Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chastity of the Priest

On this feast of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, our thoughts are raised to the virtue of chastity which should be possessed by priests who are charged with the offering of the Holy Sacrifice. In as much as the Liturgy is worship of the true God, the priest must not simply possess rubrical impeccability but also a chaste heart.

"The hand, says St. John Chrysostom, that touches the sacred flesh of Jesus Christ, and the tongue that is purpled with his divine blood, should be purer than the rays of the sun. In another place, he says that a priest ascending the altar should be possessed of purity and sanctity which would merit for him a place in the midst of the angels. How great, then, must be the horror of the angels when they behold a priest, who is the enemy of God, stretching forth his sacrilegious hands to touch and eat the Immaculate Lamb! 'Who,' exclaims St. Augustine, 'shall be so wicked and daring as to touch the most holy Sacrament with polluted hands!' Still more wicked is the priest that celebrates Mass with a soul defiled by mortal sin." (St. Alphonsus, Dignity and Duties of the Priest, 126.)

Admitting our transgressions, we, as priests, should make our own the words of the Psalms : "A humble and contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn!"


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Reminds me of this prayer for priests:

    O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy servants within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may harm them.

    Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body.

    Keep unsullied the lips purpled with Thy Precious Blood.

    Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime m arks of Thy glorious priesthood.

    Let Thy holy love surround them from the world's contagion.

    Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they have ministered be here below their joy and consolation in Heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.

    O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us a number of holy priests.

    In festo Ascensionis 1935
    + Michael
    Archiepiscopus Manilensis

    Mas maganda ang emphasis niya kesa mga naglipanang prayer for priests ngayon.