In this space, I have said several times that the priesthood is the organizational block of the Roman Catholic Church. That doesn’t sound very theological does it but I think that most of us understand what I mean when I say that because priests should be key leaders and servants in every area of Church life. Priests have a vocation to ministry which always means service to the community and they are instrumental in bringing the sacraments to the community of faith. Because of their position in the Church, we certainly expect our priests to be exemplary examples of Christian living. Most of them strive for that but there are enough failures to document the ever present reality of humanity. We must remember: There is a vast chasm between knowing about God and knowing God. An effective priest must not only have studied theology and be prepared to administer a large community of faithful, but he must KNOW God.
However, no one can really know God in a profound and meaningful way, in a holy way, unless they know themselves. Self-knowledge is truly not all that easy to acquire. Self-knowledge requires complete honesty. We must acknowledge our goodness, skills and talents but we must always honestly acknowledge our crimes, sins and corruption. Only when we stand in complete honesty with ourselves will our being have room for God to come into our lives.
Let’s pray that our Church is blessed with the necessary priests to carry out its worldwide ministry. Let’s pray that our priests be talented, dedicated and filled with a lot of other virtues, but it is most important that priests be constantly striving after holiness.