the other twenty-three and a half hours

the other twenty-three and a half hours


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.

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1 comment
  • Melanie, thank you for your support and for stopping by my blog.  Thankfully, I’m past having to nurse at Mass (usually) at this point with my youngest since she is now 13 months.  However, when it becomes necessary with a future little baby whom I’m feeding on demand, I feel that nursing discreetly in Mass is not something worthy of shame.  I actually did nurse my first in the bathroom, but she would nurse for 30 minutes or more. With my second child and my decision to nurse discreetly if need be, Mass has been a much more peaceful experience for our entire family. As a young mom, I need Christ’s nourishment just as my baby needs nourishment from me.

    Honestly, I thought I’d be “preaching to the choir” when I wrote that article and was surprised by the discourse (and some of the hateful comments) it spurred. All I’m trying to do is be the best mom I can be – to feed on demand, to be open to God’s plan for my family – and to still make it to Mass.

    As pro-life and pro-family Catholics, we should support (discreet) breastfeeding – especially in Mass where all of us are called to be open to life, not just those married couples in the season of fecundity – but it should be done in a way that does not seem to “make a statement” as some people wrongly assumed I was trying to do. I don’t consider myself a breastfeeding militant. I am a mom who wants to be at the table of the Lord as much as possible.

    I am so thankful that so many women (and men) took the time to show me (and all moms) support.

    God bless you and your little nursling!