Father McBrien's complaint is one he has sounded before. He writes, "Very few married lay persons can readily identify with such Christian types" as "priests, bishops, male and female religious, and lay persons who either remained virgins and celibates during their lifetime or, if married, entered a convent or founded a religious order after the death of their spouse."
He concludes by saying, "These commonalities are surely significant, but they do not directly touch the experience of ordinary married Catholics with children and grandchildren."
It is a statement so far removed from the reality of Catholic life as to be astounding, to claim that priests, religious, holy lay people and founders of religious orders "do not directly touch the experience of ordinary married Catholics with children and grandchildren."
The very fabric and fiber of our lives are totally interwoven with the lives of the holy priests, sisters, brothers and lay people who have been there for us in all our joys and sorrows.
Father McBrien -- Priests, including yourself, do "directly touch the experience of ordinary married Catholics." Please read the poem,"The Beautiful Hands of a Priest." Yes, I know that cynics, and even some in the clergy, mock it as corny; but it tells the truth. Just read it and you will see and recall how very much priests have to do with every Catholic's life every day.
Just go to: http://www.ewtn.com/library/PRIESTS/POEMPRIE.TXT
The first two stanzas of "The Beautiful Hands of a Priest" say so much:
We need them in life's early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek them when tasting life's woes.
At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness;
Their dignity stands all alone...