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Reflections: Priests & Voctns. Sctn. (Alter Christus)

St. John Vianney, the Curé D'Ars (patron saint of priests)

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Reflections: 

Priests & Vocations Sctn.:

'Alter Christus' / 'In Persona Christi'

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'Alter Christus' / 'In Persona Christi'

 

Category
Quotation

'Alter Christus' / 'In Persona Christi'

('Another Christ' / 'In the Person of Christ') 

"If we had faith, we could discern God hidden in the person of the priest, like a light behind a glass." (St. John Vianney)

"When you see the priest, think of our Lord Jesus Christ." (St. John Vianney)

"Neither angel nor archangel is able to do anything in respect to what is given by God; rather Father and Son and Holy Spirit manage it all; but the priest lends his own tongue and presents his own hand." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 391 A.D.)

"If the priest is called 'another Christ' and is truly such by reason of his sharing in Christ's power, should he not also become and be recognized as another Christ through imitation of Christ's deeds?" (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908 A.D.)

"If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is Himself the High Priest of God the Father; and if He offered Himself as a sacrifice to the Father; and if He commanded that this be done in commemoration of Himself - then certainly the priest, who imitates that which Christ did, truly functions in place of Christ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 3rd century A.D.)

"The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ's very person. Wherefore in his priestly activity he in a certain manner 'lends his tongue, and gives his hand' to Christ." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

"Through the character of Sacred Orders, God willed to ratify that eternal covenant of love, by which He loves His priests above all others; and they are obliged to repay God for this special love with holiness of life... So a cleric should be considered as a man chosen and set apart from the midst of the people, and blessed in a very special way with heavenly gifts - a sharer in divine power, and, to put it briefly, another Christ... He is no longer supposed to live for himself; nor can he devote himself to the interests of just his own relatives, or friends or native land... He must be aflame with charity toward everyone. Not even his thoughts, his will, his feelings belong to him, for they are rather those of Jesus Christ who is his life." (Pope Pius XII)

"The Apostle of the Gentiles thus perfectly sums up what may be said of the greatness, the dignity and the duty of the Christian priesthood: Sic nos existimet homo Ut ministros Christi et dispensatores mysteriorum Dei - 'Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ and the dispensers of the mysteries of God.' The priest is the minister of Christ, an instrument, that is to say, in the hands of the Divine Redeemer. He continues the work of the redemption in all its world-embracing universality and divine efficacy, that work that wrought so marvelous a transformation in the world. Thus the priest, as is said with good reason, is indeed 'another Christ'; for, in some way, he is himself a continuation of Christ. 'As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you,' is spoken to the priest, and hence the priest, like Christ, continues to give 'glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.) 

"Let your first care be to form Christ in those who are destined from the duty of their vocation to form Him in others. We speak of the priests, Venerable Brethren. For all who bear the seal of the priesthood must know that they have the same mission to the people in the midst of whom they live as that which Paul proclaimed that he received in these tender words: 'My little children, of whom I am in labor again until Christ be formed in you' (Gal. iv., 19). But how will they be able to perform this duty if they be not first clothed with Christ themselves? And so clothed with Christ as to be able to say with the Apostle: 'I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me' (Ibid. ii., 20). 'For me to live is Christ' (Phlipp. i., 21). Hence although all are included in the exhortation 'to advance towards the perfect man, in the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ' (Ephes. iv., 3), it is addressed before all others to those who exercise the sacerdotal ministry; thus these are called another Christ, not merely by the communication of power but by reason of the imitation of His works, and they should therefore bear stamped upon themselves the image of Christ." (Pope St. Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903 A.D.)

"[T]he priesthood is a great gift of the Divine Redeemer, Who, in order to perpetuate the work of redemption of the human race which He completed on the Cross, confided His powers to the Church which He wished to be a participator in His unique and everlasting Priesthood. The priest is like 'another Christ' because he is marked with an indelible character making him, as it were, a living image of our Savior. The priest represents Christ Who said 'As the Father has sent me, I also send you'; 'he who hears you, hears me'. Admitted to this most sublime ministry by a call from heaven, 'he is appointed for men in the things pertaining to God, that he may offer gifts and sacrifices [e.g. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass] for sins'. To him must come anyone who wishes to live the life of the Divine Redeemer and who desires to receive strength, comfort and nourishment for his soul; from him the salutary medicine must be sought by anyone who wishes to rise from sin and lead a good life. Hence all priests may apply to themselves with full right the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles: 'We are God's helpers'. This lofty dignity demands from priests that they react to their exalted office with the strictest fidelity. Since they are destined to promote the glory of God on earth and to cherish and increase the Mystical Body of Christ, they must be outstanding by the sanctity of their lives in order that through them the 'fragrance of Christ' may be spread everywhere." (Pope Pius XII, "Menti Nostrae", 1950 A.D.)

"The Catholic priesthood - divine in its origin, supernatural in its essence, immutable in its character, is not an institution that can accommodate itself with ease to human systems and opinions. A participation of the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ, it must perpetuate even to the consummation of ages the same mission that the Eternal Father confided to His Incarnate Word: 'Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos.' To work the eternal salvation of souls will always be the great commandment of which it must never fall short, as to faithfully fulfil it, it must never cease to have recourse to those supernatural aids and those divine rules of thought and of action which Jesus Christ gave His Apostles when He sent them throughout the whole world to convert the nations to the Gospel. Therefore St. Paul in his letters reminds us that the priest can never be anything but the legate, the minister of Christ, the dispenser of His mysteries, and he represents Him to us as dwelling in a high place, as a mediator between heaven and earth, to treat with God, about the supreme interests of the human race, which are those of everlasting life. The idea that holy books give us of the Christian priesthood, is that it is a supernatural institution superior to all those of earth, and as far separated from them as the divine is from the human. This same high idea is clearly brought out by the works of the Fathers, the laws of the Roman Pontiffs, and the Bishops, by the decrees of the Councils, and by the unanimous teaching of the Doctors and of the Catholic schools. Above all, the tradition of the Church with one voice proclaims that the priest is another Christ, and that the priesthood though exercised on earth merits to be numbered among the orders of heaven because it is given to them to administer things that are wholly celestial and upon them is conferred a power that God has not trusted even to the angels; a power and ministry which regard the government of souls, and which is the art of arts." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fin Dal Principio", 1902 A.D.)

Also See: Priests & The Sacraments | Priests & The Holy Eucharist / Mass | Priests & The Sacrament of Penance | Priests / Priesthood [Pg.] | Duties & Responsibilities of Priests | Holiness / Virtue / Purity | Sacraments Section | Sacraments Section (Reflections) | Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition Section

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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