What is it then to be a priest? (part 2)
The calling to the priesthood is a calling to spiritual Fatherhood through the love of the Heart of Jesus in the Body of the Church. As a Father the priest must follow the command of the Lord to "feed my sheep". When the Lord asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?", and Peter said "yes", the condition of that love was "feed my sheep". The priest follows the Good Shepherd by service and sacrifice. He is not himself because he is the servant and minister of Christ. Any by his Fatherhood he is the spouse of the Church. And so far as he does not understand that he is like the hired man who has no concern for the sheep. He just gives himself (stones) when his children ask for the True Bread (Christ).
But the priest who understands the depth and mystery of his calling has no fear in speaking the Truth in love. He is prepared to risk everything because God has given him everything.
In himself he is nothing so that in Christ he may be everything.
In all his lifes journey, despite all difficulties, he feels the hand of God upon him, waiting patiently at his side. In the secret harbour of the Sacred Heart of the Lord he finds rest and peace. Safe from error and the assaults of the Evil One, he is renewed and refreshed.
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