...In virtue of the character of Holy Order, the Priest differs from the layman in three ways. First, the priest is an ‘image’ of Christ in a way which the layman is not; secondly, he acts in the person of Christ the Head, which the layman does not; and thirdly, he possesses an active instrumental power that the layman does not... What the Priest is, he must become. His sacerdotal being is his chief motivation for sanctity. By virtue of his ordination, through the indelible character conferred upon him, the priest is objectively the image of Christ, with the power to act in Christ’s person in consecrating and absolving. But he is also called to become an image of Christ through the spiritual beauty of a Christlike life, by the exercise of the Christian and priestly virtues. Ontologically, he is an alter Christus; he must now become an alter Christus morally and spiritually, a priest according to the Heart of Christ.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Talk of the CTS has reminded me of my intention to recommend another new pamphlet about the priesthood.
A Priest Forever: Continuity in an Age of Change, is written by Fr John Saward, from Oxford.
Here’s a little quotation from the booklet, taken from the website of the newly-founded British Province Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, which sums up the booklet quite well:
Intended primarily to priests, it is clearly also helpful for the faithful to grow in understanding of the ministerial priesthood, and for men aspiring for the priesthood, to help them on their journey of discernment. It is a really excellent read, and short too!
I’m sure I’ve heard about the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, but I’ve only just discovered their flashy website, which is worth taking a look at. It is a fraternity of diocesan clergy, which seeks to encourage fidelity to the Church in service of the People of God, and assist the clergy in living their sacred vocation.