On the Catholic Priesthood

Saturday August 11, 2018

The priest

There is in the midst of us a man little appreciated, too often little loved, and sometimes frightfully calumniated, and yet who is, nevertheless, just the one man who is most worthy of the reverence and confidence of all. This man is the Christian priest – the consoler of all who suffer, and the friend of all the friendless; and it is against him that the scoffing and the irreligious, enemies of God and of society, constantly endeavor to prejudice the minds of men.

The priest is attacked in this manner only because he is the minister of God. The man who would have no God, would also have no priest; and, knowing that he is powerless to impose silence upon this inconvenient preacher of the divine law, he seeks to expel him, or at least to rob him of the confidence of men in order to paralyze his ministry.

The priest has been sent to his brethren by Jesus Christ, even as He Himself was sent. “Even as My Father hath sent Me,” said Jesus to the Apostles, His first priests, “I also send you!” Jesus was sent to save the world by the sacrifice of Himself, to enlighten it by His teaching, and to console it by His mercy. And thus He send His priests to save, instruct, console, and sanctify their brethren; or rather, He Himself fulfills, by means of His priests, the little elect. Let him choose without fear the better part. It is the most sublime, and the sweetest; it is the most Divine, and the simplest; thus, where responsibilities abound, graces also abound, and this vocation to a more perfect life is, essentially, only a vocation to a nobler, truer, purer happiness; it is the mark of a more tender love.

Source: Monseigneur de Ségur, The faith that never dies, or, The Priest of God in the Catholic Home: How to live an ideal Christian Life as a true follower of Christ, 1900.