Monday, 18 April 2011

A small sacrifice for Passion Week

Pray this week for the sufferings,
mental and physical, of all our priests

The book that I ordered, Priest-Workman in Germany by Henri Perrin SJ has arrived and every page is a joy to read.
I still have not had time to learn fully about Fr Perrin but I plan to set aside an hour or two each day to read this account of his suffering in a number of prisons.

The title "Workman Priest" I found quite offputting as I am sure it relates to the priest worker movement in France where priests take up factory jobs alongside the workers. Personally, I like the concept of priests that is generally accepted, that of being 'other Christs' ministering to our spiritual and pastoral needs in all locations; the home, the church and, maybe occasionally in the workplace but not being at one with their fellow men in the sense that they operate the lathes and the foundries - their hands have more important work.

Here is Father Perrin's small sacrifice:-

"...My Great Retreat continued. For a week I had been giving my whole mind to the Passion of Christ. At Jerusalem, as I knelt on the flagstones of Lithostrotos, where Jesus spent the first hours of Good Friday, I had been profoundly moved. How much more so now, at the thought of the hours He spent in prison. But he was there only a few hours, and if I dare say so, He had no time to get to know it well.
It was marvellous to think that He could call on men thus to make up what was lacking in His Passion.
During my long hours of silence, I saw Him in His cell, in the midst of other prisoners. For He "did time" too, and so many others after Him, from Peter to Joan of Arc, from Paul to St Louis. This would henceforward be a bond creating a special ans unforgettable love.
However, I passed long hours in His company - sometimes in my cell, sometimes in His prison, that cellar of Caiphas' house which has apparently been identified not far from the Upper Room. I often wondered what He can have said to the other prisoners _ for indded He must have talked to them. 
He who was as able to console the wretched as to silence the Pharisees.

Yesterday I had followed the way of the cross with Him. Here, it all became amazingly vivid. We saw a little Russian, all in rags, terribly thin and quite filthy, coming out of the next cell while they were cleaning ours; the guard knocked him down with a blow because he wasn't going fast enough. I needed to look no farther for Christ falling under the cross - He was carrying on Our Lord's Passion far more than I, and I could not get his picture out of my imagination......I saved a packet of fruit pate for him from my parcel to give him at the next opportunity....." 


  1. Even this small excerpt brought tears to my eyes. I have just made myself a hot cup of tea, using electricity that was only a simple switch away, in order to boil the water, that flows readily out of the tap as I turn it. These testimonies from people, who had hardly any comfort at all, help me to practice a more grateful attitude, when tempted to bemoan my state or worse still, to become 'bored' with familiar comforts, almost taking them for granted. Thankyou for posting. I need to write a gratitude list!!

  2. Shadowlands, yes, his experiences are very moving, I hope to post more throughout the week.
    Thank you for your comment.