By Rev. Charles P. Connor
In Meditations On The Catholic Priesthood, Charles P. Connor explains that at ordination, a priest becomes another person, commissioned not simply to act in the name of Christ, but to be another Christ, an "alter Christus." Father Connor helps the priest to see once again, in fresh terms, that this is truly the essence of the priesthood.
This teaching was not an original insight of the Second Vatican Council. It is the traditional teaching of the Church. In this book, Father Connor helps the priest to see once again, in fresh terms, that this is truly the essence of the priesthood. He shows how, in the Eucharist the priest finds his reason for being a priest, the source of all his strength in the ministry, the summit of all his prayers. the role of the Cross and suffering in the life of a priest is one of the highlights of this book. If Christ suffered,not only on the Cross but throughout His earthly existence, can the priest really expect to be an "alter Christus," and then glide through life? Yet, the suffering of a priest is tinged with joy, because he suffers along with Christ, bolstered by Jesus Himself.
If the priest is another Christ, why not live fully the way Christ did, celibate, single-hearted, devoted completely to God and His people? If the priest recognizes his identity with Jesus, the Chaste, Poor, and Obedient One, celibacy makes complete sense. These are just a few of the topics covered in these brief meditations which conclude with a magnificent chapter about the priest and his relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Father Charles P. Connor is a noted theologian, Church historian, and author of such works as Classic Catholic Converts and Defenders of the Faith (both by Ignatius Press). His popular lectures, from which these present meditations have been drawn, were first aired by the the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).