Pages

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

St Norbert's monition to priests


Thrown from his horse in a storm, St Norbert asked "Lord, what do you want me to do?" He was told "Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it." He spent the rest of his life in prayer and penance, and founded the Norbertines (Premonstratensians.) He wrote this on the priesthood:
O Priest, who are you?
You are not yourself because you are God
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.
O Priest!
Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
"He saved others, himself he cannot save!"
(Just to make it clear - the second line does not mean that the priest should be given divine honour or anything ridiculous like that. It means that when the priest ministers the sacraments or preaches in faithfulness to the Church, God works through him and he should not take credit for it personally.)

With compliments to the website of the Norbertine Priory of St Philip, Chelmsford which I hope to visit before too long.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...