"To each of us the Judge shall say: Give an account of thy stewardship. That is, of your priesthood; how have you exercised it? for what end have you exercised it? Dearly beloved priest, were you now to be judged, would you feel satisfied and content with the manner in which you have discharged your ministry? Or would you not say: When he shall examine, what shall I answer him? When the Lord chastises a people, the chastisement begins with the priest, for he is the cause of the sins of the people, either by his bad example, or by his negligence in attending to their sanctification."
-- Saint Alphonsus Liguori (The Dignity and Duties of the Priest)
Prayer for a Priest before Confession
In asking of Thee, O my God, the graces of which I am in need, can I, without ingratitude, forget before thee him whom thou hast chosen from among thy ministers to reconcile me to thee by the sacrament of penance, justly called the second plank after shipwreck?
Deign, I beseech thee, O my God, to adorn his soul with the virtues befitting the functions of the awful ministry with which you have invested him.
Grant him the faith of St. Peter, and the charity of St. Paul, the firmness of St. Chrysostom, the evangelic liberty of St. Ambrose, the lights of St. Augustine, the piety of St. Bernard, the zeal of St. Charles Borromeo, the mildness of St. Francis de Sales, and the humility of St. Vincent de Paul.
Guide him thyself, O Lord, in all his actions, that, after having been here below a prudent and faithful dispenser of thy mysteries, he may hereafter receive from thy bountiful hands the BRIGHT CROWN thou hast promised in a blessed eternity to the priests who shall have consecrated their lives to bring back their fellow-creatures from the ways of error, and conduct them in the paths of justice and peace. Amen