Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reflections on the Priesthood (3)

By "Anne," a Lay Apostle    
It strikes me that the priesthood is under a ferocious attack. The sins of a few have been used by the enemy in an attempt to strip the dignity from many. Nobody can strip dignity from another, though, least of all from a man who shares the divine priesthood with Jesus Christ. I am keenly aware of the dignity of the men who are ordained priests. I am also aware of their sinfulness in the same way as they are aware of the sinfulness of others in that we are all asked to serve in our humanity, but I understand that their humanity can provide them with the humility to make them beautiful in God's eyes. How God loves them and rejoices in them.
I would encourage each priest to rejoice in his humanity, just as God does. And just as each priest should rejoice in his humanity, and at the same time, each priest should rejoice in the divinity of Jesus Christ and in the divine nature of Christ present in his vocation.
Sinfulness, the propensity toward sin, is not a problem for Jesus. He can work through us in spite of our human nature which pulls us to selfishness. I see priests working and I see God's presence. They are connected, God and the man. They are united. The Father's eyes do not leave the priest because the Father's Son is within the soul of the priest and His goals, the Father's, rest in the heart of the Son. The Father's love for each child on earth is contained in the Son which is then transmitted into the heart of each priest. Truly, only in heaven will the priest see the scope of what God places in his soul at ordination.
Nobody can strip the dignity from a man such as this.
A priest should never worry about his humanity, as I said. He should fight always to resist temptation of course, but he should understand that Christ will always be good and His goodness resides in the priest. When the priest falls, Christ remains standing. Christ will not stop being good simply because we stop being good. It is this that should comfort us when we are tempted toward discouragement because of our ongoing imperfection.
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