Priesthood of Jesus Christ:
Christ in the Confessional
human soul longs, craves for, blessing and forgiveness.
The human heart longs to experience itself as dwelling in God's favor,
being the recipient of the gift of His graces, but how often do we actually
really reflect upon the beauty, the power, the mercy made manifest,
freely offered to each and every one of us, in the Sacrament of Penance?
How often do we reflect upon, and with genuine with gratitude, those
priests who have laid down their lives to be ministers of His Word and
Prisoners of Love
and pity ... these come naturally to us for those held in captivity,
imprisoned through no fault of their own, and even for those who have
perpetrated crimes and live out their limited existence in our prisons
and state penitentiaries — but do we ever think of those who are prisoners
of love? — those who spend much of their lives within the close confines
of the Confessional listening to the penitent hearts of humanity?
Throughout the whole Catholic world, especially in the great centres
of pilgrimage, Lourdes, Fatima, Guadeloupe, Knock, Rome, Assisi, San
Giovanni Rotundo, and in many, many other places, priests serve the
faithful with unstinting generosity within the Confessional.
The self-giving of a priest in the Confessional is a divine gift beyond
measure, the holy, wise, and loving counsel given ... these are the
listening ears of Christ, the priest’s lips are the dispensers of the
very mercy of God, and who among us has not known healing and received
the gift of new life through the ministry of a priest?
We will never know with what love the priest has taken our burdens upon
himself in prayer, often with penance and mortification, often with
tears before God.
Think of the great Cure of Ars, St. Jeanne Vianney, who performed the
most extraordinary penances to gain merits, or as a gift of reparation
to the Lord, for the sins of his penitents. Hundreds were drawn to seek
his counsel; through his aid, his love, his wisdom, and holy encouragement
they perceived rightly that he could and would direct their feet on
the path back to God.
continues the work of redemption on earth ... If we really understood
the priest on earth, we would die, not of fright, but of love ...
The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.” (Cure of Ars)
St. Padre Pio,
the Friar of San Giovanni Rotundo, the Stigmatic and Priest, is famous
for the miracles of healing that have been performed through his intercession;
but far more impressive are the long hours he sat in the Confessional,
consoling, correcting and assisting sinners.
himself to Christ in expiation for the sins of man. If there were
many conversions through him, many astounding, I believe that this
was principally due to his suffering, a message of devotion, of
fidelity and of love for the Pope and the Church.” (Fr General of
And what of the
much loved “hero of the confessional” St. Leopold Mandic, the humble
Capuchin Friar, who spent the greater part of his priestly life in the
Confessional. He himself was crippled with arthritis, and at a mere
4 feet 10 inches tall, a small man at best — with a great heart for
God and for souls. Thousands benefited from his ministry of self sacrifice.
“When I say
Mass, my thoughts are all for who have consulted me. At the culmination
of the Sacred Mysteries I fold them all in my heart and I know the
prayers will be answered because what I ask for is nothing compared
to what I offer.” (St. Leopold Mandic).
The very fact
that thousands and thousands have sought to be reconciled to God through
the ministry of a priest in the Confessionals of our great Churches
shows how much the human heart and soul longs to be at peace and in
communion with its God.
Our God is so rich in mercy and forgiveness! In abundance unto overflowing!
Let us take time to read the lives of our Saints, our priests and sing
with heartfelt gratitude for all they have done for the Church – which
is to say, for us. For you. For me.
Who can ever know or fathom the love which passes through the heart
of a priest; who can ever possibly begin to valuate his holy zeal to
win and save souls for the Kingdom.
The heart of a priest is the heart of
Pray and give
thanks for our priests, especially for those who have assisted you through
life, and brought you life, in Christ — even Jesus Christ Himself at
the Altar, in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — His very Body and
Blood in the Holy Eucharist ... by whose hands, whose words, Christ
becomes really and truly present to us!
Peace through the Sacrament of Penance — Life itself through the Most
Holy Sacrament of the Altar!
Give thanks to God for Priests among men who bring us to God in the
Confessional ... and bring God to us in the the Mass!
A Poor Clare
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Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti
verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power,
and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My
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