Skip to comments.The Priesthood of Jesus Christ - Body and Blood (Confessional ... Consecration ... and Calvary)
Posted on 10/21/2007 3:18:25 PM PDT by NYer
"Hoc est corpus meum ...Hic est enim sanguis meus"
"This IS my Body ... this IS my Blood"
Saint Matthew 26.26-28
The human soul longs, craves for, blessing and forgiveness.
The human heart longs to experience itself as dwelling in God's favour, being the recipient of the gift of His graces, but how often do we actually really reflect upon the beauty, the power, the mercy made manifest, freely offered to each and every one of us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
How often do we reflect upon with gratitude those priests who have laid down their lives, to be ministers of His Word and His sacraments?
It is comparatively easy for us to engender feelings of compassion, sympathy and pity for those held in captivity, imprisoned through no fault of their own, and even with those who have perpetrated crimes and live out their limited existence in our prisons and state penitentiaries but do we ever think of those who are prisoners of love? Those who spend much of their lives within the close confines of the Confessional listening to the penitent hearts of humanity?
Throughout the whole Catholic world, especially in the great centres of pilgrimage, Lourdes, Fatima, Guadeloupe, Knock, Rome, Assisi, San Giovanni Rotundo, and in many, many other places, priests serve the faithful with great generosity within the Confessional.
The self giving of a priest in the Confessional is beyond measure, the holy, wise, and loving counsel given ... these are the listening ears of Christ, the priest's lips are the dispensers of the very mercy of God, and who among us has not known healing and received the gift of new life through the ministry of a priest?
We will never know with what love the priest has taken our burdens upon himself in prayer, often with penance and mortification, often with tears before God.
Think of the great Cure of Ars, Saint Jeanne Vianney, who performed the most extraordinary penances to gain merits, or as a gift of reparation to the Lord, for the sins of his penitents. Hundreds were drawn to seek his counsel; through his aid, his love, his wisdom, and holy encouragement they perceived rightly that he could and would direct their feet on the path back to God.
"The Priest continues the work of redemption on earth ... If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die, not of fright, but of love ... The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus". (Cure of Ars)
Saint Padre Pio, the Friar of San Giovanni Rotundo, the Stigmatic and Priest, is famous for the miracles of healing that have been performed through his intercession; but far more impressive are the long hours he sat in the Confessional, consoling, correcting and assisting sinners.
"He united himself to Christ in expiation for the sins of man. If there were many conversions through him, many astounding, I believe that this was principally due to his suffering, a message of devotion, of fidelity and of love for the Pope and the Church". (Fr General of the Order)
And what of the much loved "hero of the confessional" Saint Leopold Mandic, the humble Capuchin Friar, who spent the greater part of his priestly life in the Confessional. He himself was crippled with arthritis, and at a mere 4 feet 10 inches tall, a small man at best with a great heart for God and for souls. Thousands benefited from his ministry of self sacrifice.
"When I say Mass, my thoughts are all for who have consulted me. At the culmination of the Sacred Mysteries I fold them all in my heart and I know the prayers will be answered because what I ask for is nothing compared to what I offer". (Saint Leopold Mandic).
The very fact that thousands and thousands have sought to be reconciled to God through the ministry of a priest in the Confessionals of our great Churches shows how much the human heart and soul longs to be at peace and in communion with its God.
Our God is so rich in mercy and forgiveness! In abundance unto overflowing! Let us take time to read the lives of our Saints, our priests and sing with heartfelt gratitude for all they have done for the Church which is to say, for us. For you. For me.
Probably the most poignant picture to be seen in recent years was the photograph that appeared in all our national papers, and on all our television networks of Our Holy, Father Pope John Paul, listening, with his head bowed, to the words and heart of his would-be assassin Ali Agca, an unforgettable picture of mercy and forgiveness. A veritable image ... the clearest image of God, before our eyes ...
Who can ever know or fathom the love which passes through the heart of a priest; who can ever possibly begin to valuate his holy zeal to win and save souls for the Kingdom.
The heart of a priest is the heart of Christ.
Pray and give thanks for our priests, especially for those who have assisted you through life, and brought you life, in Christ even Jesus Christ Himself at the Altar, in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass His very Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist ... by whose hands, whose words, Christ becomes really and truly present to us!
Peace through the Sacrament of Penance Life itself through the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!
Give thanks to God for Priests among men who bring us to God in the Confessional ... and bring God to us in the the Mass!
A Poor Clare Colettine Nun
verbis colligentur sententiae
And He reminds us of this through St. Faustina.
Confession of sins in the Sacrament of Penance
|I would like to say three words to the soul that is determined to strive for sanctity and to derive fruit; that is to say, benefit from confession.
First word - complete sincerity and openness. Even the holiest and wisest confessor cannot forcibly pour into the soul what he desires if it is not sincere and open. An insincere , secretive soul risks great dangers in the spiritual life, and even the Lord Jesus Himself does not give Himself to such a soul on a higher level, because He knows it would derive no benefit from these special graces.
Second word - humility. A soul does not benefit as it should from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is willing, to probe ..the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.
Third word - obedience. A disobedient soul will win no victory, even if the Lord Jesus himself, in person, were to hear its confession (113)
|(During a time of illness) Suddenly I felt sick, I gasped for breath, there was darkness before my eyes, my limbs grew numb - and there was a terrible suffocation. Even a moment of such suffocation is extremely long...There also comes a strange fear, in spite of trust. I wanted to receive the last sacraments, but it was extremely difficult to make a confession even though I desired to do so. ...Oh, may God keep every soul from delaying confession until the last hour! I understand the great power of the priest's words when they are poured out upon a sick person's soul. When I asked my spiritual father whether I was ready to stand before the Lord and whether I could be at peace, I received the reply, "You can be completely at peace, not only right now but after each weekly confession." Great is the divine grace that accompanies these words of the priest. The soul feels power and courage for battle. (321)|
|Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy. There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one's misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of ] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God's mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late. (1448)|
|I feel much better today. I was glad I would be able to meditate more during the Holy Hour. Then I heard a voice: You will not be in good health. Do not put off the Sacrament of Penance, because this displeases Me. Pay little attention to the murmurs of those around you. [Sr. Faustina then recounts her unexpected suffering which occurred soon after]. I now understand the Lord's warning. I decided to call any priest at all, the next day, and to open the secrets of my soul to him....for while I was praying for sinners and offering all my sufferings for them, the Evil spirit could not stand that. (1464)|
|Today the Lord said to me, Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls. (1602)|
|My daughter, just as you prepare in My presence, so also you make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyse what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light. (1725)|
**Give thanks to God for Priests among men who bring us to God in the Confessional ... and bring God to us in the the Mass!**
Amen! We need to perpetually thank and pray for our priests. I will be posting a thread this week about the Serra Club. An International Club that supports religious vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Priesthood Sunday is October 28th.
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