I totally entirely did not in the least ever choose the priesthood as my vocation, which would be a contradiction in terms anyway, as vocation means to be called to the task by God.
- Jesus didn’t choose me because I’m some sort of good guy that He’s lucky to have on His team, or some such idiocy as that. No, I’m a hell-child of the devil inside-out, upside-down, back to front. I was running into hell as fast as I could go, and then, He choose (1) to redeem me when He was on the Cross, (2) to save me when I was baptized, (3) to call me because such is His mysterious will.
- Jesus didn’t choose me because I come from some sort of good family. As longtime readers know, I tend to brag on mom and dad. But no matter how much I do that, that doesn’t mean they they were not fallen human beings, as was and is the case with myself and the rest of my family. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God, original sin and whatever of our own person sin. Jesus knows that all too well.
- Jesus didn’t choose me because I have a talent for this or that: “Little George will be pretty handy with a Glock, so I’ll choose him!” Um… No… “Little George is will be pretty good at exegesis of the Scriptures, so I’ll choose him!” Um… No… etc.
A good priest is not ever:
- “a man of consensus” – if a priest is not a sign of contradiction by way of the Living Truth who Jesus is, then he is betraying his priesthood.
- “praised by everyone” – for then he is not speaking clearly, not acting decisively, not bearing witness as he must to the Lord Jesus.
To put it this way, a good priest:
- Get’s the hell out of the way of Jesus, the One High Priest, and he does that by keeping up with the Sacraments himself, specifically, going to Confession.
- Doesn’t take credit for anything good that happens with his priesthood, because the whole time he’s been stepping back to watch with awe Jesus the High Priest act through his priesthood.
- Has a bit of joy in the Holy Spirit, not because he has the right to such a miracle, but precisely for the reason that the irony is so very sharp in the best Christian sense ever. So, here I am, such a hell-child if left to my own devices, watching Jesus work through my life to accomplish His ends of getting more souls to heaven, those of His little flock. I weep for joy. The irony is crushing, exhilarating, magnificent, personal with the Lord Jesus, in good friendship with Him, with the lowly human priest being in humble thanksgiving.
The picture up top of this post, wherein the priest acting in the Person of Christ at the Consecrations at Holy Mass sums it all up:
- There is only One Priest, the High Priest, Christ Jesus, Christ our God, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who gave Himself for us, the Innocent for the guilty, even using the guilty – us knucklehead priests – to manifest His innocence, His goodness and kindness, His truth, such being the divine irony inviting all of us to look to Him.
What I hope my conversation at my judgment will be:
- Me: “But dear Lord, I only did what I had to do. Anything good was only You. You’re the only One. Non sum dignus.”
- Jesus: “Well done good and faithful servant. You did the one thing necessary.”
- Me: “Thank you, for absolving me in Confession.”