Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pray for Holy Priests

From Dom Chautard's, The Soul of the Apostolate:

“If the priest is a saint (the saying goes) the people will be fervent; if the priest is fervent, the people will be pious; if the priest is pious, the people will at least be decent. But if the priest is only decent, the people will be godless. The spiritual generation is always one degree less intense in its life than those who beget it in Christ.”


cranky said...

On the one hand, I don't have comfort questioning a spiritual writer of Chautard's level, but on the other hand, I don't have comfort ignoring that I am responsible for my response to God's Grace.

Blaming my level of spirituality on my priest leaves me a child. A holy priest may make it easier for me to be ferven, but couldn't I just as easily become pharisaical? or arrogantly elitist?

Couldn't a decent priest just as easily be motivation for me to seek God solely on my own? or lead me to go to another parish?

If I'm betting my destiny on being one step spiritually less than my current priest, I am deluding mysel. I question whether I am seeking an eternity based on what happened when Jesus died on the cross and my response to that, or on Father's holiness.

As important as Father's holiness is, he's not my Source.

Slatts said...

I don't think he intended it to be an unbending rule that holds 100% true all the time.

Like the book of Wisdom saying "the children of adulterers will not come to maturity, the offspring of an unlawful marriage will perish" does not mean "always" but rather in the "normal course" of things.

Generally speaking a holy priest will inpire holiness in his spiritual children. Exceptions are allowed, but they are just that: exceptional!

DimBulb said...

":Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you." (see 1 tim 4:11-16)

"And he gave gifts to men...he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, others as evangelists...To equip the holy ones for the work of service, for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and the knowledge of the son of God, to mature manhood, to the extant of the full stature of Christ. (See Eph 4:1-16

ajl said...

The purpose of the quote can be summed-up in the Universal Call to Holiness - and who can argue with that? The quote was not directed to laity, but to priests. It does not say that laity should blame their level of spiritual development on their priest. Rather, it is an admonishment to PRIESTS that if they want their spiritual children to be saints, they themselves better be more than decent, more than pious, and more than fervent. Our priests are called to be saints - and so are we!

Diane said...

All quote is saying is that the priest needs to lead by example. Certainly, not all will follow, but many will. People have a free choice, and when God places before us good and holy priests, he sets before us the kind of example people had in the days of Christ. He set the example back then. Now, God gives us priests to set the example. If you have a lukewarm priest, you will see lukewarmness in the people. We see this today because so many priests have been taught to just lay back and be like the rest of us. In reality, we need examples that counter the world, which then encourage us to do the same.

It's just human nature.