A Royal Priesthood

Today is the feast day of Pope Leo the Great, bishop of Rome from 440 to 461 AD, whose writings played a significant role in clarifying the doctrine of the Incarnation. James Kiefer at The Daily Office shares this encouraging passage from one of his sermons:

Although the universal Church of God is constituted of distinct orders of members, still, in spite of the many parts of its holy body, the Church subsists as an integral whole, just as the Apostle says: we are all one in Christ. . .

For all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood. For what is more king-like that to find yourself ruler over your body after having surrendered your soul to God? And what is more priestly than to promise the Lord a pure conscience and to offer him in love unblemished victims on the altar of one’s heart?

Perhaps we’d behave better in our theological disputes and in the daily administration of the church if we tried to look at one another as members of a royal priesthood.  As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory:

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendours….Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses…for in him also Christ vere latitat — the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

One comment on “A Royal Priesthood

  1. Xannon says:

    That’s way more clever than I was expecting. Thkans!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.