On the Catholic Priesthood
Work of the Priesthood
Catholic priests have ever been the champions of virtue, and the Church was always a barrier to tyranny and social disorder, says the Freeman's Journal. Virtue! Virtue! Is their constant theme.
They inculcate it to the powerful as well as the weak, to the rich as well as the poor.
They protect the innocent and save the oppressed from violence. They insist on the observance of the law and the keeping of the commandments. Children learn from their lips the obligation of obedience, and parents are reminded of what they owe to their offspring. Husbands and wives are taught fidelity and the necessity of mutual forbearance. Compassion for the afflicted, mercy toward the erring, alms-giving to the needy and charity for all are among their frequent lessons. When selfishness corrupts the hearts of men they hear echoing the solemn duty of bearing each other's burden. These are the doctrines taught by the priesthood. There is not a virtue necessary for the individual or society that has not its teacher, its champion and its model within the ranks of the clergy. They are ever ready with arguments to show the beauty of virtue and the horrid deformity of vice. With a zeal all their own and a power all divine, they illumine the intellect, fill the soul with grace, purify the heart and rescue the sin-laden from eternal misery.
Source: Our Church, Her Children, and Institutions, Vol.1 ed. Henry Coyle, Angel Guardian Press 1908