This week Cardinal Sean posts �Quis alter Christus es,� a reflection by newly ordained priest, Father Mark Barr:
. . . In the midst of this we see the priest, we see pockets of his life and what he does, the Masses and funerals and baptisms. We see the functionary only, the dispensing of the sacraments. So it is that we all tend to understand who the priest is based solely on what it is he does.
A priest is not a set of actions, sacramental or otherwise, though certainly there are proper and necessary actions for the priest. Priesthood is not a job or a career, not a set of functions or tasks, but rather a commitment of one�s entire life to a privileged relationship with Christ for, and only for, the service of God�s holy people.
A priest is most a priest in the quiet, hidden moments of his day when he is confident in his identity as alter Christus, consoled by his sacramental proximity to the fountain from which graces flow, and humbled before the God who chooses men to be his representatives and instruments in the world. Actions flow from the center of a priest�s identity, they do not constitute it.
The priest is the man who has become Christ by his own life of virtue, his sacramental ordination, and by the way he is able to love. A love that must be slowly taken upon ourselves by our own choice to persist in love and by the gift of Almighty God who enables and consecrates us in own heart. . . .
Read the rest here.
God bless Father Barr, Cardinal Sean, and all our priests and seminarians.