The Priests of God’s Own Heart

A little god on earth; a living image of Jesus Christ; an Angel due to his purity of soul and body: these are some of the many titles conferred on authentic priests by the great St. John Eudes.

Newsroom (19/08/2021 22:30, Gaudium Press) The most precious gift and the most outstanding favour that Divine Goodness can bestow on a church is a good pastor, whether a bishop or a parish priest. For this is the grace of graces and the gift of gifts, which contains all other gifts and all other graces. […]

Mediator between God and men

A good pastor is a Commander of the Army of our Great God, always with weapon in hand and unceasingly fighting for His glory and for the defense of His Church against His enemies – the devil, the world, the flesh, and sin – in order to conquer kingdoms for Him. He fights to conquer souls, because each faithful soul is a kingdom of God, more valuable to him than all earthly empires.

The priest is a prince of the Kingdom of God, and a king of his empire, which is his Church. He is established by God to govern – according to the laws and precepts of the Gospel – kings and queens as well as Christians under his direction, and to make them worthy to possess eternally the one kingdom with the Sovereign Monarch of the universe.

He is an apostle and evangelist whose principal mission is to proclaim unceasingly the Gospel of Jesus Christin public and in private, by word and by deed – and to continue on earth the functions which the Apostles dedicated themselves to, and the life and virtues they practiced.

He is the sacred spouse of the Divine Spouse, that is, the Church of Jesus Christ; he is so inflamed with the purest and most holy love for Her that day and night he takes care only to seek by every means to embellish Her, to adorn Her, to enrich Her, to make Her worthy of the eternal love of Her heavenly and immortal Spouse.

More by Gaudium Press  For Cardinal Wilton Gregory there is a 'Lack of Parish Priests' at October Synod

He is a mediator between God and men, to make them know, adore, serve, fear, and love God; to communicate His will to them; to lead them to render Him every homage; finally, to be continually occupied, in mind and heart, in word and deed, “in things pertaining to the service and glory of God” (cf. Heb 5:1). […]

A living and itinerant God

What shall I add?

A good shepherd is a saviour and a Christ on earth, occupying the place of Christ, representing His Person, vested with His authority, acting in His Name, adorned with His qualities, exercising His judgement in the Court of Penance, performing the highest functions He has exercised in this world; he is constituted to carry on the work of the Redemption of the universe, and in imitation of Christ he employs all his spirit, his heart, his affections, his strength, and his time, and he is always ready to give his blood and to sacrifice his life for the salvation of the souls entrusted to him in every way.

He is a living and itinerant god; god by grace, by participation and by a strong and particular likeness; a god clothed with the qualities and perfections of God: his authority, his power, his justice, his mercy, his spirit, his charity, his goodness, his kindness, his purity and his holiness; a god engaged in the most important works of God, such as are all pastoral and priestly functions, as the great St. Dionysius the Areopagite said, “The most divine of all divine things is to cooperate with God in the salvation of souls.” [1] Finally, as St. Gregory Nazianzen says, “…a god who makes gods,[2] that is, Christians who in the divine Scriptures bear the name of God.”

He is a pastor in whom we see a living image of the goodness and vigilance of the great Shepherd of souls. He is a shepherd who does not abandon his sheep to the mercy of the infernal wolf that devours them, but is habitually in their midst, in order to keep them always in his sight, to lead them, that they may always see him and follow him. He is a shepherd who knows all his sheep and is attentive to their needs, weaknesses, and sicknesses, ready to remedy them.

More by Gaudium Press  Cardinal Sarah: Priests Renounce Marriage, Family and Material Gains for Christ

He leads his sheep by good example

He is a pastor who feeds his flock by word and example, spiritually and corporally, as much as is in his power. He is not one of those about whom a holy Doctor comments: “The Divine Judge will judge the laity rigorously, religious with greater rigor, and the wicked and dissolute shepherds most rigorously. God will demand from them strict accounts for not having sustained their sheep by means of temporal assistance; even more severely, for not having sustained them by means of the Word and heavenly doctrine; and the most severe accounts for not having sustained them by the example of a good life.” […]

He who speaks of such a shepherd and such a priest, speaks of a man who frequently and carefully considers the duties of his office; who informs himself of the needs of his sheep, that he make provision for them; who carefully investigates the disorders existing in the flock that he may eliminate them; and who applies himself in every way to promote the glory of God and the salvation of all souls entrusted to him, for which he must answer with blood for blood and soul for soul.

He who speaks of such a pastor and such a priest speaks of a man who applies all his ability, his actions, his heart, his thoughts, his affections, his words, his time, his goods, his life, and all that he is. He is a pastor who knows how to and can destroy the tyranny of Satan and sin, and who knows how to set up the Kingdom of Christ in the hearts of those whom God has entrusted to him.

More by Gaudium Press  The Catholic Church Stats: More Catholics but Less Vocations

Cherubim for clarity, Seraphim for charity

Finally, he who speaks of such a pastor and such a priest speaks of an Angel due to his purity of soul and body; a Cherubim for clarity and knowledge; a Seraphim for love and charity; an Apostle for his zeal, effort and holiness; a little god on earth, with power and authority, patience and kindness; a living image of Jesus Christ in this world, of Christ watching, praying, preaching, catechizing, working, sweating, weeping, going from town to town and village to village, suffering, agonizing, dying and sacrificing Himself for the salvation of all souls created in His image and likeness.

Such a shepherd and such a priest is the light of those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death (cf. (cf. Lk 1:79); the guide of the straying; the hammerer and destroyer of errors, schisms, and heresies; the converter of sinners, the sanctifier of the just, the strength of the weak, the consolation of the afflicted, the treasure of the poor, the joy of the good, the terror of the wicked, the confusion of hell, the glory of Heaven, the terror of demons, the joy of Angels, the ruin of Satan’s kingdom, the establishment of the Empire of Jesus Christ, the adornment of the Church, and the crown of the Sovereign Shepherd. In a word, the priest is a universe of goods, graces and blessings for the whole Church, overall for the one in whom God has established this universe.

Extract from: Oeuvres complètes. Le Mémorial de la Vie Ecclésiastique. Vannes: Lafolye Frères, 1906, t.III, p.23-32. Heralds of the Gospel Magazine September 2020.

[ST. DIONYSIUS AREOPAGITE. De Cœlesti Hierarchia, c.V.

[2] “Deum existentem et Deos efficientem” (St. Gregory Nazianzenus, Orat. Apolog.).

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest Articles