“The capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth, and justice,” he quotes Benedict XVI, “is an essential criterion of humanity.” I’ve often thought how relatively easy my life is as a priest. I have enough to eat, take European vacations, drive a car that rarely breaks down and have a garage to park it in, and live in a spacious home in a beautiful city. I have many friends and enjoy respect in my community, and will never be without a livelihood. What can a priest offer God if not at least his natural desire for a wife and family? If not for celibacy, the priest would not suffer at all, and if he would not suffer, he would not bring the Cross to the world that so needs this sign of redemption. As Pope Benedict again wrote, “A world without the Cross would be a world without hope, a world in which torture and brutality would go unchecked, the weak would be exploited and greed would have the final word.”
I encourage you again to get this book and read it. The passages I’ve quoted come from pages 67-74. “The Christian priesthood,” Sarah writes, “is the rampart of this saved humanity…. Dear brother priests, your mission is to carry the Cross into the heart of the world.” Let us hope and pray for the conversion of mind for those who do not see as deeply into the Christian mysteries as this brave African cardinal. Let us pray for those who want to relativize the Gospel in the current Amazon synod.