There can be no question that the priesthood is a complex reality. In the seminary, we approach it from a variety of angles: theological, pastoral, spiritual and human. Each angle gives us new insight, an insight that likewise grows as our experience of the priesthood deepens and broadens. Archbishop Sheen once remarked: “‘Increase and multiply’ is a law of sacerdotal life no less than biological life.” (The Priest Is Not His Own, 57). While Sheen was speaking of the question of spiritual generation in the priest’s ministry, the observation is no less valid of the evolving understanding of the priesthood in the life of the seminarian and, indeed, of the priest throughout his life. Our appreciation of the priesthood must continue to grow and change. “Growth is the only evidence of life,” as Blessed John Henry Newman has observed. This evolution of priestly realization is also innate in the rites that create the priest. The identity of the priest naturally progresses through the various ministries, candidacy, diaconate and, finally, presbyteral ordination.
In the last conference, I looked rather carefully at the resolutions made by the deacon at his ordination. There is so much of significance in the diaconate ordination, including constitutive elements of the priesthood, the promise of celibacy and the Liturgy of the Hours being the most prominent. In this conference, I would like to turn to the particular resolutions made by the priest. In our context, we speak most often of a transitional diaconate. While the permanent diaconate, also a prominent feature of the Saint Meinrad landscape, ultimately finds its spiritual energy in the promises we discussed several weeks ago, those ordained to the transitional diaconate know that the resolutions made at deacon ordination are evolving resolutions; they will be augmented by the future ordination to the priesthood. They are by no means abrogated. The promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and the promise of celibacy remain the foundation of what will be additionally taken on with priesthood.
The transitional deacon must prepare himself for a strengthening of resolve with new promises. These new promises continue to show forth the nature of priestly life and spirituality. With presbyteral ordination, the deacon becomes an even more public person, a man for the Church. This is true because, as a priest, he stands at the very fulcrum of the Church’s life, the sacrifice of the Eucharist.
Before I reflect on the particular promises of the presbyteral order, I would like to offer a few insights about the nature of this public person. The priest affects the lives of his parishioners in profound ways, ways that may not always be readily apparent. We have heard it stated in many forums that the priest is a public person and must always act accordingly. The priest, however, is more than a public person in the sense of celebrities or politicians. The priest is a man whose engagement with the public, that is, the people, is of a profound nature. The priest is a man who is scrutinized and studied by the people not because his life is interesting in itself, but because his life is presented as an icon of discipleship. Our Holy Father Pope Benedict has expressed this well:
The priest is a man of prayer, a man of forgiveness, a man who receives and celebrates the sacraments as acts of prayer and encounter with the Lord. He is a man of charity, lived and practiced, thus all the simple acts, conversion, encounter, everything that needs to be done, become spiritual acts in communion with Christ. (Meeting with the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, 2007)
These acts are also acts meant to be observed by others. In his prayer, in his moral life, in his example of Christian living, everything is observed not because of prurience or any other base motive, but because the priest has presented himself as an example for others. He is an icon of discipleship. He shows himself as one who can live the life of the Gospel, not perfectly but intentionally. His life shows the people that it is possible. He is also a man of the Church. He faithfully represents the Church and never represents any ideas or opinions that, as his own, constitute a challenge to the Church’s way of thinking and acting. As a public man of the Church, he cannot act contrary to the laws and the spirit of the Church. He is watched. He is evaluated and, even when the people cannot quite give expression to their misgivings, they know when he is inauthentic. They know. We live today in a culture accustomed to casual communication. Facebook, My Space and other social networking tools give us access to easy formats by which we can express our opinions and ideas. A seminarian or a priest might easily be tempted to make a comment or express an opinion on the wall of Facebook that he would never consider saying in a classroom or in the pulpit. After all, Facebook is “just among friends,” and yet, millions of persons have access to these comments, many times more than would be the case in any parish environment.
Our thoughts and our teachings are analyzed, taken apart and taken to heart. As the poet Emily Dickinson once wrote: “We must be careful what we say, no bird resumes its egg.” (Letters of Emily Dickinson). Is this observation meant to instill some kind of paranoia or, worse, to silence the authentic voice of the priest in his mission to “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News”? By no means. Nevertheless, the priest must be constantly aware of that with which he is dealing. As priests, we are touching people’s souls; we are trafficking in the realm of their immortality. It is one thing to offer my opinion about the quality of the latest film; it is another to comment on Church teaching or liturgical practice when those teachings have the power to alter people’s lives. As priests, we have the power to alter people’s lives, their eternal lives, and that must give us pause; it must give us a sense of heightened responsibility.
With ordination, we are taking on a new identity, an identity that can never be set aside. I cannot begin to instill in you an awareness of the tremendous damage done by priests who ask others to listen intently to their opinions about the Church and its teachings and then walk away, leaving a confused public to sort through what is authentic and inauthentic in their words. There is no room in the Church today for priests who present themselves as the saviors of the Church. There is one savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His message that our public ministry must tirelessly proclaim. In the words of St. John the Baptist: “He must increase, while I must decrease.”
With this insight into the public nature of what we are doing, I turn now to the resolutions of the Rite of Ordination for Presbyters.
Do you resolve to exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely, preaching the Gospel and teaching the Catholic faith?
The first resolution seems to be, at least at first glance, in the intellectual mode. It focuses on the word. And yet, perhaps the expression “ministry of the word” is more profound. While the word might refer to the “logos” of our faith, it might equally refer to the second person of the Holy Trinity. As priests, we are called to exercise the ministry of the Word, of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict has remarked: “The first imperative of the priest is to be a man of God in the sense of a man in friendship with Christ.” (Meeting with the Clergy of the Dioceses of Belluno-Feltere and Treviso, 2007)
This can only be accomplished through a complete identity with Christ the Word. In our lives as disciples, many “words” compete for our attention. Some of these words are spoken internally, the scripts that we learn in childhood and tend to rehearse throughout our lives. We are constantly mulling over such scripted words as “unworthy,” “stupid,” “broken” and a host of others, each unique to our personal situations. Some of these scripted words may be near the surface of our consciousness and some may be deeply embedded in our psychological makeup, affecting our lives in adverse ways, robber-like against our knowledge and will. Some of these competing words come from our socialization and conditioning. The scripts of our cultural environment have a strong hold over us; they often call for unqualified allegiance, even when we know, at least intuitively, that they are at odds with what we profess as Christians and as Catholics.
In childhood, we might refer to this as the words spoken by peer pressure. Peer pressure does not evaporate as we grow older; it merely becomes more sophisticated. It is always pressure. As the historian Christopher Dawson has expressed: “Every society rests in the last resort on the recognition of common principles and common ideals, and if it makes no moral or spiritual appeal to the loyalty of its members, it must inevitably fall to pieces.” What is left in the aftermath of this disintegration of the social word than the ministry of the Word? Internally or externally, we give our attention to these words and yet the Word desires so completely to break into our lives.
The exercise of the ministry of the word faithfully and wisely means, first and foremost, our ability to filter all words that do not speak to us that single syllable that alone has meaning in the heart of the priest: Christ. There is only one word for us to authentically speak and that is Christ. Christ must be everything and our ministry of that word becomes our sole direction, our singular purpose. I exercise the ministry worthily when I put away all false representations of allegiance. “You call me Lord and teacher and you are right, for so I am” (John 13:13). And yet, as Cardinal Von Balthasar has noted: “It is in us that Jesus wants to stand before the Father, indeed, in us that he wants to be in the Father.” (Credo, 41). I am worthy of the ministry (as much as I can be worthy of the ministry) insofar as I live with an undivided heart. The landscape of my heart must be totally for Christ and the expanses of my mind and my intellect, the horizons of my service will be open and pure.
As much as that word is compartmentalized, there is my unworthiness. Worthiness to minster the Word does not stem from living a blameless life. There are no blameless lives. There are no lives in which the cacophony of other wordiness does not interfere with a pure attention to the voice of God. We all live conflicted lives. We all live lives of mixed motives. We all live sinful lives. That is not the question. We are not, on our own, worthy of the ministry of the word. But God makes us worthy and we participate in that divine action by our desire. As much as I desire to live a secret life or a double life, I am truly not worthy. As much as I desire to make my life as a priest an open book, even in the midst of authentically acknowledging my need for further growth, greater grace, I have been found worthy.
In the rite of ordination, after the call of the candidate, the bishop inquires of the one who has acted on behalf of the Church in issuing the call if the candidate has been found worthy. There is a testimony on his behalf that he has been found worthy. Another way to phrase this interchange that gets at the heart of the spirituality of the priest is that he has been found humble, humble enough to know himself, humble enough to acknowledge his faults, humble enough to live a transparent life.
The candidate for priestly orders resolves also to exercise his ministry wisely. Wisdom, in this context, is intimately related to worthiness. Worthiness is directed toward the development of the candidate’s personal character. Wisdom is directed outward. What is this wisdom? It is the understanding that what is within me (if I can authentically claim what is within me) is also within those whom I serve in the ministry of the word. We do not pastor perfect sheep. There is no perfection in the flock. Nor can we present ourselves as perfect pastors. The wise shepherd does not expect the flock to be perfect; rather he knows in an intimate way their imperfections. He has conditioned himself to this by his own introspection, his own self-awareness.
Pastors can get into real trouble when they fail to acknowledge the real situations of their flocks. Trouble can only ensue when a pastor presents himself as faultless, minister of an idealized church and then expects the flock to either conform or be weeded out. That is not to say we do not need ideals; again, we do, but we never reach the ideal without first wading through the mire, both internally and externally. We are wise pastors when we know the sheep and help them along because we know our selves and know how God has helped us along. Ministry that is worthy and wise is the ministry of real men among real men and women. Preaching and teaching can only proceed from this intimate knowledge. All other preaching and teaching will be perceived as false, façade, mere Potemkin villages of authentic discipleship.
In the seminary, we certainly practice preaching and teaching. These are essential communication skills for the priest. At another level, however, the seminary must also be a seedbed of worthiness and wisdom. Regarding worthiness, as I have stated many times before, it is necessary to inculcate here the ability to express true humility through transparency. What does this transparency look like but the development of mature character. As J.C. Watts has expressed so eloquently: “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” The honesty that this character formation necessitates can only happen in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. As pastor, it is essential for me to set the tone. As a staff, we are called to be authentic examples of this. We trust one another and we have respect for one another when we honestly communicate.
One way in which we do this is through our annual self-evaluation process. Ideally, the seminarian should never hear anything in that process from the evaluation team members that he has not already heard many times from his dean, the vice rector or the rector. No seminarian should be taken off guard by what appears in the evaluation. Likewise, the staff should never be taken off guard by what happens in the evaluation. If I reveal in the evaluation something that I have never revealed before in the external forum, that indicates a lack of transparency. Wisdom and worthiness are not qualities that happen overnight; they are not the magical results of ordination, rather with the author of proverbs we know: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Proverbs 24:3-4) and “My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble” (Proverbs 3:21-23).
Do you resolve to celebrate faithfully and reverently, in accord with the Church’s tradition, the mysteries of Christ, especially the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation, for the glory of God and the sanctification of the Christian people?
Here we find the particular ministry of the priest: The sacrifice of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation. These are the responsibilities of the priest and so the character of priestly spirituality must be built around these responsibilities. What does it mean to promise to faithfully and reverently celebrate the sacrifice of the Eucharist? It entails a deep commitment to the reality of the Eucharist and its place in the life of the world. As the Holy Father has remarked, the secret of the priest’s sanctification lies precisely in the Eucharist: “…the priest must be first and foremost an adorer who contemplates the Eucharist” (Angelus, 18 September 2005). The priest is called through his priestly ministry and identity to continually point to the significance of the Eucharistic sacrifice for the life of the world. He can never, by word or action or attitude, indicate any marginality of this central truth of our faith. We need the Eucharist. The world needs the Eucharist because it needs Christ. The sacrifice of the Eucharist as Christus prologatus is the presence of God in the life of the world. This centrality is real and must be realized whether we are believers or not.
There is nothing more central to the world than the presence of Christ. Do we always realize that or do we trivialize the importance of the sacrament by making its celebration just another aspect of our day? The developing spirituality of the priest must be a spirituality centered on the Eucharistic Christ. As stated in Presbyterorum Ordinis: “All ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate are bound up with the Eucharist and are directed towards it . For in the most blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church,  namely Christ himself our Pasch, and the living bread which gives life to men through his flesh—that flesh which is given life and gives life through the Holy Spirit.” This is accomplished, first and foremost, by paying attention to the quality of our celebration of the Holy Mass each day. Critical or judgmental attitudes about the Eucharistic celebration can have the effect of devaluing the central mystery that we are acknowledging. Refusal to participate in this or that aspect of the Holy Mass because it does not suit my particular liturgical taste is insulting to the presence of the Divine Savior on the altar, in the Word, in the ministerial priesthood and in the assembly. Critical and judgmental attitudes inject a decided selfishness into the Mass.
The Eucharistic spirituality of the priest is also cultivated in the daily Holy Hour. In the words of Pope John Paul II: “Our communal worship at Mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete.” (Pope John Paul II, Redemptionis Hominis). The Holy Hour is a privileged time not only because it is a time spent with our Lord in silence and reverence, but also because the face-to-face encounter with Christ in the tabernacle or in the monstrance is a reminder of the truth that He is also present in palpable ways outside of the chapel. Our encounter with Christ in the privileged Holy Hour is a rehearsal for additional encounters made each day in more mundane but equally sacred settings: the nursing home, the parish school, the RCIA group and dozens of others.
There is a beautiful image at the end of Robert Hugh Benson’s novel, The Lord of the World, of the end of time and all of creation being drawn into the Lord present on the altar in the monstrance. The cosmic implications of the Eucharist draw all of us into its power. What a privilege and responsibility to be the custodians of that sacramental presence. How can the entirety of our lives not be devoted to its celebration? Eucharistic spirituality cultivated in the seminarian and realized in the life of the priest is also the ability to closely identify oneself with the Christ whom we make present in the sacrifice of the altar. “This is my body. This is my blood” are not words we speak only on behalf of Christ, but words that also echo our commitment to be in persona Christi, to offer ourselves, our body and blood, for the people. Fr. Stephen Rosetti has commented: “The priest at the altar dies and rises with Jesus.” (Born of the Eucharist, 97). Eucharistic spirituality is the cultivation of a healthy sacrificial spirituality in the sense of not always putting my own needs first, of being willing to go the extra mile, of carrying the cross and encouraging others. If there is no cost to priesthood, then there is probably not a very authentic expression of the priesthood. True, we must take care of ourselves, but at what point does self-care become an attitude of privilege, entitlement or comfort?
The second aspect of this resolution is faithfully celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation. Quite obviously, this means the need to hear sacramental confessions and offer absolution. We know how much the world is in need of this sacrament and we also know how little it is sometimes used. Reconciliation is a central ministry of the priest. It is also tied to the Eucharist. We bring together in order to make the body of Christ a real presence among us. Offering the sacrament of Reconciliation is necessary for the exercise of authentic priesthood. “Priests must encourage the faithful to come to the sacrament of Penance and must make themselves available to celebrate this sacrament each time Christians reasonably ask for it” (CCC 1494). Canon law requires the priest to regularly participate in this sacrament (CJC, 276, 5). No priest can ever refuse to hear a confession unless he prohibited from doing so because of particular relationships (for example, being rector of a seminary). Priests must make themselves available for the celebration of this sacrament when it is needed and required.
Reconciliation is also a central attitude of the priest. In order to be a worthy minister of God’s forgiveness, I need to experience that forgiveness in my life. My participation in the sacrament of Reconciliation is a necessary precursor to my ability to be a good confessor. Again in Presbyterorum Ordinis we read: The priest receives grace for the healing of human weakness from the holiness of Christ, who became for us a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinner.” Therefore, cultivation of the attitude of reconciliation is also necessary outside of the formal confines of the Church’s sacramental system. Am I an agent of peace and reconciliation in the community or am I continually the cause of division? Gossip, the spreading of false or unsubstantiated rumors, the inability to avoid controversy and drama, a persistent critical attitude, the inability to confront others in charity, the inability to receive correction, talking about people behind their backs, publicly processing difficulties to all willing to listen to my complaints: all of these are contraindications of the ability to cultivate the attitude of reconciliation essential to the ministry of the priest. How can I effectively preach and announce in the confessional the joy of heaven when I am forever raising hell behind the scenes?
Eucharist and reconciliation are the foundations of priestly life and spirituality. We cultivate our awareness of these sacraments as necessary precursors to celebrating them. Why? The resolution also tells us this: for the glory of God and the sanctification of the people. Not for our glory do we cultivate and celebrate, but because God gives us an agency to announce His Glory for the sanctification of His people. God gives us the agency. It is a profound responsibility when we see the centrality of these sacraments to the life of the world. In the words of St. Paul: “To him alone be glory in the Church, now and forever.”
Do you resolve to implore with us God’s mercy upon the people entrusted to your care by observing the command to pray without ceasing?
Pray without ceasing. St. Paul’s injunction in the first letter to the Thessalonians (5:17) is central to the life and ministry of the priest. At one level, this promise has already been made in the promise of the deacon to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Here the stakes are raised a little higher. While the Liturgy of the Hours remains at the core of clerical responsibility by virtue of its being the prayer of the Church, the command to pray without ceasing goes further. The priest is called to implore God’s mercy upon the people. The direction of our lives is toward God through the people whom we serve. We live with a constant awareness of two things: the needs of those whom we serve and the greatness of God to fulfill those needs. The priest acts as a living conduit between these realities. First, the spirituality of the priest is directed toward an awareness of the needs of the people. We must know them. We must respect them. We must honor them precisely in their brokenness. The priest is privileged to know the inner lives of the people God has given him to serve. We know their fears, their pain, their pasts, their addictions, their sins, their confusions, their aspirations, their dreams and their disappointments.
Our task is to attend to these realities. We must live among those whom we serve. We must be willing to hear them, open to listening and responding. “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and they know me” (John 10:27). This aspect of priestly spirituality prohibits us ever sending messages that they are not welcome, that we are not willing. Our response to all of these realities is to bring them to God. We cannot solve the problems of the people. As your pastor in this community, I cannot solve every dilemma you have. I can bring you to someone who can, Jesus the Lord. The life of the priest, then, is a life of spiritual referral. We constantly call upon the name of the Lord. We pray without ceasing from the midst of life’s turmoil’s, tragedies and triumphs. In all things, we give God the glory for He intends to do so much for us. Likewise, we witness the efficacy of this conducting among the people by what God has done for us. If we are not convinced that God is the author and caretaker of all in our lives, then we will not be very credible witnesses to His power in the lives of others. The exhortation of the first letter of St. Peter applies beautifully here:
Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly,
 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock.
 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.
 Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you.
 Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.
 Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.
 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.
 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you.
 To him be the dominion for ever and ever.
Do your resolve to be united more closely every day to Christ the High Priest, who offered himself for us to the Father as a pure sacrifice, and with him to consecrate yourself to God for the salvation of all?
How can we hope to do this? We are asked, in no uncertain terms, to consecrate ourselves completely to God. What does this imply? One thing I believe: by little and by little, less of the exasperating stumbling block of ego to inhibit the fulfillment of our mission. Again Archbishop Sheen: “The priest is not only the shepherd who cares for his sheep, he is also the lamb who is offered in caring for them.” (The Priest Is Not His Own, 29). How is this sacrificial nature of the priesthood realized? I would say in three distinct ways: (1) by the priest’s simplicity of life; (2) by his openness to serve; and (3) by his singleheartedness. The priesthood must be lived with a simplicity that is observable. Here I do not mean to imply that simplicity is merely a matter of putting away material possessions. Material possessions play a part in simplicity of life, without a doubt, but true simplicity of life is not attained merely by possessing little. There are many bitter and ideologically confused priests living in bare rooms.
True simplicity of life is obtained by detachment. The philosopher Simone Weil has said: “There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too.” We cannot hope to achieve the sacrificial aspects of priestly service without regret, without hatred or lying, if we cannot separate ourselves from that which, at times, we view as most essential to ourselves, our opinions, our personal truths and our so-called freedoms. Bede Griffiths said: “[Simplicity] is detachment from the self. This is the most radical detachment of all. But what is the self? The self is the principle of reason and responsibility in us. It is the root of freedom, it is what makes us men.” It is not necessarily what makes us saints. Detachment and simplicity, which lead to a kind of interior martyrdom, guide us to God because they instill in us a desire for God alone. Detachment means putting aside all kinds of ambition, self-determination and self-serving, striving after a single goal, the goal of St. Paul in the letter to the Galatians: “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians, 2, 20). This desire is a kind of self-immolation, and by that I mean not an immolation of the authentic and wonderful aspects of our personalities. Detachment and self-denial are not denials of my personal charms, charisms and perhaps quirks. They are rather a desire to turn the particularity of my personal character to the service of God alone.
Second, this sacrificial quality is achieved by our openness to serve, truly serve, the needs of others. As I stated above, part of this recognition of the needs of the flock is a recognition of their desires. To serve the needs of others means that I serve them in their needs and not in my own. True, I must lead. I must provide a vision, but I cannot force that vision on an unwilling flock when they are languishing in their own questions, problems and authentic pastoral desires. It is the needs of the flock that I must serve. My attitude as a pastor will make all the difference in the way I will serve them. How open am I? Let’s consider that in the context of what we must do here. What do my brothers need and how willing am I to listen to those needs? As I stated in the opening conference for this year, you have ample opportunities to serve real pastoral needs in this community. Can we begin to practice the art of sacrificial priesthood by authentically giving ourselves in service to those real needs? “If we do not love a brother, whom we have seen, we cannot love God, whom we have not seen.” In the words of the Roman playwright, Terence: “Charity begins at home.”
Finally, a sacrificial priesthood is governed by singleheartedness. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins once said: “Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in eyes and limbs not his – to the Father through the feature of men’s faces.” Singleheartedness is not the dogged stubbornness of only seeking commerce with the sacred, but in finding the sacred in the daily distillation of human life. It is easy enough to choose the things of this world that are pleasing to my spiritual sensibilities and live among them, detaching myself from the flotsam and jetsam of reality. It is more difficult to find myself immersed in the quicksand of culture and find God’s arms there. Our message is a message that the reality of God pervades every aspect of His creation. Our hearts are restless, however, because that reality has been coated, painted over, disguised. God wants to shine forth in His creation and our determination to be instruments of that illumination, monstrances of the divine persona showing forth the presence of God in every circumstance is the sacrifice we must make to live authentic priesthoods.
We cannot become imbued with the cynicism of the world. We must be beacons of hope and understanding, calling forth from the depths of the human experience the light of Christ, a light that burns in all men and women, a light we must be convinced burns in us. We cannot do this alone, but we can do it together; we can support and encourage one another in dark times, through stormy days. We can lift one another up in the ecstasy of prayer and in the simplicity of true care, concern, love. We can be Christ for one another rather than agents of the critical and unyielding devil. We can love. We can love with all our hearts. God has given us the promise of single hearts, single and holy for Him and for our brothers and sisters. He has given us the materials to make us saints and to call us into that divine assembly. Give Him glory today. Love Him today in the faces of one another. Become vessels of sacrificial love today, vessels like that most precious of all disciples, the mother of priests, Our Blessed Lady.
Hail Holy Queen…