What is it then, to be a priest? (part 3)
The Mass is the Sacred Action of the whole Church in a particular place and moment in time. It is the offering that Christ has made by his Passion upon the Cross and the fruit of that Sacrifice is that a new relationship between us and the Blessed Trinity has come about in a new Covenant, sealed by the blood of Jesus. This is an eternal offering made once and for all time, the graces of which continue in time and beyond it. It's effects hold out the promise of eternity. That is the intimate union with God which is mans destiny.
The mediation of grace through the Sacraments comes through the hands of the priest, in Persona Christi. On the human level this is an awesome responsibility because the priest is a sinner like everyone else. But the path of his own particular call to holiness is in being faithful to the call to "feed my sheep". His call is to give only what Christ gives. God chooses the weak and makes them strong if they are faithful to Him in love and service. He must preach and teach a supernatural faith so that he can be a signpost to mans eternal destiny. He cannot afford to be trapped in the worldiness of the world for his mission is to draw all souls to Christ.
It is true that he has many things to do each day and he must use that time well for it is given to him on trust. An internal discipline, formed by a life of prayer, will give him the discernment to know how to respond to his peoples needs. But whatever he does there is one fundamental thing that underlines every moment of every day, what St. Francis de Sales declares,
"at every moment of the day I am preparing myself to celebrate Mass".
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