At this often-overlooked level of the priest’s life, the grace of ordination bears fruit again and again, and the careful observer can discover the vibrant presence and action of the Holy Spirit. Consistency and integrity of priestly life, enduring over years and years — here we have a true indicator of a rather profound degree of personal holiness, of the action of grace and an intense relationship with our Lord.
What I have described here is what I see and sense in so many of my brother priests. Truly, the Church is blessed with a majority of priests (and bishops) who are genuinely striving for holiness of life, striving to model their lives on the mystery of the Lord’s cross. Certainly, we have our shortcomings, and failures and quirks. But last time I checked, so did just about every saint. And by God’s grace, our example, and the shining example of holiness of countless committed Catholics will draw countless others to the irresistible beauty of Jesus, and to the total commitment of priestly, religious and consecrated life.
Rev. Thomas Berg is Professor of Moral Theology and Director of Admissions at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, NY. This article originally appeared on his blog.