Friday, October 23, 2009

Quotes on the Priesthood

FAITH: When this all-important truth is deeply impressed on the mind and heart of the priest---that the eternal salvation of certain souls may depend on his ministerial activities, that difficulties and opposition and weariness should be accepted unhesitatingly when even one soul is in danger, that all the materials benefits and human honors the world could give him are nothing compared to the privilege of serving as the instrument of God in bringing the state of grace to one human being---then the spirit of immeasurable zeal will burn ardently in his heart.

HOPE: In the case of the priest the hope to bring others to their eternal destiny is intimately linked up with the desire of his own salvation, for the vocation to which he has been divinely summoned involves the duty of bringing many others to eternal happiness.

We should not measure success in the priestly ministry in terms of numbers, since to restore even one soul to the state of grace would be worth all the labor of an entire lifetime.

CHARITY: It was primarily out of love for God that the priest accepted the divine invitation to enter the sacredotal state; and it is only by ever cultivating the virtue of divine charity that he will prove himself worthy of the great privilege of functioning day by day in the priesthood.

The virtue of chastity, which is the glory of the Catholic priesthood, is intimately connected with divine charity. It is true, one reason why the Church requires celibacy in her priests is that one who is free from the cares and responsibilities of family life can more completely and more wholeheartedly devote himself to the work of the sacred ministry. But the deeper and more spiritual reason is that the soul which is free from the bonds of earthly love, however noble and pure it may be, is better disposed for an ardent and unselfish love of God. And so, the perfect observance of the angelic virtue to which the priest has pledged himself will foster divine charity in his heart, and this increase of charity, in turn, will urge him to be ever faithful to his obligation of unsullied purity.