On the Catholic Priesthood
Grace of Priesthood
If the Christian priesthood is raised so far above the Jewish in its nature and mode of transmission,
it is also contrasted with the Jewish priesthood in the grace and clemency of its origin. I have stated
that the Jewish priesthood began in the slaughter of sinners; whereas our Lord consecrated the hands
of the Apostles, not in the blood of sinners, but in His own Precious Blood, about to be shed for sinners,
when He instituted the most holy Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Altar. Therefore, at the present day the
hands of the priest are anointed at his ordination with the holy oil, which typifies not justice, but mercy.
For functions such as those of the Christian priest, great graces are required, and great virtues may be
demanded. We cannot have sinless priest, yet the candidate must be "without crime, holding the mystery
of the faith in a pure conscience" ( I Tim. iii. 9). Let anyone compare the list of virtues mentioned by
St. Paul in his Epistles to St. Timothy and ST. Titus, with the list of bodily or physical qualities enumerated
by Moses as necessary for the Jewish priest, if he would understand the difference between the two covenants.
Source: Reapers for the Harvest, a treatise for laymen and women by the Rev. T.E. Bridgett, C.Ss.r.