The Last Word
What was Jesus thinking when He said: “Do this in remembrance of Me”?
By way of answer, St. Thomas Aquinas offers us a real gem which can launch an interior soul into deep contemplation. The exact question he was tackling was whether there should be Holy Orders in the Church. Here comes the response:
“I answer that, God wished to produce His works in likeness to Himself, as far as possible, in order that they might be perfect, and that He might be known through them. Hence, that He [wills to] be portrayed in His works, not only according to what He is in Himself, but also according as He acts on others.…Wherefore that this beauty might not be lacking to the Church, He established Order in her so that some should deliver the sacraments to others, being thus made like to God in their own way, as co-operating with God; even as in the natural body, some members act on others” (Supp., Q. 34, a. 1).
The priest reveals the perfection of God as acting on others, God not only as He is in Himself but as He is cause of the goodness in others. Isn’t that a common feature of saintly priests? As someone said after meeting such a saint: “I saw God [i.e., acting] in that man!”
Archbishop Lefebvre understood that perfectly. He knew that the priesthood, with its three offices—of teaching, of sanctifying, of governing—“is given as a remedy for the whole Church” (St. Thomas). In this time of priestly crisis in the Church, the work of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X is surely the most providential.
O Lord, grant us priests! Grant us holy priests! Grant us many holy priests!
Fr. Daniel Couture