Last week the Globe and Mail reported the results of research done at the University of Chicago on how happy individuals were in different occupations. Topping the list of the “Ten most happiest jobs” was clergy.
For many this may be surprising – often we have an impression that priests are overworked, discouraged and lonely. While I can say that there are times I have felt like all of the above – I would still say that my three short years of priesthood have been extremely happy.
There are many things that make the priesthood “happy.” On a human level, I do not need to worry about job security – there will always be a need for priests, there will always be a roof over my head and food on my table. Parishioners are constantly encouraging and affirming me. They are extremely grateful. Often I am thanked just for “showing up.” I also have many brother priests as friends to whom I can speak in those moments of discouragement and loneliness.
We also have the best employer – the Lord Himself! He has invited me to be His “friend” and offers me a privileged intimacy with Him in the celebration of Holy Mass. While we have much work to do, our joy comes from the fact that we are doing it for His glory. He will provide for our weakness, and make up for any of our mistakes. Realizing I play only a small part in God’s plan helps me to cope with the fact that my labours do not always yield the results I hoped for. Many apostles have come before me and the harvest remains plentiful – we will always need more labourers to continue the harvest!
How about you? It the best job there is!