Have you ever thought about praying for the priest who is about to hear your confession? I know I haven’t…the thought never even occurred to me. But, now I know there are several ways you can pray for your confessor while waiting in line, including this prayer:
O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father [N]. Give him a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.
In his loneliness, comfort him. In his sorrows, strengthen him. In his frustrations, point out to him that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls, he is needed for the work of redemption.
O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your son who is close to you because of his priestly ordination, and because of the power which he has received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs him so much.
Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength, and especially help him to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy.
For those of you who like loftier language, there’s this prayer:
A Prayer For One’s Confessor
In asking of Thee, O my God, the graces of which I am in need, can I, without ingratitude, forget before Thee, him whom Thou hast chosen from among Thy ministers, to reconcile me to Thee by the sacrament of penance, justly called the second plank after shipwreck?
Deign, I beseech Thee, O my God, to adorn his soul with the virtues befitting the functions of the awful ministry with which Thou hast invested him. Grant him the faith of St. Peter, the charity of St. Paul, the firmness of St. Chrysostom, the evangelical liberty of St. Ambrose, the lights of St. Augustine, the piety of St. Bernard, the zeal of St. Charles Borromeo, the mildness of St. Francis of Sales, and the humility of St. Vincent de Paul.
Guide him Thyself, O Lord in all his actions, that after having been here below a prudent and faithful dispenser of Thy mysteries, he may hereafter receive from Thy bountiful hands, the bright crown Thou hast promised in a blessed eternity, to the priests who shall have consecrated their lives to bring back their fellow creatures from the ways of error, and to conduct them in the paths of justice and peace.