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October 25, 2007

St. Gaspar on the Priesthood

The Priesthood, perfection as depicted in the fragrant cedars of Lebanon, all are the cause of a robust holiness and the inestimable qualities of the Priesthood. "As a first point, there are basically two things that the Almighty requires in his sacred ministers...the light of sanctity and the salt of doctrine. Vos estis lux mundi, vos estis Sal terrae (1). Above all, good example of life and along with it preparation for the ministry must be the bases for the special delights of anyone dedicated to the Sanctuary. To each one, the Apostle says: Attende tibi, attende lectioni, exhortationi, et doctrinae, noli negligere gratiam quae est in te(2). And oh! Quam pulchra est casta generatio cum claritate!(3) How beautiful are those souls that are mystically generated with a singular clarity of holiness; the brilliance of their virtue removes them from the darkness, the fogginess of vice and of sin. Hence purity of life, as figured in the candor of the lily, tenderness of love as symbolized in the red rose, tireless search of ecclesiastical."

"The sanctuary is the place of an exalted holiness. It seeks inhabitants who will emulate what is heavenly. Required is a detachment from everything and from everyone; a deep humility, a suffering longanimity, a tireless desire to cultivate one's talents in order to perfect them and direct them for the welfare of the Church and the advantage of the faithful."

Dominus pars hereditatis meae(4). As a creature, as a Christian and most of all as a priest and missionary, I should be entirely God's, with all my soul and body, with mind, with heart and with my actions. So, no other thought than the thought of God and his glory; no other love than the love of God and my neighbor, procuring the salvation of souls, the conversion of sinners, the sanctification of people. Spare no labor in seeing that God is honored and loved, relating everything to him. I wish for myself only the scorn of the people of the world etc. Am I really what I am supposed to be? Are the qualities of an apostolic person found in me? For whom have I labored up to now? Oh! Those labors that were thus lost, like a treasure tossed into the depths of the ocean, if the Lord is not content with me! "I must seek the glory of God by procuring the salvation of souls. I am in a Congregation, in an Institute which is regulated, directed by obedience. Hence, this is what I set down for myself: to serve God, to work for his glory in that office, in that place, with those people that obedience will assign to me. Thus I will remain quiet and peaceful, certain that I will be doing the will of God. Can that be done?

(1) You are the light of the world, You are the salt of the earth.
(2) 1 Timothy 4:13, Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have.
(3) How beautiful are those souls that are mystically generated with a singular clarity, see Wisdom 4:1
(4) The LORD is my inheritance, Psalm 16:5

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at October 25, 2007 10:01 PM

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Dear Jeff, Frere and friend,
You are an exemplar of all the mortal beauty with which our Creator and Lord has blessed humanity. May our Lord bless you with many more moments and years inwhich you will doubtless spread His Glory.
Charles Culbreth

Posted by: Charles in Visalia at October 27, 2007 7:53 PM

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