest to do in these situations? What happens when apparently good Mass-going Catholics come to get married and are more concerned about their boyfriend/girlfriend not being a Catholic than they are about the fact that they are "living together"? (One fear is out of date, the other, which should be there, is non-existent). There are other problems. I mention only a few;
many going to Holy Communion, hardly anyone going to Confession. Youngsters missing Mass - with the approval of their parents - and then coming to Communion the following week. People categorising a priest as "strict" because he tries to present the whole faith - including the challenging bits. Priests being criticised for even mentioning abortion, contraception etc (actually this affects very few priests!). Priests being criticised for trying to keep a reverent silence in the church etc, etc. Oh, and priests not being supported in their ministry by the bishop. There is probably much, much more. Priests who do not pray may get depressed. Without prayer we can do very little; without God we can do nothing. Our Lady watches over us, but please be patient when we seem a little tired or fed-up.