Father José Vicchi: And why a priest?!

Some people ask… and why a priest?!

The priest occupies an unique place in the Church. Therefore the topic of priestly vocations cannot be of greater importance. Many years ago St. Alberto Hurtado taught that Christ entrusted the priest with the administration of His Sacraments, which are in His Church the most excellent means and ordinary way for the infusion of Grace. Baptism which incorporates one into the Mystical Body, and only in a case of grave necessity can it be conferred by lay people; the celebration of the Holy Mass, which is the re-presentation on our altars of the sacrifice of the Cross, the most excellent act that has happened under heaven, the act which gave the most glory to the Father, more than all the apostolic works, sacrifices, prayer… and this act, the centre of Christian life, can only be performed by priests. The Eucharist, the participation in the Holy Sacrifice, only the hands of a priest can distribute; the purification of the souls stained by sin have been entrusted to the priest; and no one else but he can anoint the bodies with the oil of forgiveness; bless a marriage; preach with authority the word of Christ.

For this reason, in those countries where the Catholic priest has disappeared the Church has ended up disappearing… a few isolated Catholics could remain for some time, but the absence of preaching, the infiltration of errors, superstitions, the outburst of inundating vices, the feeling of weakness of soul from the lack of the Sacraments, makes it that after a certain number of years the Church dies… Without the priesthood vices and drunkenness are reborn… the Cure of Ars said: leave the faithful without a pastor for twenty years and there will be no lack of those who adore animals and live like them. This is, then, the problem of the priestly vocations; a Christian problem in every sense of the word. Yes, it is a problem for all Christians: a problem for all the parents who want to give their children a Christian education; a problem for the young people who need a guide in their years of difficulty, to be directed in their adolescent crisis; a problem for the poor who have need of a father who is interested in their necessities; a problem for those who aspire to form a home, who need guides of their consciences, spiritual directors; a problem for those who do not have faith, a problem that they do not even see, but is all the more dreadful, who need someone to disinterestedly offer a hand to pull them out of hell where they are falling into due to their passions; a problem for the sick who look in vain for someone to encourage them to peacefully enter into eternity, and someone to console their parents and friends…

This is why we need priests, because the whole life of the Christian is full of the priest, and we all must concern ourselves that their number increases.

And let us think to, as Fulton Sheen taught, there are probably hundreds of thousands of vocations hanging in the heaven by silk threads, and prayer is the sword that will cut them down. Let us pray!!!

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