by St. Symeon the New Theologian
The Priesthood is a dignity formidable even to angels, since one must touch the inaccessible God:
“There, indeed, where the bread is placed and wine is poured in the name of Thy Body and of Thy Blood, O Word, Thou art there Thyself, O Word, my God, and they truly become Thy Body and Thy Blood through the advent of Thy Spirit and the power of the Most High. We touch with audacity, the inaccessible God, or rather the One who dwells in light inaccessible not only to humanity but also to the exalted angelic hosts.
This then is the inexpressible and supernatural that I have been instructed to perform. It impels me always to keep death before my eyes. Thus, leaving behind all satisfaction, I have been seized with fright, knowing that it is impossible for me – as for everyone, I think – to celebrate this service worthily and to lead an angelic life in the body; or rather, a life higher than the angels, so as to become in dignity even closer to Him than They, since with my hands I touch, and with my mouth I eat the One before whom they stand in fear and trembling.”
– St Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), Hymn XIV