Dominus Illuminatio Mea

"...the gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the FULL manifestantion of His boundless love." Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Ok, I've been going crazy with school work and such and haven't had much time for posting. Here's an article I wrote for onerock...let me know what you think.

“Oh how great is a priest! The priest will not understand the greatness of his office till he is in Heaven. If he understood it on earth, he would die, not of fear, but of love.”

Born of the Eucharist

A momentous event takes place daily in every Catholic Church around the world. The words of consecration, words “that make the whole earth tremble,” are spoken and Christ is made Truly Present among us at the hands of men who share in His Priesthood; men whom “the Lord has chosen to be His own” and who serve God as fathers of His people.

On Holy Thursday of this year, the Pope wrote a letter to priests as has been his practice for the twenty-five years of his pontificate. The letter not only reminded priests of the dignity and beauty of their vocation, but also reminded laity that without the priesthood, we would be without the Eucharist. The Holy Father tells us that the Sacraments of Holy Orders and the Eucharist were “born” together. They are inseparably united. The Eucharist is a mystery of faith, yet the priesthood itself, by reflection, is also a mystery of faith (cf. ibid., p.78). Just as the Church must accept Christ’s presence in the Eucharist with the greatest love and awe, so must a priest accept his vocation with loving awe and humility.

The priesthood, like the Eucharist, is proclaimed by the Church to be an astounding mystery of faith, yet the priesthood is under attack from all sides. Modern society find it strange and abnormal for anyone to lead a celibate life. What society forgets is the paradox of celibacy. A priest is one who gives his heart in an undivided fashion to God, and in doing so his life bears fruit and is typos tou Patrou--like the living image of God the Father as St. Ignatius of Antioch observed (CCC 1549). The fatherhood of a priest is made manifest through all the Sacraments. At Baptism, an infant is “born again of water and the Spirit” at the hands of a priest. At the Sacrament of Penance, a priest pours out the blood of the Lamb on souls and by God’s grace, restores them again to Baptismal innocence. At Mass, a priest feeds Christ’s children with the “Bread of angels.”
Saint Bernard tells us that everything has come to us through Mary; and we may also say that everything has come to us through the priest; yes, all happiness, all graces, all heavenly gifts (St. John Vianney).

The Pope ended his Holy Thursday address by commending every priest to Mary, Mother of Priests. She who was closest to Christ on this earth opens the eyes of a priest to contemplate with true love her Son present in the Eucharist and to embrace with Him the cross. Mary held in her arms and looked upon the face of Christ crucified; likewise, a priest holds in his hands the most Precious Body of the Risen Lord. Mary, who consented to become the “God bearer,” is the Mother of the Church, and so the Mother of Priests who bring Christ to the whole world by bearing Him in their hands. A calling to the priesthood would be humanly impossible to accept without the humility and trust of Mary, who when confronted with the humanly impossible, responded with her resounding “fiat!”. Mary, Mother of Christ our High Priest, pray that the Church will always have numerous and holy vocations, faithful and generous ministers of the altar!