Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nerve-centre of the Church's life

 I look into the paten's gold
My consecrated fingers hold,
And mirrored in its circle see
The other Christ I'm called to be.

Adrienne Gascoigne

Translation: Accept, holy Father... (addressed to God the Father)

"When the Holy Father (JPII) described the priesthood as "the nerve-centre of the Church's whole life and mission" (Holy Thursday Exhortation, 4 April 1996), he was affirming the key role played by priests in the drama of salvation.  Priests, it could also be said, are God's key-men in the further sense that to them have been given the keys of the kingdom - the kingdom of privileged sacramental treasures, notably the Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins (cf. Mt 16:19).  ...

    ...a priest's whole meaning and purpose is focused on the Eucharist in general, the Mass in particular.  For he is consecrator and sacrifice-offerer of the Blessed Sacrament, besides being distributor, custodian and privileged adorer.  How accurate and apt, therefore, is the Holy Father's (JPII) observation:  "A priest is worth what his Eucharistic life is worth."

    St Claude de la Colombiere treasured the personal graces gained through holy Mass like rubies..."Each day in my Mass He will give me new counsels, new strength.  He will teach me, encourage me.  He will grant me or obtain for me, through His sacrifice, all the graces I shall ask of Him."
Excerpts from Mary and the Eucharist
Fr Richard Foley, SJ

CLICK BELOW  to see this outstanding video
by Stephen Golder (Turn on sound)

During this grace-filled season of Lent priests offer many extra Masses
and spend many long hours celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation
for the holy benefit of those they serve.  Let us PRAY DAILY for priests -
in thanksgiving for their vocation, for their stamina and piety and to implore 
deeper, richer Eucharistic lives for them - and ultimately for the Church!

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