Friday, 7 November 2008

Fr Trevor Jones writes about the low pay and hard work for Anglo Catholic clergy but the pure joy and delight of being an Anglo Catholic priest today. It can not be more true! Our calling is high and noble and there is nothing like it. On our day of ordination we have been configured into Christ the only priest and he gives us the grace to share sacramentally in this eternal and only priesthood – through Him, with Him and in Him we offer God’s love and mercy to all those around us. It is only in Christ that our life as priests makes sense. We are to daily give ourselves to the cross and from there experience the life of Easter to which we are called to invite people. The life of the priest starts and ends at the altar, all he does when not on the altar is an extension of what he has been doing at the altar, everything he does is Mass, an oblation and sacrifice to God in intimate union with Christ. The priest is firmly grounded here on earth but his mind is in heaven, his friends are earthly but also include saints in heaven, he seeks to keep safe but he knows that angels are with him, he is the leader of the people but his authority is on his knees washing feet. I can not cease to give thanks to God that without any merit of mine he has numbered me among his priests and I hope and trust that no one will be put off from this joyful obedience by low remuneration or a relentless schedule. The past two days were days of working behind the scene. Preparing booklets, orders of service, finalising a sermon, lesson preparations, letter writing and signing and preparing for the Forward in Faith (Rochester) committee meeting last night, that was the order of the day. Both days were enlightened by the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice and today also by hospital visiting and Benediction. Pastoral conversations peppered these two days and I am grateful to the Holy Spirit for the words he puts in this useless brain of mine. Every day in the life of a priest is a day of walking with Christ, of thinking like Christ, of seeing like Christ and serving like he does in honesty, generosity and faithfulness to His teaching. If you are called to be a priest do not waste any more time and ask the Church to test your thoughts so that you can know if what you have is a vocation or an inclination.

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