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The glory of Christ’s Holy Priesthood September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

Again from Fr. Nicholas Gihr’s The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Ascetically Explained, an excerpt on the glory of the priesthood and the life of self-denying service that life’s faithful execution requires (p. 290):

This service of the Lord, this busy life spent in the care of souls, is a yoke and a burden: a -burden which would be terrible for the shoulders of angels even, a burden from which the very saints fled in dread and terror. The faithful performance of the pastoral office,Green_Rifan_chalice the preaching of the word of God, the celebration and dispensation of the mysteries of salvation, the preservation of discipline and good morals in congregations, the training and direction of the faithful, especially of youth, in the way of salvation, the care of the poor and sick, the preventing or suppression of scandals and dangers from the flock entrusted to one’s care costs much labor and hardship, many sufferings and combats, many exertions and sacrifices (jugum Domini). The yoke, that is, the office of bishop and of priest, is heavier than the ministry of the deacon……..

But the sacerdotal vocation, with all the labors and responsibilities attaching to the life of a priest, is lightened and sweetened by the mighty grace of the Lord   (jugum ejus est suave et onus ejus leve; potens enim est Deus, ut augeat tibi gratiam suam). Whom the Lord chooses as His servant, him He helps to carry the burden; for a precious, a full, an over- flowing measure of heavenly grace and consolation, the great and lowmasscountless graces of his calling, the Lord has in reserve for the priest. He that has a vocation, delights in and loves the duties of his ministry; therefore, it is not an oppressive weight for him, but a light and sweet burden, which he joyfully carries, though it may require on his part much bodily exertion and many spiritual combats[Especially, in this day and age, the latter, I think]  From the bottom of his heart he prays with the Psalmist: “Better, O Lord, is one day in Thy courts above thousands” in the world; “rather would I” be “an abject” unknown and forgotten in the world, than amid abundance and honors “dwell in the tabernacles of sinners.” The sufferings of the priest are great, but equally great, yea, far greater, are his joys. For as the good priest “abounds in the sufferings of Christ, so also through Christ does his comfort abound.” “I am filled with comfort; I exceedingly abound in all my tribulation,” he says with the Apostle of the Gentiles. The service of Christ and of His Church is not only the greatest joy, but also the highest honor and distinction for the priest. The service of the altar is the most sublime office, it is the summit and crown of all dignities upon earth.

————End Quote———-

The point of this post is simple: pray for your priests!  Good, bad, or indifferent, pray for your priests!  Satan attacks priests (and bishops) more than anyone else, for that father of lies knows that if he can bring one priest or bishop down, thousands or tens of thousands more will follow.  As St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori said “one bad book can ruin a whole monastery,” well, one bad priest can ruin a parish, and one bad bishop could even ruin an entire region, if not a country.  No matter what  you think of your current clergy, pray for them like it’s absolutely vital to  your salvation, because it is!  Pray for them out of charity for the man and the office!  Pray for them for the benefit of other souls!  Pray for them because Christ loves His priests so much, He gives them torrents of vital Grace. Prayer for your priest(s) and bishops should always be one of your very highest prayer priorities!  Prayer is an enormous spiritual work of mercy that will redound to your credit in the eyes of Christ!

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[…] included that last bit, because both Fr. Nicholas Gihr, who I have been quoting a great deal lately, and the father of true liturgical reform, Dom Prosper Gueranger, noted that […]

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