“Alter Christus” – The Priest is not his own

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“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  -1 Cor 19-20

God has shown me my vocation: husband and father. I so give thanks for this extreme privilege, always.  I, literally, never stop with prayers of thanksgiving. I think of our priests often. I pray for them constantly. I see, in the starkest terms, even from my own joy, the oblation they have made for the People of God. Simply, and humbly put, “Thank you”.

The beloved Archbishop Sheen, whose cause for canonization is open in Rome, presents a profound and deeply spiritual look at the meaning of the priesthood and relationship of the priest with Christ as an “alter Christus”.

Sheen delves deeply into what he considers the main character of the priesthood, and one not often discussed, that of being, like Christ, a “holy victim”. To be like Christ, Sheen emphasizes that the priest must imitate Christ in His example of sacrifice, offering himself as a victim to make His Incarnation continually present in the world.

“Unlike anyone else, Our Lord came on earth, not to live, but to die. Death for our redemption was the goal of His sojourn here, the gold that he was seeking. He was, therefore, not primarily a teacher, but a Savior. Was not Christ the Priest a Victim? He never offered anything except Himself. So we have a mutilated concept of our priesthood, if we envisage it apart from making ourselves victims in the prolongation of His Incarnation.”

O Salutaris Hostia

O salutaris Hostia,
Quae caeli pandis ostium:
Bella premunt hostilia,
Da robur, fer auxilium.
Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria,
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.
Amen.

O saving Victim, opening wide,
The gate of heaven to man below!
Our foes press on from every side;
Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.

To Thy great name by endless praise,
Immortal Godhead, one in Three;
Oh, grant us endless length of days,
In our true native land with Thee. Amen.

Love,
Matthew

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