Bothering Our Pastors


At a Sunday afternoon Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis instructed the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to:“Bother your pastors, disturb your pastors, all of us pastors, so that we will give you the milk of grace, of doctrine, and of guidance.” (watch the short 2 minute video of his address below)The Pope spoke these words after providing an analogy of the faithful to a hungry calf, who will bother its mother until she feeds it the milk it needs. He describes the calf “knocking” at the udder of the mother until it is able to drink freely of her milk.These words struck me hard for several reasons:I hate to be a bother.I always feel like I am being a bother when I have a question (or several).I preface nearly every conversation with my priest/spiritual director with either the thought in my head or the words on my lips: “Father, I hope I am not bothering you, but…”I don’t think I am alone in this. I have heard many friends express the same hesitations. The conversations go something like this…”I really don’t know what God expects me to do and I would love to ask Father, but I don’t want to bother him.” of “I have a question about church teaching x, but I can’t ask Father because I don’t want to bother him.” Are you with me?  Have you said that too?  I bet you have. It seems to be a nearly universal sentiment among the Catholic faithful I know. Which leads me to ask the next question – why do we think we are bothering our priests by asking them questions about our faith, the Lord, the church’s teaching or by seeking guidance in how to live our lives according to God’s plan?  I propose that there are several reasons


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