The Lord ordered that the rod of Aaron be placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, as a testimony against the evil rebels who, in their envy, had despised the priesthood that God had wanted to see honored. They had elevated themselves, wishing to be equal to those whom God had called and chosen to establish above his people; but God punished them with death.
In our days, we see similar things, and even worse than before. Because we find a great number of evil people who do not wish to be merely equal to priests, but even their superiors! We also witness them reject and despise the priesthood, that Christ honored with his own person, being himself a priest for all eternity, and the foundation of priestly dignity. Which is why we must honor the priesthood above every other state in heaven and on earth, and if anyone disdains it, he disdains Christ and his apostles, along with all saints who were priests, and who are now with Christ in his glory. And the best men who are on this earth and who are able to do the most before God by their prayers are the priests, in whom God is well pleased.
This is clear. Because if Aaron and his sons pleased God so much, whilst they immolated and sacrificed a lamb to his glory, how much more is not God pleased in Christ who, in the flame of his love, offers by the hands of priests his innocent death to the glory of his Heavenly Father? Before, there was no more than a figure; here, there is reality. It is thus with just title that a layman cannot despise, or measure himself against, any priest, because that would be evil and a lack of respect.
If Christ and the holy Apostles suffered the wicked Judas to remain with them up until the moment in which he left them to be hanged, why would we not suffer the bad priest, up until the moment in which, as a payment for his sins, he is to be hanged in the bottom of hell? ... If therefore you see a bad priest whom you cannot correct, pray for him, and abandon him to the justice of God, and to the judgement of bishops, they who have the duty to punish in the name of God ... . This should be enough for us, and, as for the rest, let us follow the good priests. They will guide us to the Tabernacle of God, and will feed us Heavenly Loaves, and we will always find them prepared on the table of our charity, before the divine presence.
Blessed John of Ruysbroeck
The Book of the Spiritual Tabernacle