From The Morning Offering, May 30 2016
By Abbot Tryphon
If a priest is truly to be an agent for grace, he must become like a funnel through which the Lord’s mercy can flow. That a priest has received the grace of ordination, if he does not attempt to live a life of holiness, if he does not become a living sacrifice for his people, if he does not give himself over to his parishioners as a loving servant, he will have failed in his priestly service.
Priesthood is not simply a profession, like that of an attorney or doctor. The priest, in his service to the Church, is sharing in Christ’s priesthood. His service must be as direct and committed as is the Lord’s commitment to His Church.
Those who have been placed in the care of the priest must see in him the Christ Whom he serves. They must know by his fatherly love for them that they can trust him to care for them, no matter what. If a priest is not willing to offer himself fully to his people, as their loving father, loving each with equal fervor, he will have betrayed his priestly calling.
The priest must first and foremost be a man of prayer, and his intercessory role on behalf of his people must play a central role in his day to day service. It is in his commitment to be a man of prayer that he will be able to minister to his people with the power of the Holy Spirit. No amount of education or intellectual ability can make a priest effective.
Prayer is that central element that will make him able to minister to his people with conviction, demonstrating the love of God by his life. The wisdom needed to guide his people can not come from academic knowledge, but must flow forth as the wisdom of the ages. He must be a funnel through which the love and mercy of God can be seen and experienced by the people he is called to serve.
Love in Christ,