St. Norbert and the Priesthood
“O Priest, who are you?
You are not yourself because you are God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.
Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!’”
The above words of Our Holy Father Norbert capture the entire essence of the sacred priesthood. In this ‘Year for Priests’ that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has proclaimed the whole Church has been united in praying for Her pastors. The priesthood was the soul of St. Norbert’s life and vocation. In his preaching, in celebrating the sacred mysteries and in every aspect of his life, St. Norbert was totally consecrated to Christ through his priesthood.
St. Norbert was of course principally devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and spend many hours in prayer, especially at Mass, which he celebrated several times each day. Our Holy Father was also famed as a great preacher and through his preaching turned many souls back to God. Above all, St. Norbert was aware of the need for his priesthood to be rooted in a solid life of prayer and penance.
Let us pray then for priests; for their sanctification and for their labours, that they may never lose sight of their holy vocation and the great work to which God has called them. Let us pray too for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, especially to our Order.
V) Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
R) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray,
Awake O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, was guided in order that, filled with the same Spirit, we may love what he loved, and live as he taught us. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.