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Thursday, August 16, 2007

O quam magnam

Today Fr. John Walshe celebrated his Silver Jubilee Mass at St. Patrick's, Mentone. In choir was His Lordship, Bishop Peter Elliott, four priests of the Fraternity and dozens of his brother priests. The homilist Fr. William Fitzgerald O.Praem, a canon regular of Premontre, delivered a most wonderful sermon on the dignity of the priesthood, which touched upon deficiencies in the formation of priests in the years following the Second Vatican Council, before acknowledging Fr. Walshe's own example of a priest in imitation of Christ's own life of sacrifice and service.

Speaking of 'imitation', my immediate thought after this evening were the words of Ven. Thomas a Kempis:

O quam magnam et honorabile est officium sacerdotam: quibus datum est Dominum majestatis verbis sacris consecrare, labiis benedicere, manibus tenere, ore prorio sumere, et ceteris ministrare. (De Imitatione Christi, Liber IV, Caput XI)

[Translation: O how great and honourable is the office of priests, to whom it is given to consecrate with sacred words the Lord of majesty, to bless Him with their lips, to hold Him with their hands, to receive Him with their own mouths, and to administer Him to others.]

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