mercredi, février 22, 2006

Question !! What is a priest for you ??

A friend of mine, priest of the Fraternity of Saint Peter asked this question on the Forum Catholique, a french website.
The answers were very interresting. This priest told me: why don't you do the same thing in English?
There we go!
So, dear friends, you can answer. What is a priest? What do you expect from your priest? How do you consider priesthood?
Feel free to speak and to share your ideas and experiences.
Thank you and God bless you.

For me, I like this sentence by Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity :
"The life of a priest is an Advent that prepares Incarnation in the souls."

14 commentaires:

victoryforourlady a dit…

A priest is someone who has chosen a life of sacrifice to help people to get into Heaven.

He is someone who seeks perfection in doing God's will at all times and so inspires us to do be perfect also. In doing so, he shows us how to love God and to follow His will.

He provides the sacraments for us to become more like God.

The priest's life is spent trying to strengthen us through the sacraments, enourage us when we are weak and wanting to give up, rebuke us when we are wrong,lead us by example, and guide us through instruction.

The priest does all of this to all those he meets because he knows that God has sent them to him.

Finally, the priest does all of this is in God's name and for His glory so that we can all meet in Heaven to sing God's praises.

Anonyme a dit…

Father, permit me to take my response from "The Dignity & Duties of the Priest" by S. Alphonsus Liguori:

What are these ends [of the priesthood]? Perhaps the sole ends of the priesthood are to say Mass, and to recite the Office, and then to live like seculars? No, the end for which God has instituted the priesthood has been to appoint on earth public persons to watch over the honour of his divine majesty, and to procure the salvation of souls. For every high priest, says S. Paul, taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err.--Heb. v. 1. To execute the office of the priesthood and to have praise.--Ecclus. xlv. 19. "That is," says Cardinal Hugo, "to perform the office of praising God." And Cornelius à Lapide says: "Just as it is the office of the angels to praise God without ceasing in heaven, so it is the office of priests to praise God without ceasing on earth."

Of course, much could be added to this short explanation taken from Selva, but in order not to write an entire volume, I will suffice it to quote from another place of the same work, concerning the dignity of the priesthood:

St. Bernadine of Sienna has written: "Holy Virgin, excuse me, for I speak not against thee: the Lord hath raised the priesthood above thee." The saint assigns the reason of the superiority of the priesthood over Mary; she conceived Jesus Christ only one; but by consecrating the Eucharist, the priest, as it were, conceives him as often as he wishes, so that if the person of the Redeemer had not as yet been in the world, the priest, by pronouncing the words of consecration, would produce this great person of a Man-God. "O wonderful dignity of the priests," cries out St. Augustine, "in their hands, as in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, the Son of God becomes incarnate."

Father Demets a dit…

I have received by @mail 2 other answers from some of my parishioners.

I believe the Roman Catholic priest, the Alter Christus, to be the most precious holy gift from God. As the Alter Christus, the priest forgives us our sins and gives us our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament! What could be more valuable? The priest is to be honored with our highest gratitude. I think of how dear our parents are to us and how we cherish them; I quickly realize how much more do our priests give us--which our parents cannot.

A priest serves our Lord with His Truth and does not surrender to the lies of world. Unfortunately, today, there are those who are not priests for our Lord but are servants to the world. They should transform the world rather than allowing the world to transform them. We, at St. Francis de Sales, have truly holy priests. We have so much to be thankful for. We must pray very hard for our priests; they are true targets of the evil one because of their holiness and their mission to reflect and teach the Deposit of Faith and to shepherd souls to Heaven.

And the second:

A priest is a sheppard who sacrifices much in order to guide his
flock into the promise land.

Thanks for your participation!

Anonyme a dit…

What is a priest for me...?

A spiritual "father".

When I call a priest "Father", that says so much. I look to this man to provide for my spiritual well-being similarly to the way I looked to my natural father for the things of this world.

A father provides nourishment for his children, I look to a priest to provide spiritual nourishment: the Body and Blood of our Savior. I looked to my father to teach and guide me, I look to a priest to instruct me and guide me.

Our priests lead best by example, just as our own fathers did. Our priests are patient and long-suffering when it comes to putting up with our short-comings...just as our fathers were. A priest must love his parishoners...even if he doesn't always like them!

Just as natural fathers make themselves accessesable to their children, a priest must do likewise. While it is understandable when priests hide behind an elaborate barrier of phone recorders and strict office hours, it is hard to imagine a good father doing such. What child would respect a father who answered his plea for help with, "not now!".

The other similarity is that there is no way to repay the man who is our father for all that he did for us. No one could afford to pay a priest for all that he does. The only thing we can do is support, love and honor the men who take on this job.

Thank God for fathers; Thank God for priests.

Christy a dit…

As the flower is nourished through the vine,
As the sun faithfully reveals the east,
as the lion defends her young,
as a flame thaws the winter ice,
as the river flows through the thirsty land,
as a bridge over brambles protects the soujouner,
so the priest is to the soul. He is a conduit of sacramental grace;
by the sacrifice of his life, we live. Blessed be God in His priests.

Pilar a dit…

What is a Priest to me? A priest is an instrument of God's Grace. In the sacrament of Holy Orders (quote from the Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine pg 523): Through Holy Orders priests "by the anointing of the Holy Spirit are signed with a special character and so are configured to Christ the priest in such a way that they are able to act in the person of Christ the head".

In the Code of Cannon Law: By divine institution, the sacrament of orders establishes some among the Christian faithful as Sacred Ministers through an indelible character which marks them. They are consecrated and designated, each according to his grade, to nourish the people of God, fulfilling in the person of Christ the Head the functions of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.

They remind us that Christ was/is real. They remind us that what we do to or for others we do to Christ Himself. They remind us that God does see & hear us. God sacrificed, so they too sacrifice. They remind us that God is Love, and that God Loves us...that He is willing to do anything for us.

They are a physical representation of God.....They have turned over their entire selves to God. They are a priest 24/7.

When in confession, they are God's ears and voice, when in Mass, they are his eyes, ears, hands & voice. They bear the Sacraments, God's gifts.

They offer what is good for the soul. They are above and apart from men, but put themselves as the very last, wanting nothing for themselves.

Anonyme a dit…

For what it’s worth, I write this answer from the perspective of a better-than-average-catechized convert from agnosticism (25 years) to Protestantism (3 years) to traditional Catholicism (1 year). I wanted to research the Church Fathers and various articles on priesthood before answering this question, but then I would be giving you the “right” answer instead of the common parishioner’s expectation (which, I think, is what you are seeking).

I consider a priest to be primarily the person who is able to bring me the holy sacraments. His primary, critical job is to provide for me the Eucharist. Beyond that, it is my understanding that a priest can do anything (edifying), meaning he can be a parish priest or a professor or a missionary or a scientist or a doctor or anything else the Church asks him to do. A priest is what he IS always, and his job is what he DOES right now.

I probably want more from my parish priest than is reasonable. After providing the sacraments, I want my priest to use the remainder of his time (1) guarding the faith and teaching orthodox doctrine (not leaving his flock ignorant), (2) administering the pragmatics of the parish (e.g., paying bills, renovating, organizing social events), and (3) providing spiritual direction to those who seek it.

Regarding #1: The Church is suffering greatly because the faithful are ignorant of doctrine. How is it that so many WEEKLY CHURCH-GOING Catholics think that the Confiteor during Mass has replaced the Sacrament of Penance or that the Real Presence is not real or that “an annulment” is something one “gets” (like a civil divorce) instead of a declaration of a state that always existed (i.e., no marriage)? This state of affairs could exist only because too many priests are not speaking clear, painful orthodoxy from the pulpit. Regarding #2: I think it is important that a pastor uses volunteer work of the faithful without allowing an atmosphere in which the faithful feel that they are “running” the parish; too many well-meaning Catholic women can take over a parish if a priest does not exercise proper headship. Regarding #3: I have not yet discerned clearly the difference between “spiritual direction” and “counseling,” but I do think that priests are not to be counselors (psychologists) per se—as much as I would LOVE to obtain counseling from such wise, godly men.

Cata543 a dit…

John 18:36-38
Jesus answered: My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews:but my Kingdom is not from hence.
Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world: that I should give testimony to the Truth. Everyone that is of the Truth, heareth my voice.
Pilate saith to him: What is Truth? and when he said this, he went out again to the jews and saith to them: I find not cause in him....
Since the coming of the Incarnate Word; Jesus Christ, He was the manifest complete embodiment of Truth; God with a human nature The Great High Priest by His Cross was given that those belonging to Him should come out of illusion and lies to become reconciled and become one with His Image in His Mystical Body, to be united eternally in praise of God. It is humbling to even ponder such profound realities, deserving of the greatest reverence.
A priest is a man, called by God, who because of his vocation has attained in actuality a complete love and conformity to this Truth; Jesus Christ within his being, with a necessary and complete renunciation of the false and stregthened by God's Wisdom in the battle to pull souls from illusion and sin, and to giuide them to the same love of this highest ideal, to live for the complete love of God alone and for obedience of His Holy Will.
One could ponder God's realities and never tire of the beauty of the contemplation and the expansion of wisdom, but the priest goes first. For it is given to him to hold Christ's image within himself and to continually manifest The Lord in the Eucharist as well as in preaching and in his wisdom of the fullness of the Catholic Faith. For this he is called to martyrdom, because he must proclaim fearlessly the Truth against the ways of the society, or even the church, as well as to sacrifice in encounter and in prayer and mortification, for the sanctification of the souls presented to him. He must be a conduit of the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit to the people and an encouragment on the way to heaven.
So it is an honor to contemplate the priesthood, and in so doing try to raise one's mind higher to the things of God and of His desire for the holiness of all men to be initiated by the institution of the priesthood and the Chuurch. It is a gravity of gratitude and an awareness of the awesomeness of our nothingness.

Ginny a dit…

A priest is a beautiful man that has been chosen by God. He is a special man. He is to be considered as that,he is not like everyone else. I find it is so sadly mistaken that people think they are just "regular guys". He is a gift to us that comes from the very heart, soul and mind of God, Himself. A priest is a beautiful creation of God's finest work. I can go on and on. My respect for them is great.

In regards of my expectations of the role of a priest is that he must be holy. He must stay true to the teaching of the Traditional Church in his heart, mind and soul for the benefit of HIS own soul and the soul of others. I pray daily for our priests and they stay holy. Prayer must be their utmost priority.

Anonyme a dit…

Hello, Father. I would like to express a few words in response to your question. So many of us at this time of apostasy, feel a deep void. We feel like orphaned children. Our Fathers have deserted us and left us vulnerable to the wiles of the devil.

I remember once as a little child, that my ball was stolen from me, but I derived great comfort in going to my father to tell him. I knew he would fix things. And he did,although not as I wanted. (I would have liked him to have confronted the parents of the thief and to have them return to me my original ball.) But no, he bought me a new one, and also a packet of gum for me to share with my little friends.

Now, as a child of God, I don't have a spiritual Father to turn to when in need. It is as if the bullies had turned against me and I had been left to depend on my own wiles to survive. I have found myself defending the Faith by writing to editorial sections of newspapers, by speaking out to fellow parishioners when I know they are holding unCatholic positions and are believing and worshipping like Protestants,etc. And I ask myself,"Where are the priests who should be doing this.. who should be defending me against those who persecute me for just holding on to the Faith? And why are priests ridiculing me for kneeling for Communion? Why are my spiritual Fathers so hostile to me?" I have no recourse to a real Father.

I seek a good confessor, but that is so hard to come by. And one who thirsts for perfection, cannot find a spiritual director. My only resort is traveling a distance for the Tridentine Mass,to a parish that is not mine, and to read old spiritual books such as Tanqueray's manuel. So, what I long for, and pray for, is that God send us holy, zealous, courageous Fathers. That for me is a priest: A Father of souls who would be willing to lay down his life for his Bride--the church; who would nourish her with all the traditional sacraments, who would defend and guide every soul entrusted to his care; who would confront that thief of souls with one look of his pure and chaste eyes--the devil--and send him off, back to his pit of hell.

God bless you, Father. May God grant you graces for holiness, zeal, courage and final perseverence. May our Lady claim you as Her very own.


Anonyme a dit…

A holy priest is the only thing that stands between me and eternal hellfire.

Tradosaurus a dit…

A true Catholic priest is one who was ordained under the traditional rite.

A true Catholic priest is one who preaches ALL the dogmas from the pulpit regardless of what his superiors say.

A true Catholic priest preaches on Hell at least once a year.

A true Catholic priest blocks out more than 30 minutes on Sunday to hear confessions.

A true Catholic priest runs his parish instead of a mission statement and a bunch of old women.

A true Catholic priest preaches on the evils in this world including all the pagan, protestant, and infidel religions

Please remember Father Nicholas Zolnerowicz in your prayers.


Anonyme a dit…

Fr. Demets: Let me welcome your new blog by answering a slightly different question, about what you as a priest have been for many of us.

You yourself, Father, are a priest for more than you know. For you are largely responsible for planting and nurturing the traditional Latin Mass in Tennessee, where it is now growing in the Diocese of Knoxville after a absence of almost forty years.

Most of your readers will not know that for a couple of years you made a monthly 250-mile round trip from Atlanta to celebrate the Mass in Chattanooga. Your devotion and sanctity as a priest of God enriched us beyond words.

You prepared Fr. P. J. McGinnity who is now celebrating the traditional Mass in Cleveland (TN), and Fr. John Arthur Orr who is now celebrating it in Knoxville. Perhaps you have not recently looked at the web site that chronicles this new growth of the old Mass in our diocese. Some excellent pictures of you yourself appear there in the photo gallery entry for Palm Sunday 2004. The more recent photo gallery entries show some results of your priestly training efforts.

It is quite unlikely that -- without your priestly efforts, with Tennessee as your personal mission territory -- any of this would be happening; instead, we here likely would still be without "The Mass of the Ages". You are truly a priest for us! Thank you.

Anonyme a dit…

A priest is a person chosen by God the Father to be a Spirtual father to us here on earth. God created us as visceral beings, the priest feeds us through our human senses what God wills for our spiritual senses. All of the sacraments transform the worldy to the spiritual. Our sense of touch is transformed when the priest blesses the sacramentals we use everday; our books, our holy cards and rosaries we hold in our hands the holy water we bless ourselves with. This is the armor the priest gives us to use. The sense of sight is touched by the armor of the priest in cassock. He is God's warrior. The sense of sight is feed by the actions of the sacraments especially, to me, the mass.Just watching the actions presented and knowing they are the same that were shared by all of the great saints. We are taken back in time and are a part of history.The sense of smell soars towards the heavens as incense fills the air heaven-bound with our prayers. The sense of taste rejoices with the Eucharist, no closer relationship with Christ then that. It is, although small and minute, prefigure of the Beatific Vision. Lastly, the sense of hearing. "Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis - I absolve you from your sins." What a joy to be able to hear this!
But, being a priest is also a double edged sword. He is of this world, but not of this world. I imagine this is the high price of being "Persona Christi"