Josemaría Escrivá Obras
42

I cannot understand why some priests are so eager to be indistinguishable from other Christians, forgetting or neglecting their specific mission in the Church, that for which they have been ordained. They seem to think that Christians want to see the priest as just another man. That is not so. They want to find in the priest those virtues proper to every Christian and, indeed, every honourable man: understanding, justice, a life of work — priestly work, in this instance — and good manners.

But the faithful also want to be able to recognise clearly the priestly character: they expect the priest to pray, not to refuse to administer the sacraments; they expect him to be open to everyone and not set himself up to take charge of people or become an aggressive leader of human factions, of whatever shade. They expect him to bring love and devotion to the celebration of the Holy Mass, to sit in the confessional, to console the sick and the troubled; to teach sound doctrine to children and adults, to preach the Word of God and no mere human science which — no matter how well he may know it — is not the knowledge that saves and brings eternal life; they expect him to give counsel and be charitable to those in need.

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