THE life of the diocesan priest is so difficult-it is perhaps the most difficult of all lives in the Church-that any attempt to help him, no matter how inadequate, needs no justification. So I make no apology for publishing a second collection of notes on a subject which I have already discussed in The Spiritual Life of the Priest. The matter of these notes is not new to the readers of Pagan Missions, and it is due to the kindness of the Editor of that journal that I am able to compile these pages. It is not the only kindness for which I have to thank him. Despite the high holiness to which a priest is called and the eminent sanctity of the office which he fulfills, his life has to be lived amidst all the difficulties of the world without the protection and the preparation that is usually given to religious who, as such, are merely bound to tend to perfection. The diocesan priest therefore deserves every help that can be given to him to live that life of perfection which his office demands from him. Where is he to look for help? To anticipate the final answer to this question, we may remind him of God's assurance to the great apostle: 'Paul, my grace is sufficient for thee'. 'The spirit of holiness', conferred on him in ordination by the very words of the Sacrament, assures him of this continual grace of God. And, in passing, let us remember that the word grace implies something given beyond merit, or even without merit. It is gratuitous. One could truly rewrite the text: 'Paul, my mercy is sufficient for thee. My goodness is sufficient for thee!' And it might be well to repeat it with a new accent: 'Paul, My goodness is sufficient for thee-do not worry about your own lack of goodness!' This seems too good to be true. But that is the great truth-that no man has even conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him. We are dealing with infinite Goodness, and only infinite Truth can give it adequate expression.
Fr. M Eugene Boylan OCSO, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1495404439, ISBN 13: 9781495404436