You might be irritated by
this question and might think it is an invasion of your privacy. I
frankly implore you to put up with me when I tell you that this is both
an important Biblical and patrological commandment .
Where the Holy Bible is concerned, The Lord Jesus Christ appointed two
different types of priesthoods: a general priesthood for all the
believers and a special priesthood for some of the believers. He
appointed the general priesthood when He created everything and then
created Adam as a priest for all of creation: spiritual, intellectual,
with the gift of language, free, righteous, a friend of God, looking
forward to eternity, able to live in the Lord for ever. Also St. John
the Beloved tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ, Who loved us and washed
us form all our sins with His blood, made us kings and priests for Him
and His Father (Rev. 1: 5,6). These are the same words of St. Peter the
Apostle which he quotes from the Old Testament: “But you are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood” (1 Pt. 2: 9).
What a general priesthood means is that you can offer on the altar of
your heart the sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise, as well as the
sacrifices of charity to the needy and a giving love to all.
As for the special priesthood, the Lord appointed a small number of the
wholly dedicated for the service of the altar, for the administering of
the Sacraments and for the shepherding of the flock. The evidence for
this is when the Lord chose twelve disciples and sent them saying: “As
the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He
breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you
forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins
of any, they are retained.” (Jn. 20: 21.22). “Go therefore and make
disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all
things that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28: 19,20)
Therefore , there is a special choice and a special grace for those who
are set aside for service. They teach, “teaching them”, baptize,
“baptize them”, and administer the Sacraments, “if you forgive the sins
of any”. It is clear that all churches, even those who reject the
priesthood, restrict certain rituals such as the Lord’s Supper and
baptism to a few of the believers.
We hold firmly to the words of the Lord and to the verses of the Bible
which clearly explain that our fathers the apostles faithfully carried
out the commandment of the Savior. The apostolic succession has
continued from them up to this generation and will continue to the day
of resurrection whenever it pleases God that it should take place.
Consider, for example, the Lord’s calling of Paul and Barnabas to His
service: “Now separate to me Barnabas and Saul ..... Then, having fasted
and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:
2,3). When their service succeeded in Lystra and its environs and a
great number believed: “they appointed them elders in every church”
(Acts 14: 23).
When the ministry spread, we find that St. Paul appointed his disciple,
Timothy, bishop of Ephesus, and Titus bishop of Crete; “For this reason,
I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are
lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you.” (Ti. 1:
We read about the characteristics of a bishop in the Bible: “A bishop
then must be blameless, the husband of one wife (celibacy was not
widespread at that time and because there was polygamy, the church chose
those believers who were the most chaste and had more time for the
ministry), temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able
to teach... etc.” We also read about the characteristics of a deacon:
“Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, ...... holding
the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.” ( 1 Tim. 3: 1 - 13).
Therefore, in the church, there must be bishops, priests and deacons who
follow the same path that the our fathers the apostles designated and
which the Church has followed all these years.
So do you have a spiritual father who guides your spiritual struggle and
who guides you when you have problems, giving you advice from the mouth
of God.... as well as absolution and forgiveness?
This is an important question that needs to be considered with sincerity
and with a heart that is open to the words of the Bible and a will that
is ready to obey the commandments of the Lord.
You have many priests before you, so choose one of them to be your
spiritual father and begin, and may the Lord be with you.
I have known many fathers in
my life.. and saw You in them!
There were those who supported me when I broke down!
There were those who filled me ... when my hunger was great!
There were those who held me in their arms... when I was about to fall!
There were those who risked themselves .... when I was about to drown!
There were those who shared their bread with me...Who poured in my heart
a love not of this world!
Who engulfed me in tenderness which only those who know Jesus can know
and which only those who take from the Lord can give.
The outpouring of love, the rivers of tenderness!!
That is why I thank You, Lord, for this spiritual fatherhood, this
tender fatherhood, that teaches, that bears, that weeps for me, that is
poured out for me!!