Just got back from Mass. Our priest is away and so we had an elderly Monsignor saying Mass. After our Deacon gave the homily, the Monsignor collapsed. As the congregation said prayers, medically trained members of the congregation lept to assist him and an ambulance was called. After the ambulance arrived it took several minutes for the Monsignor to regain his strength. The ambulance team wanted to whisk him away to the hospital. The Monsignor would have none of that. He had come to say Mass, and that he was going to do, come what may to him. With the ambulance team standing nearby, we had an abbreviated Mass, going straight to the consecration. After the Eucharist, the Monsignor gave the final blessing and walked out with some assistance, promising to go to the hospital to be examined. He received a round of applause, which I joined in, something I usually do not do, since I find applause in most circumstances out of place in a Church, but I found it a proper tribute on this occasion.
I have run many posts celebrating the heroism of priests who have served as military chaplains, and it is fit and proper that I have done this. However, we must not overlook the every day heroism of the overwhelming majority of priests, who lead lives of quiet sacrifice in service to Christ and do not receive a fraction of the credit they deserve, and which, of course, they do not seek. Something to consider as we welcome Christ at Christmas, that he has some very good men at His altars.