On the priesthood by St. John Chrysostom

Today, looking for things about the Sanctus, I ran across this, which priests could incorporate into an examination of conscience:

From Book VI On the priesthood by St. John Chrysostom.  My emphases:

4. [...] What manner of man ought [the priest] to be? For my part I think that the boldness of speech of Moses and Elias, is insufficient for such supplication. For as though he were entrusted with the whole world and were himself the father of all men, he draws near to God, beseeching that wars may be extinguished everywhere, that tumults may be quelled; asking for peace and plenty, and a swift deliverance from all the ills that beset each one, publicly and privately; and he ought as much to excel in every respect all those on whose behalf he prays, as rulers should excel their subjects.

And whenever he invokes the Holy Spirit, and offers the most dread sacrifice, and constantly handles the common Lord of all, tell me what rank shall we give him? What great purity and what real piety must we demand of him? For consider what manner of hands they ought to be which minister in these things, and of what kind his tongue which utters such words, “And we pray and beseech Thee, send down thy Holy Ghost upon us and upon these gifts here outspread, and make this bread to be the precious body of thy Christ, and that which is in the cup the precious blood of Christ, having so changed them by thy Holy Spirit that to us who partake of them they may be for the cleansing of our souls, the remission of sins, the communion of the Holy Spirit.” [Liturgy of St. Chrysostom.] and ought not the soul which receives so great a spirit to be purer and holier than anything in the world? At such a time angels stand by the Priest; and the whole sanctuary, and the space round about the altar, is filled with the powers of heaven, in honor of Him who lieth thereon. For this, indeed, is capable of being proved from the very rites which are being then celebrated. I myself, moreover, have heard some one once relate, that a certain aged, venerable man, accustomed to see revelations, used to tell him, that he being thought worthy of a vision of this kind, at such a time, saw, on a sudden, so far as was possible for him, a multitude of angels, clothed in shining robes, and encircling the altar, and bending down, as one might see soldiers in the presence of their King, and for my part I believe it. [...] And dost thou not yet tremble to introduce a soul into so sacred a mystery of this kind, and to advance to the dignity of the Priesthood, one robed in filthy raiment, whom Christ has shut out from the rest of the band of guests [Matthew 23:13]. [My Jesus, mercy.] The soul of the Priest should shine like a light beaming over the whole world. But mine has so great darkness overhanging it, because of my evil conscience, as to be always cast down and never able to look up with confidence to its Lord. Priests are the salt of the earth.

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4 Responses to On the priesthood by St. John Chrysostom

  1. Dr. Eric says:

    I believe, O Lord, and I confess that thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who didst come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. And I believe that this is truly thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly thine own precious Blood. Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen. Of thy Mystic Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of thy I believe, O Lord, and I confess that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. Of Your mystical supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Your mystery to Your enemies, neither like Judas will I give You a kiss; but like the thief will I confess You:
    Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom.
    Remember me, O Master, when You come into Your kingdom.
    Remember me, O Holy One, when You come into Your kingdom.

    May the communion of Your holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, O Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.

    I believe also that This, which I am about to receive, is truly Your own most pure Body, and that This is truly Your own life-giving Blood, which I pray, count me worthy to partake for the remission of my sins, and unto eternal life. Amen.

    O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
    O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
    O Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned without number.

    from the Ruthenian Recension of The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

  2. jfk03 says:

    I implore you, therefore, Who alone are good and ready to listen: look upon me, your sinful and useless servant; cleanse my heart and soul of the evil that lies on my conscience. By the power of Your Holy Spirit enable me, who am clothed with the grace of the priesthood, to stand before you, Your holy table, and offer the sacrifice of Your holy and most pure Body and precious Blood. Bending my neck, I approach You and beg You: turn not Your face from me nor reject me from among Your children, but allow these gifts to be offered to You by me, Your sinful and unworthy servant. For it is You Who offer and You Who are offered; it is You Who receive and You Who are given, O Christ our God, and we give glory to You, together with Your eternal Father and Your most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

    Portion of prayer quietly said by priest during singing of Cherubic Hymn, Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. As used in the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church.

  3. leonugent2005 says:

    I suppose it would be a good thing if we became a little more accustomed to see the priest at the altar as almighty God Himself [Only God is God.]

  4. UncleBlobb says:

    “But mine has so great darkness overhanging it, because of my evil conscience, as to be always cast down and never able to look up with confidence to its Lord.”

    How much concern I have over my own soul and weak Faith, and my own fruit, if a mighty one such as St. John Chrysostom thought this way about himself. Lord, may I do better with my thimbul-full of gifts! And please have Mercy on me.