A Reflection on the Beauty of Christ’s Priestly Sacrifice: Part IX
Baptism confers the common priesthood because it makes one a member of the Church, theof God’s presence in the world.5 The common priesthood enables and charges the one baptized with the duty to advance the total reconciliation of man to God, already accomplished on the cross but needing to be applied and expressed throughout time and space. In every aspect of secular life, those who share in the baptismal exercise of Christ’s priestly office must make the divine image in man more evident. The proper work of the laity, deriving from their share in the priestly office of Christ, is, like artisans, to re-form the temporal order of the world into a form worthy of the dignity of
man, who is made in the divine image. This duty is to make the world in all its affairs beautiful, that is, to conform every structure of earthly life to God’s will such that, harmony and the other essential elements of beauty are restored.6 The priesthood of the faithful involves offering sacrifice. When the faithful offer up their daily sacrifices and sufferings, they participate in Christ’s priesthood because Christ has transformed suffering and death.7 He has made suffering and death beautiful and also causes of beauty when undergone out of Charity. This is the sacramental nature of the Christian life, of the Christian’s share in Christ’s : beauty and grace are . Meritorious suffering is beautiful and beautiful suffering is meritorious. Being seen by God, it pleases. The family, the domestic Church, in a special way can cultivate the expression of true beauty. The human relationships in all their temporal and physical elements become beautiful if they are oriented toward Christ, that is, to man’s true end. The masculine and feminine persons who form between themselves a relationship distinct from the family though its foundation, should really be a sign of Christ and the Church. Through bringing up children in an environment that will transmit to them a culture of beauty and give them a taste for it, parents help to sanctify them.
To Be Continued…
Special Thanks to Father Dylan Schrader for the contribution.
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5 Lumen gentium, x1.
6 cf. STh. I, q. 39, a. 8.
7 cf. Christifideles laici, x14; Romans 12:1–2.
Other articles in this series
- A Reflection on the Beauty of Christ’s Priestly Sacrifice Part I (March 25, 2012)
- The Breath: Creation (March 27, 2012)
- Tui: The Old Covenant (March 28, 2012)
- Nati: The Incarnation (March 29, 2012)
- Vulnerati: The Wounding of Christ (March 30, 2012)
- Tam dignati pro me pati: Christ’s Priestly Sacrifice (March 31, 2012)
- Poenas mecum divide: The Participation of Mary and the Church in the Beauty of Christ’s Priestly Sacrifice (March 31, 2012)
- The Priest As Artisan (April 25, 2012)
- The Priesthood of the Baptized (This post) (May 18, 2012)
- The Ministerial Priesthood (June 22, 2012)