Why pray for the clergy, and who should pray for them?
The purpose for praying for the continued holiness of the clergy, and who should pray for them is as follows:
1. Jesus tells His disciples in John 15:12 -14 that the greatest sign of love is to lay down one's life for another. The sacrificial love Jesus is talking about means more than simply entering into a bloody martyrdom. Although this may be the case on rare occasions, Jesus' words have an extended meaning. They direct us to give of ourselves to others by praying for them. Even though the clergy receive graces through ordination to carry out their ministry (CCC-1597), original sin has made an imperfect clergy. So to help the clergy resist temptation and remain holy, the laity and the religious must pray for them. When the laity and the religious offer prayers for the continued holiness of the clergy (bishops, priests and deacons), they are rewarded with special graces from Christ because of their unselfish act of praying for the ordained.
A holy clergy is very important, because through a holy clergy, the laity and the religious are able to be spiritually nourished. You see, the responsibility of the clergy is to feed the laity and the religious in the name of Jesus with the word and the grace of God. This makes praying for the continued holiness of the clergy a necessity, so that the clergy may have the fortitude to feed the Church.
2. Praying for the clergy is not a task cut out only for the laity and the religious. The clergy are encouraged to pray for their fellow clergymen too, so that they can continue to grow in holiness and be faithful leaders.
THE NET RESULT?
When every Catholic prays for the clergy's continued holiness, every Catholic will benefit, and yes--I mean EVERY CATHOLIC!