Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Angel of the Lord, Part Two

B16 had a very pointed message at this morning's Angelus. One of our eminent readers noted the message of priestly sanctification coinciding with the upcoming Seminary Visitations here in the States.... More than just a coincidence, you say?

We are well aware that the validity of the Sacrament does not depend on the sanctity of the celebrant, but its effectiveness for himself and for others, will be all the greater to the extent that he lives it with profound faith, ardent love, and a fervent spirit of prayer.

Throughout the year, the Liturgy presents us with examples of saintly ministers of the Altar, who drew the power of imitating Christ from daily intimacy with him in Eucharistic celebration and adoration. Some days ago, we recalled the memory of St John Chrysostom, patriarch of Constantinople at the end of the fourth century. He was defined as “mouth of gold” for his extraordinary eloquence; but he was also called “Eucharistic doctor” for the vastness and the depth of his doctrine on the most holy Sacrament. The “divine liturgy” which is most commonly celebrated in the eastern Churches bears his name, and his motto: “one man full of zeal is enough to transform a people”, evidence of how effective Christ’s activity is through his ministers. In our era, the figure of St Pio of Pietrelcina stands out; we will commemorate his memory on Friday. Celebrating Holy Mass, he relived the mystery of Calvary with such fervour that he edified the faith and devotion of all. Even the stigmata which God gave him as a gift were an expression of intimate conformity with the crucified Jesus. Thinking about priests in love with the Eucharist, one cannot forget St John Maria Vianney, the humble parish priest of Ars at the time of the French revolution. With the sanctity of his life and his pastoral zeal, he managed to make his small environment into a model Christian community animated by the Word of God and the Sacraments.

Good examples, indeed.



Blogger Jeff said...

What a wonderful preacher! I would go so far as to say that he is himself another "golden mouth." I often feel that this will be the real legacy of Pope Benedict, not rules, not controversy, not theology...but preaching.

18/9/05 15:40  
Blogger Fungulo said...

I wonder if people were working out what would or would not be the legacy of Il Magnificenzo a mere 5 months after his election?!

May Benedict reign a thousand years!

18/9/05 19:42  
Blogger Christ-Haunted said...

Puhleeze. The American church makes up 12 percent (I think) of the universal church. The pope's got priests in Africa and Asia to worry about, in cultures where the church is either suppressed or a means of class mobility. But leave it to the adolescent Americans to think that the pope's sending a message to us.

19/9/05 11:51  

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