BY THE REV. H. NOLDIN, S.J.
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN.
REVISED BY THE REV. W. H. KENT, O.S.C
The priest lives in the world, he holds constant, often friendly intercourse with the children of the world; his calling necessitates many distractions, which are apt to turn his thoughts from God and fix them on mundane things. In this there is no slight cause for fear lest the maxims and dispositions of Christ, which he has adopted as his own, should be weakened in their influence over him, and gradually be brought into agreement with the world's way of looking at things; lest the spirit of recollection and mortification, of zeal and of prayer should grow faint; lest worldly pleasures, worldly honours should no longer be regarded with abhorrence, and the sacerdotal spirit of sacrifice be altogether lost; unless it be from time to time reawakened and renewed.
In mental prayer and spiritual reading the spirit of the Gospel penetrates and permeates the soul of the aspirant for the priesthood and moulds it after the divine pattern; by mental prayer and spiritual reading the priest renews within himself the spirit which he received at his ordination, to enable him to walk worthy of his high vocation. For contemplation and edifying reading sets before him daily the eternal High Priest, it reveals to him His virtues in the highest perfection, it permits him to look into the depths of the divine Heart, there to behold the centre and climax of sacerdotal thought and feeling. What a glorious, a divine model is proposed to us!
About Himself Our Lord speaks rarely and says little; even those whom He admitted to close fellowship with Himself, whom He treated familiarly and as friends, even His apostles and disciples seem to have learned the mystery of His Godhead not from His lips, but by infused knowledge, by an interior revelation from on high. When Peter made a solemn confession of His divinity, He said to him: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father who is in heaven." Matt. xvi. 17. On the other hand it is clear that He must have told them much that was grand and beautiful, much that was attractive and lovable concerning His Father, other wise they would not have conceived an ardent desire to see Him: "Shew us the Father and it is enough for us." John xiv 8.