A Task to Spiritualize the World
The task of a priest is to spiritualize the world. He raises his consecrated hands, and the grace of Christ's resurrection goes out from him to enlighten the souls of the elect and of them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Through his blessing material creation is raised up and sanctified and dedicated to the glory of God. The priest prepares the coming of Christ by shedding upon the whole world the invisible light that enlightens every man that comes into the world. Through the priest the glory of Christ seeps out into creation until all things are saturated in prayer.
All week I have been thinking of the inestimable greatness and dignity of faith. Faith is higher and more perfect than all knowledge that accessible to us on earth. The only really valuable experience is a deepening and intensification of faith by love and the gifts of the Holy Ghost--an intensification that only simplifies our faith and makes it more clear by purifying it of every created image and species. So that the purest experience of all begins with the realization of how far faith transcends experience. Our only true greatness is in the humility of living faith. The simpler and purer our faith is, the closer it brings us to God, Who is infinitely great. That is why everyone who humbles himself shall be exalted, and everyone who exalts himself, in the appetite for great lights and extraordinary experiences and feelings and mystical consolations, shall be humbled. Because the richer he desires to be in these things, the poorer he will be in the sight of God, in Whose eyes greatness is nothing.
April 16 and 18, 1950, II. 431-32