O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Friday, June 3, 2011

You Anointed Him with the Oil of Gladness

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1521
The Lord said to me, My daughter, do not tire of proclaiming My mercy. In this way you will refresh this Heart of Mine, which burns with a flame of pity for sinners. Tell My priests that hardened sinners will repent on hearing their words when they speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion I have for them in My Heart. To priests who proclaim and extol My mercy, I will give wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak.
This gives us an excellent insight into the reality of the priesthood. Hardened sinners will repent on hearing the words of priests. Now, if you look at the situation, the priest has nothing to offer. Here is a sinner, living as the world lives. What the world sees as good, she sees as good and what the world condemns, she condemns. She uses the standards of the God-less world around her as the measuring stick of the success of the world. If most people cohabit before marrying outside the Church, she considers herself successful and good for doing likewise. When she sees the Church, it's just an old-fashioned organization with oppressive rules. It's just people trying to force their personal opinions on people as if their teachings were infallible truth (ironically, they actually are). When she sees the priest, she sees a guy who couldn't get a date no matter how hard he tried. Now he's doing this thing hoping that it might lead him to some sort of happiness. She has no esteem for him whatsoever. She's successful because she does what everyone else is doing to make themselves happy and she definitely doesn't need some antiquated, narrow-minded organization with a nerdy loner in a collar as it's representative.

Yet, she is moved by his words. They cut to the depth of her soul, of her very being. She sees that what she has been doing with her life since she was a young teenager is wrong. God, her whole life, has been trying to give her a certain life with Himself. She ran off into the world and found great happiness that has lasted for a long time. However, in comparison to the contrary life God has been trying to give her, it offers only meager carnal and emotional pleasure that passes as quickly as a cloud. Upon seeing how much greater life with God is, her life with the world is nothing. Comparing the two, she realizes it has been a waste of time to go after the world. She has destroyed her life. How was some loser able to convince her of this, of some idea so far-fetched and impossible to believe from her vantage point in the world, away from God? God anointed the priest's words with His wondrous power. The priest was speaking, but it wasn't as much him speaking as it was God speaking through Him. God's words are his words and his words are God's words. His love for her is God's love for her and God's love for her is his love for her. So perfectly are God and man joined in the priesthood, that when one speaks, they both speak.

God is the Pantocrator, the Almighty. To Him, her life is but a bad case of indigestion. It is nothing. A good trip to the bathroom fixes it quickly. She cannot possibly repair the damage she has caused to her life. She has destroyed her life, her very existence, beyond repair. She cannot go back in time and undo the harm she did by leaving God for the world. For that matter, the priest can't either. He is only a man. However, for God, repairing the damage is easy. Operating through the priest, God can turn her into a great saint. Her sins are erased completely. Not only are they no longer a part of her present, but they also cease to be a part of her past also. They are removed from space and time completely. They never happened. For man, this is impossible to even comprehend. For God, it is nothing. This is the power with which God anoints His priests.