Skip to comments.7 Reasons To Be a Priest
Posted on 01/11/2008 9:42:31 AM PST by NYer
Its Vocations Awareness Week Jan 13-19, and there is a lot of news on the vocations front. But the best news is old news: The seven sacraments are the original, and best, seven reasons to be a priest. But here are seven that incorporate recent news headlines about the priesthood.
First: The World Needs Heroes
Thats the title of NYPriest.coms new movie ad, and it makes the essential point. God has shown his love and respect for human beings by taking an incredible risk, putting the very future of his project of redemption into our hands. He has arranged things such that the graces he intends for mankind reach us primarily through the seven sacraments. If men will step up and accept the responsibility to be the channel of these graces, then the risk will pay off, with eternal rewards. If they dont, it simply wont.
Second: To Make Christ Present to More People.
Before he ascended into heaven, Christ said, Behold, I am with you until the end of time. He didnt mean he would be with us in spirit or in our thoughts and prayers. He meant he would be with us for real, in his body, blood soul and divinity.
Christ fulfilled his promise in an astonishing way: by being present in the Eucharist. He will always be present in the sacrament somewhere in the world.
The Vaticans clergy point-man, Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, asked in January for dioceses, parishes, rectories, chapels, monasteries, convents and seminaries to institute perpetual adoration. The more priests we have, the more people Christ can be present to. Christs presence increases exponentially with new priests.
Third: To Forgive Sins.
Confession has been in the news a lot recently, with mainstream news articles explaining it, wondering at its disappearance and pointing out where it is being renewed. Its no wonder. Christ taught about the true value of human beings when he said, What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? In confession, a priest gives the greatest gift possible, worth more than all the riches in the world: He restores penitents souls.
Christ instituted many sacraments throughout his life, but only one after his resurrection. That was the sacrament of confession, when he breathed on the Apostles and told them, Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven.
Fourth: To Be a Living Icon of Christ.
The Vatican call for perpetual adoration is a call to make amends before God for the evil that has been done and hail once more the dignity of the victims who suffered from the moral and sexual conduct of a very small part of the clergy.
Perpetual adoration wont just atone for the small percentage of guilty clergy it will help the innocent majority become more holy.
Thats a necessity. Human beings respond to other human beings. Jesus Christ was not just a teacher, and he wasnt just an instrument of salvation. He was a man with a face. People can experience Christs presence in the Eucharist and his forgiveness in confession, but the human heart still needs to see a man behaving in a Christlike way to fully understand Christs message. We need more priests to do this for the Church.
Fifth: To Be Like Mary.
There were 48 new Legionary priests ordained in Rome at Christmastime. Pope Benedict XVI said, I wish to direct a special greeting to the community of the Legionaries of Christ who come from various countries, especially the new priests and the representatives of Regnum Christi. Like Mary, may you know how to keep, ponder and follow the Word that became flesh in Bethlehem, and enthusiastically spread his message of salvation.
It may seem odd, calling on an all-male priesthood to be like Mary, but Mary is the perfect model for any Christian and especially a priest. She brought Christ into the world and, from the wedding feast at Cana to Pentecost, was at the center of efforts to introduce him to the world. Priests uniquely imitate her in the Mass.
Sixth: To Preach and Teach.
Priests have at the same time the easiest and most challenging teaching job in the world. What they have to teach is Christ God himself who united himself with humanity in order to show us how to live. The Gospel contains unique, powerful answers to all our yearnings, problems and desires.
A preacher who immerses himself in Christs life will be a profound and wise teacher just by saying the simple and true things the Church teaches. But its a challenging task, also, precisely because of its simplicity.
Seventh: To Expand Your Family.
The Hartford Courant newspaper recently interviewed Father Joseph Looney about the Fraternity of Priests, an organization to address loneliness.
In Mark 10:29-30, Jesus gives the apostles a novel reason to follow him, leaving everything, and everyone: Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
Christ doesnt promise riches, and he doesnt promise a happily ever after ending. But what he does promise, he delivers priests have many homes, and many more family members than a layperson could hope to have. They also have a fraternal relationship with other priests, if they seek it out.
Continued prayers for vocations.
I hadn't thought of this. I'll have to mention it when I cover the Sacraments with my Sunday School class.
Doesn’t God already know who’s going to join the clergy and who’s not?
The Retirement Plan is out of this world!
Maybe He knows that the prayers of the faithful are among the tools He will use to call them into the clergy ...
"If I knew God I'd be Him."
I suspect He knows, but we all, being mortal, must yet listen for that "still small voice".
Mary was female and, thus, would never have been able to be a priest.
Who knows for sure? Maybe it’s just pre-destined for them to become clergy?
If He knows, then it must be just a matter of time for it to happen.
God created time.
And dozens of reasons not to become a priest.
This is true; yt all of us are called to be Mary-like: the listen with all humility and openness and availability to God; to "hear the Word and keep it," to carry Christrand bring Him forth for the salvation of the world.
It's part of the universalcall to holiness, becdause the really important and really interesting people in Catholicism are not the priests, nor the popes, but the Saints.
And look: if the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the Pope, which of the two would drop to their knees?
Along with all else.
God imbued man with free will. If the invitation is served, it is up to the recipient to accept or refuse.
As Catholics we believe that God gives us the gift of free will. From one moment to the next, we make choices that determine our destiny.
And besides, bottom line, prayer is a means which God seems to use to bring us into accord with His will.
Of course, since He's omniscient; He knows who is going to respond to His call and who is going to reject it. Out of His great love for us, He gives us free will to respond or not.
I can give you a thousand earthly reasons.
I believe that God knows what we are going to do.
And also, prayer makes us feel better.
If He knows who is going to respond, how could that person do anything other than respond?
Reason #8: You may get to wear that cool outfit that Fulton Sheen used to wear. That guy was Superfly long before Ron O’Neal.
Because we have free will. Just because God knows the outcome, doesn't mean we have to do His will. We always pray that His will be done on earth. Mary did not have to say "Fiat" either, but she did His will ("Be it done to me according to thy will"). She could have refused, having free will.
Excellent post. Thanks.
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I think it is talking about the holiness of Mary, as well as the closeness she had with her son, Jesus Christ.
I woulda been a monk but I didn’t like the haircut.
Even Jesus prayed to God in the Gospels. How can this be so, if Jesus is God?
The reason is that it fulfill all righteousness, the answer is that it isn’t as if God doesn’t know what you are praying for, or that he hasn’t made up his mind about it. But he likes to hear you speaking what you want, and he just might order events based on your response to his call for prayer. Remember this is the God that gave you lips to proclaim him, otherwise you would have been like the psalm 135 “they have mouths but they do not speak.”
This is what the catechism teaches, that prayer is a response to the gift of faith (2561).
But if God knows the outcome, and can never be wrong, how can we not fulfill the outcome...if we didn’t then He would be wrong, wouldn’t He?
Doesn’t He already know the events?
(B) I guess most of the time prayers makes me feel better. But it's kind of on a delayed fuse. That is, I may not feel better at the actual time of praying, but in general I fell better if prayer is a purposeful part of my daily life.
(C) In response to your #22, is it useful to say the old line, "Knowing isn't causing?"
What she said.
Knowing the outcome does not effect it. For example, image you are at home looking out the window. You see a car speeding down the street. You also see a young child run into the street, directly in the path of the speeding car. There is not enough time to stop the impending disaster. You know what will happen but your seeing it does not make it happen.
They make me feel better also, plus, there’s something inside me, that believes I should pray.
I believe that with God, knowing is causing.
I believe that with God, who knows everything that will happen and cannot be wrong, knowing is causing. With us humans, you are correct.
That outfit was anachronistic even back then. When all the rest were dressing down, Bishop Sheen was presenting the glory.
Anything we do for God is like fingerpainting that children make for their parents. It doesn’t “do” anything for them, but it’s good for everybody.
....and one not to be...... a married life.
21 of the 22 Churches sui juris which comprise the Catholic Church ordain, as a norm, married men. Your specious reasoning is taking on water. You’d best don a flotation device and abandon your doomed ship.
You’re mistakenly mixing God’s undoubted omniscience into our free will. God knows all things, and knows each and every action we will ever make, and knows all of them from all eternity. BUT WE DON’T! Therefore, we have true free will to accept or reject His grace, to eat or not eat that steak, to accept or reject blue as our favorite color. We are not robots; we can make real choices. God, in turn, offers His grace to all of us, but does not force us to accept it. This allows us to exercise our free will, even in our responses to God. Therefore, all of our choices with respect to God are free, and all of the consequences of those choices, good or bad, are based on our own wills, and thus deserved.
This is the only way to view creation with any type of sanity. Total predestination makes no sense of creation, as nothing has a purpose. We are merely programmed robots, and nothing can really be done to God’s glory. Why, then, does ANYTHING exist? If nothing in creation has any choice but to play out its fate, how does grace really come into the equation? It can’t. You might say that the person was predestined to accept the grace, but that merely masks the problem. Why would not God simply save the person as foreordained straightaway, without the flummery and facade of “offering” grace to a being that has no foreordained choice but to accept it? Life itself is meaningless in such a scenario.
We are here to tend God’s vineyard. The events playing out in that vineyard DO redound to God’s glory, because true faith and subsequent free acts of goodwill show the result of His grace being efficacious. He respects our free will to reject that grace, too, because even that redounds to His glory. While God is sufficient unto Himself, and doesn’t strictly NEED anyone or anything to manifest His glory, nevertheless, He has chosen, in His infinite wisdom, to establish His creation anyway, and that creation does, in fact, serve to manifest His glory. This can only be so if that part of creation created in His image and likeness (intellect and free will), namely, angels and mankind, CAN ACT ON GRACE in a way that has a true purpose. In other ords, they cannot be mere machines or automatons. Grace itself is meaningless in such a universe. God’s “glory” is a mere shadow in such a creation. No. We have true freedom, and only within that reality does God’s grace have any true meaning.
In the end, yes, God already knows the outcome of all events, good or evil. To that extent, it is true that evrything is “predestined” in a way. But, by way of analogy, God has not set up a chess game in order to move all of the pieces around Himself. It’s more along the lines of His setting up the game, and then allowing the pieces themselves to move around on the strength or weakness of their own free and true choices. His only “intervention” is to offer all of the pieces His “advice” (grace) as to what constitutes the best move. Having given them the tools to respond to His “advice” (intellect and free will), He lets the pieces make real, actual moves. This latter type of creation can manifest God’s glory, the former type, where all of the pieces have no free will, really cannot. We are truly here for a reason, we are not the product of a sick joke!
Therefore, in the context of this thread, men may make real, honest CHOICES with respect to God’s call. Their vocations are heartfelt, and not merely imposed. Their free offering of themselves has far greater merit for themselves, and manifests God’s glory in a far superior way, than if they had no real choice in the matter, and they were merely inserted in their roles through God’s will ordained from all eternity. Again, there is a real PURPOSE to our being here!
Of course we don’t know what our future choices will be, but I believe that man only believes he has free-will. If God truly knows what each of us will do, then our choices can only be what He knows we will choose. I believe He created each of us, knowing exactly what our ‘freewill’ choices are going to be.
Just because we must view creation as humans, doesn’t mean that is the way it is, it just means that is what we are limited to seeing. It may make no sense to us, why should it? We are just men. What is wrong with following God’s program? It’s not as if we couldn’t anyway. How could we do anything other than what God knows we will do?
Why do you feel that we humans should or even could know why anything exists? To me that sounds a little arrogant.
I too believe our pupose here is to fulfill God’s will.
Somehow, I don’t think this is going to do much to attract men into the priesthood.
That depends on the bishop and diocese. In St. Louis, there are now 111 seminarians studying for the priesthood and the bishop is in the process of doubling the size of the seminary. Here in Albany (and most of the other ultra-liberal run dioceses), the ordination rate is very low. Young men are attracted to serving our Lord as pastors (as is the case in STL), not as Sacramental Ministers which follows the liberal design.
If I stand above the fray, I can certainly understand the attractiveness and coherence of that notion. How can God "back off"?
They make me feel better also, plus, theres something inside me, that believes I should pray.
Being all formal and everything, I'd say prayer is a duty. And Hey, is that great or what? A duty that makes you feel good. What are the chances of that?
Sounds good to me.
One might drop to their knees before Mary, but she would tell them to get up and go bow before Jesus instead.
Perhaps, but the fact remains that Mary could not be a priest.