So, I’m back

Okay, back to real life (for me – for a few, Saltaire is real life!).
Not that I’m any kind of example, because I well know I am not, but what has happened to priests simply being priests? What I mean is this: as I observe the workings and doings and sayings of priests, the question that keeps popping up in my head is this: Why are so many priests being so many other things rather than simply priests? Some priests seem to really want to be social-activists, some therapists, some want to be politicians, et cetera, but what about priests who want to be just priests and be about the “cure of souls?” Too many priests, it seems to me in my observations, are agenda driven – and the agenda is political and social, not really – what? – “spiritual,” religious, restoration of people’s relationship with God (otherwise known as salvation in some parts of the Church), the cure of souls. Could the same be said about lay leaders?
As I listen to and watch other priests, I see the difference. Those priests who are concerned foremost about the souls of people, regardless of their political persuasion or the side they take in the Culture-Wars, have a quality about them, and so do their parishes. Big or small, more conservative or more liberal, there is an aliveness that is all together different than those parishes that are agenda driven, cause du jour obsessed, and not really focused on some of the basics of a Christian life: prayer that is more than reading some sentences, worship that is more then doing some manual acts, loving that extends beyond those who are politically and socially like-minded, preaching that is not vialed dictation on how or what to believe (indoctrination – liberal, conservative, and everything in between), or teaching that is beyond opposition to the war, the evil of same-sex relationships, or why the MDG’s are so essential to being a relevant Christian – all issues that the Church needs to be aware of and address, but not the primary emphasis of the Church or her priests.
Priests I know who seem to want to be priests rather than social-activists or therapists (in the guise of a priest), or some such other thing, seem to be far more effective. They certainly have their opinions political and social, but their cause is not to bring people around to a particular way of thinking, but teaching them how to engage the Source of wisdom and understanding, the Source of love, teaching them how to discern and know God. They teach people to fish, rather than simply giving them fish, so to speak.
That’s just me. I hope to be a priest who really wants to be a priest and be about the cure of souls.