"Each time that anyone thus looks lovingly at the Host,
Which contains sacramentally My Divine Body,
He will increase his merits for Heaven,
And add to his eternal joys an especial delight,
Corresponding to that with which he devoutly contemplated
This precious Body on earth." - St Gertrude
"Look around among your own number, brothers, for seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent, and we shall appoint them to this task. This will permit us to concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word." —Acts 6:3-4
When priests are truly priests, we need more deacons. When deacons are truly deacons, it helps priests be truly priests. When lay people are truly lay people, they call forth more priests and deacons. "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy" (1 Cor 12:26).
Because we are all one body, we grow stronger or weaker together. Some think a decimated priesthood is a good opportunity for deacons, religious, and lay people to be more active in the Church. Rather, a weakened priesthood means less opportunities for others to minister. A weak priesthood is an effect of a weak laity, and will cause a weak diaconate and even weaker laity.
This vicious cycle can be reversed only by each of us — no matter what part of Christ's body we are — repenting and surrendering totally to Jesus. Renewal of Christ's body begins with us. If we deny our very selves, take up our daily cross (Lk 9:23), and become what the Lord has called us to be, we will build up the body of Christ. In this way, the word of God will continue to spread and the number of disciples enormously increase (Acts 6:7).