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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Priestly Celibacy: Unity of the Priest & the Church

Both marriage and priestly celibacy demand an exchange of life and love. Obvious for marriage, how is it true for the priest? The pastor is consumed by love of the Church. Her ways are his ways. Often particularized in the daily life of a parish, the priest belongs to the Church. She owns him and their union is so intimate that his presence immediately signifies Christ and his Church. If a priest does wrong, critics fault the Church. If people are angry with the Church, they attack the priest. The Church cares for her priests and the priest nurtures, protects and clothes her mystical body. Their mutual love brings forth children, new life brought about through the regeneration of the baptismal font. The Eucharist is the sacramental supper table for the family of God. He keeps house with the Church, living where he works. While parents might read bedtime stories to their children; the priest daily proclaims the Greatest Story Ever Told. Like a good spouse and parent, he speaks and listens, challenges and consoles, chastises and forgives, disciplines and heals. While couples often engage in love-talk; prayer consecrates every day of the priest’s life. He intercedes for the Church before God. He rejoices and swoons in her message of salvation that is realized in her members. He weeps over the sins and neglect of her children. The priest is quick to defend the Church. He may or may not wear a ring, but he is clothed in distinctive garb and a collar to alert others of his identity. Like any married man, he is taken and he has a possessive and demanding spouse. He loves her and theirs is an everlasting love.