~Dedication post for Fr. Christopher Brandler~
(The following is a special dedication post to Fr. Christopher Brandler. I hope he forgives me for the publicity, which I’m sure is not very good on humility!)
“In truth nothing is more acceptable to God, of more honor to the Church, and more profitable to souls than the precious gift of a holy priest. If he who offers even a cup of water to one of the least of the disciples of Christ ‘shall not lose his reward,’ what reward will he receive who places, so to speak, into the pure hands of a young priest the sacred chalice, in which is contained the Blood of Redemption; who helps him to lift it up to heaven, a pledge of peace and of blessing for mankind?” ~Pope Pius XI
“For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.” ~Hebrews 7:17
Fr. Christopher Brandler of the Society of St. Pius X, celebrates his 30th Priesthood Anniversary on May 19th, 2015. He was ordained by a great, saintly man and Bishop – Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Formed and guided under Archbishop Lefebvre whom he knew personally, Father continues his legacy of faithfulness to Eternal Rome, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Priesthood, as do the other Priests of the Society. Despite challenges, Father is faithful to his duties and his devotional life. Overall, he is a wonderful man and I’m blessed to have met him such a short time ago and spending time conversing with him.
I believe Father and the SSPX as a whole are playing a big part in the restoration of the Church. The Archbishop said that his work would be used for the good of the Church. The good of the Church requires the protection and propagation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Priesthood.
Thank you, Fr. Brander, for your love, dedication and fidelity to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church. Thank you for keeping Catholic Tradition and the memory of the great Archbishop Lefebvre alive in the hearts of all whom you come in contact with. Happy 30th Anniversary, Fr. Brandler, and may you have 30 more years to come!
A poem on the hands of a priest:
We need them in life’s early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek it while tasting life’s woes.
When we come to this world we are sinful,
The greatest as well as the least.
And the hands that make us pure as angels
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.
At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness
Their dignity stands alone.
For there in the stillness of morning
Ere the sun has emerged from the east,
There God rests between the pure fingers
Of the beautiful hands of a priest.
When we are tempted and wander
To pathways of shame and sin
‘Tis the hand of a priest that absolve us.
Not once but again and again.
And when we are taking life’s partner
Other hands may prepare us a feast
But the hands that will bless and unite us,
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.
God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress,
What can a poor sinner do better
Than to ask Him who chose them to bless
When the death dews on our lids are falling,
May our courage and strength be increased
By seeing raised o’er us in blessing
The beautiful hands of a priest.
Father’s Google+ Page:
The Archbishop anoints and consecrates the hands of Father Christopher Brandler.
More pictures of Father’s Ordination can be found at “The Angelus Online”:
For the edification of all, most especially Fr. Brandler, here are some quotes from Saints and Popes on the Holy Priesthood:
“The Catholic priesthood – divine in its origin, supernatural in its essence, immutable in its character, is not an institution that can accommodate itself with ease to human systems and opinions. A participation of the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ, it must perpetuate even to the consummation of ages the same mission that the Eternal Father confided to His Incarnate Word: ‘Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos.’ To work the eternal salvation of souls will always be the great commandment of which it must never fall short, as to faithfully fulfil it, it must never cease to have recourse to those supernatural aids and those divine rules of thought and of action which Jesus Christ gave His Apostles when He sent them throughout the whole world to convert the nations to the Gospel. Therefore St. Paul in his letters reminds us that the priest can never be anything but the legate, the minister of Christ, the dispenser of His mysteries, and he represents Him to us as dwelling in a high place, as a mediator between heaven and earth, to treat with God, about the supreme interests of the human race, which are those of everlasting life. The idea that holy books give us of the Christian priesthood, is that it is a supernatural institution superior to all those of earth, and as far separated from them as the divine is from the human. This same high idea is clearly brought out by the works of the Fathers, the laws of the Roman Pontiffs, and the Bishops, by the decrees of the Councils, and by the unanimous teaching of the Doctors and of the Catholic schools. Above all, the tradition of the Church with one voice proclaims that the priest is another Christ, and that the priesthood though exercised on earth merits to be numbered among the orders of heaven because it is given to them to administer things that are wholly celestial and upon them is conferred a power that God has not trusted even to the angels; a power and ministry which regard the government of souls, and which is the art of arts.” ~Pope Leo XIII
“Jesus Christ, our Divine King, has chosen priests as the first-line ministers and messengers of His gospel. Theirs is the duty, assigned to them by a special vocation, under the direction of their Bishops and in filial obedience to the Vicar of Christ on earth, of keeping alight in the world the torch of Faith, and of filling the hearts of the Faithful with that supernatural trust which has aided the Church to fight and win so many other battles in the name of Christ: ‘This is the victory which overcometh the world, our Faith.'” ~Pope Pius XI, “Divini Redemptoris”
“If we had faith, we could discern God hidden in the person of the priest, like a light behind a glass.” ~St. John Vianney
“When you see the priest, think of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~St. John Vianney
“Neither angel nor archangel is able to do anything in respect to what is given by God; rather Father and Son and Holy Spirit manage it all; but the priest lends his own tongue and presents his own hand.” ~St. John Chrysostom
“If the priest is called ‘another Christ’ and is truly such by reason of his sharing in Christ’s power, should he not also become and be recognized as another Christ through imitation of Christ’s deeds?” ~Pope St. Pius X
“The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ’s very person. Wherefore in his priestly activity he in a certain manner ‘lends his tongue, and gives his hand’ to Christ.” ~Pope Pius XII
“Through the character of Sacred Orders, God willed to ratify that eternal covenant of love, by which He loves His priests above all others; and they are obliged to repay God for this special love with holiness of life… So a cleric should be considered as a man chosen and set apart from the midst of the people, and blessed in a very special way with heavenly gifts – a sharer in divine power, and, to put it briefly, another Christ… He is no longer supposed to live for himself; nor can he devote himself to the interests of just his own relatives, or friends or native land… He must be aflame with charity toward everyone. Not even his thoughts, his will, his feelings belong to him, for they are rather those of Jesus Christ who is his life.” ~Pope Pius XII
“The principal act of a priest is to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ” ~St. Thomas Aquinas
“What care must you not take to keep yourself wholly for Him who honors you in such a way as to place Himself in your hands, and comes into them when you pronounce the words of consecration!” ~St. John of Avila
“When people want to destroy religion, they start by attacking priests, because where there are no priests, there is no sacrifice; and where there is no sacrifice, there is no religion.” ~St. John Vianney
“How pure should not he be who shares in this sacrifice [of the Mass]! More resplendent than the sun must be the hand that divides this Flesh, the mouth that is filled with spiritual fire, the tongue that is reddened by this Blood!” ~St. John Chrysostom
“With regard to the power of priests over the real body of Jesus Christ, it is of faith that when they pronounce the words of Consecration, the Incarnate Word has obliged Himself to obey and to come into their hands under the sacramental species.” ~St. Alphonsus Liguori
“For priests, to whom Christ our Redeemer entrusted the office of consecrating and dispensing the mystery of His Body and Blood, can assuredly make no better return for the honor which has been conferred upon them, than by promoting with all their might the glory of his Eucharist, and by inviting and drawing the hearts of men to the health-giving springs of this great Sacrament and Sacrifice, seconding thereby the longings of His most Sacred Heart.” ~Pope Leo XIII
“The Eucharistic Sacrifice in which the Immaculate Victim [that is, Christ] who taketh away the sins of the world is immolated, requires in a special way that the priest, by a holy and spotless life, should make himself as far as he can, less unworthy of God, to whom he daily offers that adorable Victim, the very Word of God incarnate for love of us. Agnoscite quod agitis, imitamini quod tractatis, ‘realize what you are doing, and imitate what you handle,’ says the Church through the Bishop to the deacons as they are about to be consecrated priests. The priest is also the almoner of God’s graces of which the Sacraments are the channels; how grave a reproach would it be, for one who dispenses these most precious graces were he himself without them, or were he even to esteem them lightly and guard them with little care.” ~Pope Pius XI, “Ad Catholici Sacerdotii”
“At the Last Supper, the same night in which He was betrayed in order to leave to His beloved spouse the Church, a sacrifice which should be visible (as the nature of man requires), which should represent that bloody sacrifice, once and for all to be completed on the cross, which should perpetuate His memory to the end of time, and which should apply its saving power unto the remission of sins we daily commit, showing Himself made a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, offered to God the Father, under the appearance of bread and wine, His Body and Blood, giving them to the apostles (whom He was then making priests of the New Covenant) to be consumed under the signs of these same things, and commanded the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer them, by the words ‘Do this in commemoration of Me.'” ~Pope Pius XI, “Ad Catholici Sacerdotii”
“It is the office of the priest to spend every effort to obtain the salvation of souls” ~Pope Pius XII
“The first duty of all those who are entrusted in any way with the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in the things of God.” ~Pope St. Pius X
“Our Lord saw the multitudes ‘lying like sheep that have no shepherd.’ Such multitudes are to be seen today not only in the far distant lands of the missions, but also, alas! in countries which have been Christian for centuries. How can a priest see such multitudes and not feel deeply within himself an echo of that divine pity which so often moved the Heart of the Son of God? – a priest, we say, who is conscious of possessing the words of life and of having in his hands the God-given means of regeneration and salvation?” ~Pope Pius XI
“Beloved sons, on the very day that you were raised to the sacerdotal dignity, the Bishop, in the name of God, solemnly pointed out to you your fundamental duty in the following words: ‘Understand what you do, imitate the things you deal with; and celebrating the mystery of the death of the Lord, strive to mortify in your members all vice and concupiscence. May your doctrine be the spiritual medicine for the people of God; let the fragrance of your life of virtue be an ornament of the Church of Christ; and by your preaching and example may you build the house, that is the family of God’. Your life, which should be completely immune from sin, should be even more hidden with Christ in God than the lives of Christian layfolk. Advance then, thus adorned with that high virtue which your dignity demands, to the work of completing the redemption of man for which your priestly ordination has destined you.” ~Pope Pius XII
“We must arouse your devotion. We exhort you to fight for the cause of God and the Church with greater zeal as the attacks of the enemy become more severe. It is your duty to stand as a wall so that no other foundation can be placed other than the one which has already been laid. It is also your duty to keep the faith undefiled. There is another sacred trust which you should firmly defend, namely, the holy laws by which the Church establishes its discipline, and the rights of this Apostolic See. Therefore, act according to the position which you hold, according to the dignity with which you are vested, according to the authority which you received, according to the sacrament by which you bound yourselves in solemn consecration. Unsheathe the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Denounce, beseech, rebuke in all patience and teaching. Labor and struggle for the Catholic religion, for the divine authority and laws of the Church, for the See of Peter and its dignity and rights ‘so that not only those who are upright may remain safe but also so that those who were deceived by seduction may be called back from error.'” ~Pope Gregory XVI
“It is becoming that he who accepts the priesthood be as pure as if he were in heaven.” ~St. John Chrysostom
“A priest ought to be in no place where his Master would not go, nor employ in anything which his Master would not do.” ~Cardinal Manning
“On behalf of your admirable religion, never forsake all goodness, patience, learning, gentleness and mildness as you try to gain for Christ the pitiful errant: lead them back into his one sheepfold and restore them to the hope of their eternal inheritance.” ~Pope Pius IX
“A great dignity, but great too is the responsibility; placed high in the eyes of men they must also be lifted up to the peak of virtue before the eye of Him who seeth all; otherwise their elevation will be not to their merit but to their damnation.” ~St. Lawrence Justinian
“Sanctity alone makes us what our divine vocation demands, men crucified to the world and to whom the world has been crucified, men walking in newness of life who, in the words of St. Paul, show themselves as ministers of God in labors, in vigils, in fasting, in chastity, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere charity, in the word of truth; men who seek only heavenly things and strive by every means to lead others to them.” ~Pope St. Pius X
“If we would only bear in mind, dearly beloved brethren, the exalted character of the things that the Lord God has placed in our hands, what unbounded influence would not this have in impelling us to lead lives worthy of ecclesiastics! Has not the Lord placed everything in my hand, when He put there His only-begotten Son, coeternal and coequal with Himself? In my hand He has placed all His treasures, His sacraments, His graces; He has placed there souls, than whom nothing can be dearer to Him; in His love He has preferred them to Himself, and redeemed them by His Blood; He has placed heaven in my hand, and it is in my power to open and close it to others… How, then, can I be so ungrateful for such condescension and love as to sin against Him, to offend His honor, to pollute this body which is His? How can I come to defile this high dignity, this life consecrated to His service?” ~St. Charles Borromeo
“The first striving of a priestly soul should be towards the closest union with the Divine Redeemer, towards the complete and humble acceptance of the precepts of Christian doctrine, and towards such a diligent application of those precepts at every moment of his life that his faith will illumine his conduct and his conduct will be a reflection of his faith. Led by the light of this virtue, let him keep his eyes fixed on Christ. Let him follow closely His Teaching, His actions and His example, convincing himself that it is not sufficient for him to accomplish the duties enjoined on the ordinary faithful. He must strive with ever increasing efforts to tend to perfection of life in keeping with the high dignity of the priesthood according to the warning of the Church: ‘Clerics must live both interiorly and exteriorly a holier life than lay people, and must excel them in giving an example of virtue and good deeds’.” ~Pope Pius XII
“Priests and beloved sons, we hold in our hands a great treasure, a precious pearl, the inexhaustible riches of the Blood of Jesus Christ; let us use them even to prodigality, so that, by the complete sacrifice of ourselves offered with Christ to the Eternal Father, we may become, in truth, mediators of justice, ‘in the things which appertain to God’, and that we may deserve to have our prayers accepted and obtain a super-abundance of graces which may refresh and make more fruitful the Church and the souls of all men. Only when we have become one with Christ through His oblation and ours and when we have raised our voice with the choir of the inhabitants of the heavenly Jerusalem, as we read, ‘We join ourselves in song with them, our hopes in Holy Sion,’ only then, strengthened by the virtue of our Savior, shall we be able to descend in safety from the heights of sanctity to which we have attained, to bring to all men the life and the light of God by means of our priestly ministry.” ~Pope Pius XII
“The priest should, therefore, study to reproduce in his own soul the things that are effected upon the Altar. As Jesus Christ immolates Himself, so His minister should be immolated with Him; as Jesus expiates the sins of men, so he, by following the hard road of Christian asceticism, should labor at the purification of himself and of others. Hence the admonition of St. Peter Chrysologus: ‘Be you the priest and the sacrifice of God; do not lose that which has been given to you by the authority of God. Clothe yourself with the garment of sanctity, gird yourself with the cincture of chastity; let Christ be the covering for your head; let the cross of Christ be the protection before your face; instill in your breast the sacrament of divine wisdom; constantly burn the incense of prayer; grasp the sword of the Spirit; let your heart be, as it were, an altar on which you may safely offer your body as a victim to God… Offer Him your faith, for the chastisement of perfidy; offer Him your fasting, that gluttony may cease; offer your chastity as a sacrifice that passion may die; place on the Altar your piety, that impiety be put away; call upon mercy, that avarice may be overcome; and that folly may disappear, the immolation of sanctity is called for. In this way shall your body be also your victim, if it has not been wounded by any dart of sin’.” ~Pope Pius XII
And finally, Fr. Brandler:
Priest of God,
Offer the Mass as if it was your first Mass,
your last Mass and your only Mass.
Your Spiritual Daughter,
~Damsel of the Faith