The man who became the successor of St Peter and has preached the faith joyfully, tirelessly and without compromise, as St Paul did, was ordained in Freising Cathedral by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich.
The wonder of what happened that day is still with the Holy Father now when he says:
“This audacity of God who entrusts Himself to human beings – who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in His stead – this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word ‘priesthood'”.
Pope Benedict has been a great example of what the priest is, according to Fr John Saward, who writes in the CTS booklet A Priest Forever:
“The priests of the New Law share in the priesthood of Christ through the sacramental character of Holy Order imprinted on their souls, more exactly on the faculty of the practical intellect, through the laying of the bishop’s hands and the prayer of consecration. It is indelible, because the priesthood of Christ is eternal and their souls are immortal.
“Ontologically, he is an alter Christus; he must now become an alter Christus morally and spiritually, a priest according to the Heart of Christ. The priest is configured to Christ as priest; he is called to configure himself to Christ as Victim, by uniting himself to Christ’s offering of Himself to the Father. He is an icon of the Good Shepherd; he must now imitate the Lamb of God. Jesus, whom we represent at the altar, must be present in our hearts by faith formed by charity; through prayer, we must come to know Him with that first-hand intimacy made possible in those who love God by the Holy Spirit’s Gift of Wisdom.”
In his willingness to serve and the humility which he has displayed throughout his ministry, before and after taking his seat in the chair of St Peter, have been a visible sign of Jesus’ love.
SS. Peter and Paul pray for us, and watch over the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI.
A Priest Forever is available from the CTS priced £1.95
Of related interest:
|Holy Orders – In a time when there is so much confusion over the nature of the priesthood, this booklet delineates the Church’s teaching on the sacrament of Holy Orders and its grounding in scripture and tradition.|
|Priest’s Guide to Hearing Confessions – This new Guide is a very helpful attempt to create a modern equivalent of the classic manuals for confessors popular among priests in the past. It provides a valuable guide to best pastoral practice, with a wide range of sample problems and counsel.|
|Priesthood Today – Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue takes the opportunity of this ‘Year for Priests’ to re-examine the role of the priesthood today.|