Rorate Caeli

And He shall purify the sons of Levi:
Bad priests and good priests

Aaron's rod
Moses, following God's orders, took twelve rods, one for each tribe [of Israel], and wrote on each rod the name of the head of each tribe. Alas, there were twelve tribes, not to mention the Levites, because two had come from Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. A thirteenth rod was added for the tribe of Levi, on which Moses wrote the name of his brother Aaron, who was head of the Levites. He then took still another rod to the side, on which the names of all tribes were written so as to learn if God willed for his service priests from every tribe. All these rods were placed together in the tabernacle before the Lord. And, on the next morning, as Moses took all rods from the tabernacle, only that with Aaron's name was covered with leaves and blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. It was the third time that the priesthood of Aaron was made clear, manifested and confirmed by God.

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


Malta said...

My two favorite priests are tough men (but kind hearted); the first was my boxing coach in college. Despite surviving two heart-attacks, he would get in the ring and take blows most men wouldn't withstand.

The second was a Chaplain in two of our recent campaigns in the Middle East. He tells me off, telling me I'm "messed-up", etc., and I love him for it! I told him I'm going to teach him chess for being brutally (in a nice way) honest with me!

Yes, there are still very good priests out there!

Jeanne Holler said...

My the Holy Priesthood od Jesus Christ be honored and praised.
I have many wonderful priest come in and out of my life.
I remember dearly those priests who had a profound effect in my life in living for GOD ALONE!
Thanks be to God!

Whats Up! said...

I was hoping Pope Benedict XVI said this in one of his audiences.

Long-Skirts said...

Blessed John of Ruysbroeck wrote:

" for the rest, let us follow the good priests. They will guide us to the Tabernacle of God, and will feed us with Heavenly Loaves, and we will always find them prepared on the table of our charity, before the divine presence."


The sweetness of my prose for you
Is but a taste of Heaven's dew.

The sweetness of my prose I give
To you as long as I shall live.

The sweetness of my prose I owe
To you who helped me in my woe.

The sweetness of my prose desired?
Shrive my soul you have inspired.

The sweetness of my prose your feast
O, man above the angels least.

The sweetness of my prose a flower
Perfumed to sweeten your spiritual power.

'Fore virile men sheep shake in fear
Sweet scented strength will bring them near.

To shepherd's side marked man of God
O, lead us all to Heaven's Sod!

Templar said...

Prayer For Priests by His Eminence, the late Ignatius Cardinal Kung: