Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A few weeks back, my bishop sent me and my brother priests in the diocese a copy of Msgr. Stephen Rossetti's book entitled Why Priests are Happy. Having benefited from reading two of his previous works, I was happy to have this newly-released book that looks at the state of my brothers in ministry.
I found the book to be enjoyable, despite the fact that it was really a summary of a two large-scale studies of priestly life and ministry, which arrived at conclusions via charts and numerical analysis. I found it particularly interesting to see his findings on the connections between priestly happiness, time in prayer, various spiritual practices, understandings of obedience and celibacy, as well as other elements with regards to different generations of priests.
All of these various factors come together to paint a beautiful picture of priesthood, one that show that we priests are ... actually happy! The correlations (not causations, as he clearly notes) between happiness and various beliefs and spiritual practices was also good food for reflection in my own vocation, as it would be for anyone. In the end, he simply notes that as a whole, priests are generally happy, and that the reason is... well, I'll leave that for you to find out.