Ven. Fulton J. Sheen:
Each priest is a man with a body
of soft clay. To keep that treasure pure, he has to be stretched out on
a cross of fire. Our fall can be greater than the fall of anyone else
because of the height from which we tumble. Of all the bad men, bad
religious men are the worst, because they were called to be closer to
Treasure in Clay, p. 4
A priest is one who makes Christ
visible. The people see Christ in the saintly priests and they
seek even to touch his robes as they did the robes of Christ. Children
come to him without fear; non-Catholics give to them a reverence which
rarely give to others. The sure measure by which a priest draws souls
Christ is also the means by which he can drive souls from Christ.
Those Mysterious Priests, p.
It has been said of priests that, if they shoot golf under 80, there is
something wrong with their priesthood; if they shoot golf over 80,
there is something wrong with their golf.
Thinking Life Through, p. 143
From a theological point of view, every sick person has his cross and
this is the way the priest-counselor sees patients on their special
Those Mysterious Priests,
Fr. Ronald Knox [Convert from Anglicanism]:
[There are the] instincts of self-preservation, of self-assertion,
of self-reproduction. If you let them get out of control, the first
leads to avarice, the second to pride, the third to immodesty. The
three vows of holy religion are
designed to be their direct antidotes; the vow of poverty curbs the
instinct of self-preservation, the vow of obedience, that of
self-assertion, the vow of chastity, that of self-reproduction. Our
state of life pledges us to a higher standard in these matters than is
observed by the laity. And because we are pledged to a high standard,
nature will always be trying to get her own back. We can't make much of
a calf, and therefore we are tempted to make the best calf we can.
A Retreat for Priests, pp.
You must pray for your priests. The spirit of a great institute like
the Benedictine congregation does not survive automatically through the
centuries; there is always danger, as time goes on, that such an
institute, depending for its life not so much on any principles of
organization as upon the influence of a subtle spirit which animates
it, will lose the freshness and the purity of it s character.
Occasional Sermons, pp.
There is one moment during the Mass, just about the Domine non sum dignus, when the
priest, if he is not careful, catches sight of his own features
reflected in the paten ... at that sacred moment, an alien thing
intrudes upon his thoughts, the sight of his own features ... it is the
kind of distraction he can make good use of. Because he will do well to
consider the contrast between what he sees on the paten, and what he
meant (and was meant) to see there. He lookded there to catch sight of
a sinless Victim; he caught sight, instead, of a sinful priest. Domine, non sum dignus —how can
this be worthy to receive that?
The Pastoral Sermons, p. 330
Perhaps it would be a good thing if every Christian, certainly if every
priest, would dream once in his life that he were Pope, and wake from
that nightmare in a sweat of agony.
University and Anglican Sermons,