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We meet Christ in the prayer and love of the Christian community, in the Holy Scriptures, and in our priests; and supremely in His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament
A good priest feels privileged to be ordained, is awestruck by Christ's love, believes all that the Church teaches, never grumbles about his work, is keen to hand on the truth, is fearless in preaching, tells the whole truth about faith and morals, and requests reverent behaviour in church, where Christ is Really Present in the Blessed Sacrament.
People who fulfil their everyday tasks in union with Christ, in the home or the workplace - or in the Priesthood - grow in holiness. Their communion with Him drives them to do everything for love of Him and of the Father, Who is the Source of all holiness. They are becoming ready to live one day as Saints, with the Father in Heaven.
Those repentant Catholics who serve Christ in the home, at work and in the priesthood, for example, live deep in the heart of Christ. They are growing in holiness, ready to live one day as Saints, with the Father in Heaven.
It pleases Christ when we show love, honour and respect towards our Bishop. Christ is our great High Priest, and He invites us all to show love and courtesy, at all times, towards those He has chosen to be 'other Christs' for us.
There are some acts which are intrinsically wrong. Even if people act from ignorance, and are less blameworthy in God's sight, He does not want anyone (especially priests) to encourage people in such acts, but to invite them to abandon such behaviour, to pursue holiness. It is never right to use contraceptives, to attempt a re-marriage which is adulterous, or to have a forbidden sexual relationship such as incest.
It is no small matter, that through a break in Apostolic Succession at the Reformation, many Christian leaders have invalid orders. Not being priests, they cannot consecrate bread and wine. They and their followers receive only bread and wine at their Communion Service. It may not be their fault, but they do not receive the transforming food, Christ Himself.
Unless a seminarian becomes a man of prayer, with a deep love for Christ, a belief in the Spirit's power, and the Father's providential care, he will not be a good priest, nor will he be able to persevere in the Priesthood.
It is a special honour, to be the mother of a priest: an honour which Christ intends from the beginning of a woman's life, as He leads her onto the right path, so that her example of faith can help her son.
Some priests mistakenly see themselves as counsellors rather than priests. In their misguided view of pastoral care they forget that they have been called to be 'other Christs' who teach the truth about sin and holiness, who invite people to repent and to receive forgiveness, freedom and peace.
Some Anglican women do hear a call from God to full-time service amongst Christian people; but it is mistaken as a call to Priesthood, when it is not His wish that women be priests, nor that people believe that Anglican Orders are valid.
In Being ordained to the Diaconate, a man leaps across the fence into a 'sacred space' which represents the life of the ordained celibate. When one day he speaks, as a priest, to the people, he will resemble Jesus on the Mount of Beatitudes; therefore he should resolve that he will never speak, act or think in ways which Jesus Christ his Master, the Son of God, would not have done.
Priestly celibacy enables a man to move towards Heaven on an uncluttered highway, without distractions. He can be single-minded in Christ's service until his old age, when he can enter Heaven, and be rewarded for all Eternity for his self-giving, and enjoy the bliss of God's love, with all the Saints.
Every priest needs a charitable heart. God the Father, like Jesus, knows what a man is like. He sees each man's soul and personality, gifts and background and attitudes. He calls to the Sacred Priesthood only men who are suitable for that special vocation.
We are wise if we listen to the Pope and His teaching. A priest who is unorthodox misleads those he should guide. It is as if he has set up and climbed a short ladder, so he can look upon the Church and the world, and decide on a personal opinion to share. The wise priest hands on what he has learned from Christ and His Church - through the Scriptures and the Sacred Tradition - because Christ has seen everything from a higher place: from Heaven, which He once left for our own sake, and where He now reigns.
To receive Christ in Holy Communion, with His Divine life and light and love, is to receive Fire from Heaven: a transforming fire from the heart of the God-man. How foolish we are if we rush away straight afterwards. How foolish is the priest who does not pause in prayer and recollection, but rushes towards the end of the Mass.
The sanctuary of a Catholic church is a holy place, just as was the holy of holies in the Temple at Jerusalem. A man who enters the sanctuary as a priest to offer Christ in sacrifice, in the Mass, should be pure and holy in body, mind and soul. If he is not, he should repent, and confess his sins when he can.
The Lord chooses all sorts of men, to serve as priests. They bring their own weaknesses with them. The sacraments they confer are valid, despite their sins; yet priests are sometimes mistaken in their personal opinions. The best priests are those who believe in all that the Church teaches, lead humble and chaste lives, fervent in love for the Saviour and His Church, and charitable towards everyone, though unafraid to speak the truth, in charity.
A Priest who prides himself on being different from his brothers in the Presbyterate, more tolerant of sin, more fun to be with, and more imaginative, is usually a person who likes attention, and is not of one mind with the Church. If he does not rejoin his brothers in peace and humility he will risk straying far from the narrow road which leads to Heaven and might take some holy persons with him.
However many 'models' of Church are put forward today, the Church has been founded by Christ as a hierarchy. The Pope has supreme power and authority, after Christ, in the Church, and guides us with the other Catholic Bishops. They are assisted by the men they have ordained as priests, and by the Deacons in Holy Orders. Then we see the laity, living out their union with Christ in the world.
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