Friday, February 13, 2015


Second precept of the Church.
There are two categories of priests in the Catholic Church.  The first is the ordained priesthood.  These are the men who are trained and ordained by their bishop for service to the Church.  It is, admittedly, a rather small group.  But there is a second category of priesthood and it is the office into which you were anointed at your baptism.  You were anointed prophet, king, and PREIST.  This office has real and serious responsibilities.  It aligns with one of the precepts of the Church which requires us to live a sacramental life.
Minimally it means to go to Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation and to receive Communion at least once in a year between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday.  It also means that you the priest will go to confession at least once a year if there is any serious sin.  This is the bare minimum – the scraping of the bottom of the barrel.

Showing up at Mass is not enough.  A priest participates in the Mass.  The priest prays the prayers and offers them for himself, for the needs of the world, and for the praise of God.  For example, when the ordained priest says, “Let us pray,” that is not a signal for the Missal to be brought to him.  It is not “dead space.”  It is the time for the priesthood (the Church – you) to call to mind things that need to be prayed for and then the celebrant collects those prayers in a  prayer called appropriately enough the Collect and presents them to the Father.  For someone not to pray during this time is for the Church to be less, for prayers to be less encompassing, for someone to miss out on the benefits of the Mass.
If the Mass is to transform you and the world, it must soak into your skin, radiate your marrow, and marinate your mind.  Only the engaged priest, the pray-er, the one that is THERE in mind as well as body is fulfilling this.  This is true if you are at a Mass in the ordinary form or the extraordinary form.  Being involved does not mean you get to read, or serve, or bring up the gifts, or sing (all important and wonderful) but that you do what is primary: PRAY.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi on the
Most Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist

Let the whole of mankind tremble,
the whole world shake and the heavens exult,
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is present on the altar in the hands of a priest.

O admirable heights and sublime lowliness!
O sublime humility! O humble sublimity!

That the Lord of the universe,
God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself that for our salvation
He hides Himself under the little form of bread!

Look, brothers, at the humility of God
and pour out your hearts before Him.

Humble yourselves as well,
that you may be exalted by Him.

Therefore, hold back nothing of yourselves
for yourselves
so that He Who gives Himself totally to you
may receive you totally.