In a very real way it is good for a priest to know the misery and struggles of sin. It helps us to understand and be compassionate with those we serve. But as a priest, we cannot stop there, as if a simple sharing in the same plight and spiritual condition of everyone else were enough.
A priest also has to know the path to freedom from sin, the path that Christ has won for us. He has to know that the humanity of Christ has christ-ened his own humanity. This is what people long for, to find and experience the path to freedom which is the humanity of Christ. When I say 'know' I mean really to know it as a personal experience in one's life. Granted, we must know this in an intellectual way so that we can find the words to express it in preaching, but the sine qua non is the personal experience of the freedom, liberation, and joy we communicate to others in our ministry of the Sacraments.
June 5, 2009
From My Confessor
Some good words on the struggle and the ministry: