On the Catholic Priesthood
Life of a Good Priest
When a priest realizes the value of a soul and the beauty of a soul in the state of grace, his zeal is at once kindled, and "the charity of Christ presses" him to go without delay to all who need him....
It was Saint Ambrose's practice never to shut himself in his house, but to be accessible at all times.
Saint Francis of Sales sometimes spent a long time with persons of no consequence, who talked to him of things of trifling importance. The Saint would say: "These matters appear to them weighty, and they want to be comforted. God knows I require no higher employment. The merit of our services consists not in the excellency of the works done, but in the love which accompanies them. An action of small virtue, done with much love of God, is far more excellent than a great work done with less love of God."
The life of a good priest is thus seen to be a life of continual charity to God and to his neighbor. He is hereby in the direct road to Christian perfection. Doubtless the trials of his virtue are very great, for he lives in the world; and unless he trains himself to be a man of highest principle, and that principle the love of God and of his neighbor, and unless he strives to live and act accordingly, he will very easily be drawn from God and from hi life of true charity to the life and spirit of the world around him. Let him learn a spiritual secret given by Saint Augustine: Si adharebis superiori, conculcabis inferiora. Keep to the higher principle, cling to Divine things, the you shall conquer the things of the world and the flesh. By cleaving to the higher, you are superior to the lower. Be not conformed to this world, but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the foo, and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.