Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s two-part episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland discusses the Our Father, priestly vocations, and speaks to a tendency he sees in the Church today.

Opening the first part of the show, Strickland offers commentary on part of the sixth chapter of Matthew, including the Our Father. To him, the Our Father, while brief, is pregnant with meaning and is the model of prayer. He also notes that Protestants often tell him that Catholics do what Christ told us not to do and use many words in prayer, citing such things as the Rosary and novenas.

“If these are just empty words, then we are falling into what Jesus told us to avoid,” he says. “Multiplying the words isn’t the point, but speaking to the Lord in an intimate way is the point.”

Strickland also remarks that it is important to read the Gospels from the perspective of the disciples themselves, especially when considering the words of the Our Father, adding that the prayer was likely a “pretty startling prayer” when it was first heard. “I think we need to allow that to startle us as well,” he adds, suggesting that prayer must become “part of us,” recalling that his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s in her latter days, would still recite common prayers even when she did not recognize the Roman collar worn by her son.

Commenting on one of the Our Father’s petitions, Strickland opines that it is good to reflect on all of the petitions, inviting people to do so as Lent continues, though says that the petition “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is pertinent for our times, adding that it must be at the center of all that we do.

“If we are seeking that, that will strengthen us, that will help us to navigate the challenges we face, and to take up the crosses we may have to bear, as Christ tells us to take up our cross,” Strickland says of the petition.

Later in the same episode, Strickland speaks to priestly vocations in light of the fact that the Diocese of Limburg in Germany, headed by Bishop Georg Bätzing, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, saw no ordinations last year, the first time in two centuries.

Strickland, who served as the vocations director of the Diocese of Tyler before becoming and while serving as its bishop, notes that while things are not well in the Church, the answer to the problem is to proclaim the truth, to stay close to Christ, and to seek the will of God. He also says that all young men should at least pray to God if He has given them a vocation, but that one must seek God’s will on the matter of a priestly vocation rather than attempt to seek their own will.

“It’s not about what we want, especially when it comes to a vocation to the priesthood,” he says. He also notes that God is calling more to the priesthood than are being encouraged to seek ordination. The solution to the problem, however, is not to “water down the priesthood,” or change it such that how one is a priest and who can be a priest are different. One must remain with what Christ established and be faithful, Strickland asserts, rather than adapt to the world.

“Why are we not getting the priests we need?” Strickland asks. “Because we’re not proclaiming the Gospel that needs to be proclaimed.” For Strickland, we must proclaim the truth in a better way, and that the truth is still here. While he recognizes that the proclamation can be “challenging,” he also notes that it is “life-giving.”

“We need to be more energetic instead of less, and more hopeful, more clear about the light of the Gospel, not to curse the darkness, but to light one candle that represents the light of Christ, and encourage others to do the same,” he says.

Strickland begins the second part of the episode with a commentary on part of the 11th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, in which Christ says that a wicked generation looks for signs and wonders, and that the only sign that will be given to His generation is that of Jonas the prophet.

Reacting to his commentary, show host Terry Barber reads part of the 25th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel regarding the general judgement.

Strickland reacts to Barber’s reading by noting there is a tendency in the Church today to create a dichotomy between living the commandments and performing the corporal works of mercy, to which Strickland says bluntly that “there is no dichotomy.”

For Strickland, the corporal works of mercy, such as feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, are “undermined” when those doing the works of mercy are not calling people to repentance or to embrace and be changed by the truth.

“What the fullness of the message is, [is] when we begin to be changed, turning from sin, and living the Gospel more fully, when we’re embracing what God has revealed to us, the truth of the commandments, the way of life that He’s offered us, then we have the calling and the strength and the clarity to go out and to live those corporal works of mercy.”

To watch all previous episodes of The Bishop Strickland Showclick here to visit LifeSite’s Rumble page dedicated to The Bishop Strickland Show.