May 18, 2017
“…the priest elevated to the status of collaborator in the generation of supernatural life even through grace is beyond his power of generation. Indeed, since supernatural generation is the highest degree of human fatherhood, it is true to say that a priest is more, not less, a father than a man who exercises biological and natural fatherhood alone.” –Fr. Carter Griffin, Supernatural Fatherhood through Priestly Celibacy: Fulfillment in Masculinity
Brothers & sisters,
#nerdalert: I love priests.
Is that too much of an admission? I. Love. Priests.
I’m heads-over-heels in love with the priesthood. A priest is, uniquely, among all living beings and vocations, one defined for eternity; a priest is one forevermore, like Melchidezek. The sacrament bestowed upon ordination etches into the priest’s very being a transformation that nothing can undo, and this transformation we will recognize even in Heaven, where, conversely, none are given in marriage. Priests form a race unique unto themselves.
Who is the priest? The priest is instrument. Where you and I pick up a saw as an instrument, in our own hands, to cut wood in half, so the Lord takes the priest into his own hands—goosebumps! Jesus, living, present, takes the priest in his own hands, the same hands with which he once sawed the same earthly wood upon which he would later hang crucified!—and, bringing the priest close, makes present his Sacred Body and Sacred Blood in the Eucharist; makes present his gentle, tender heart in Reconciliation, where he weeps over us tears of compassion; brings into the world a fatherhood with a power that belongs the Trinity alone, by the Holy Spirit, by the spiritual, by the eternal, by the divine. Mind-blowing. No more beautiful an instrumentality among human persons can we imagine!
Few things satisfy my love of expansive, far-reaching realities—hello, high school sci-fi and fantasy binge—as does this one, and it’s no surprise that Satan once told St. John Vianney that, “If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined.” (Please tell me you’ve all read the actual Lord of the Rings texts by Tolkien. If not, you must.)
Let us love our priests. Let us pray for them, for they receive the grandest of gifts, of vocations, and must do so perfectly humble, perfectly stripped, ready to be bared to the bone—for the Lord will keep them accountable for us, for our souls, for our encounters with love and mercy and compassion. I tremble at the thought.
A prayer: Heavenly Father! Papa, my dear Papa! You are the archetype of generation: you generate life, you demonstrate the beauty of fatherhood! You show us that to be a child before a father is to receive from the father one’s very identity. You give us your priests so that we may see your face more perfectly, and in being touched by their kindness and docility, we can learn more sweetly what it means to be a daughter, a son, of you, the living God. Pour your grace without ceasing on those who are our priest-gifts, and through them, sanctify your Church. Amen.
5/20/2017 marks six years since my mom's passing. I would be grateful if you all could lift my family, my younger brothers and dad especially, in your prayers. My dad is also heading into an important surgery on Monday--for his health and its success.
Silence, fall; oh I am listening.
I am listening; sing to me.
Spirit, fall; oh please stay with me.
I am listening now;
I am listening now.
In the Silence – Sarah Kroger