Seminary & Priesthood
â€œClericalism suffocates; it makes part of itself into the whole sacred character of the Church; it makes its power a sacred power to control, to lead, to administer; a power to perform sacraments, and, in general, it makes any power a â€œpower given to meâ€! Clericalism separates all â€œsacrednessâ€ from the lay people: the iconostasis, communion (only by permission), theology. In short, clericalism is de facto denial of the Church as the body of Christ, for in the body, all organs are related and different only in their functions, but not in their essence. And the more clericalism â€œclericalizesâ€ ( the traditional image of the bishop or the priest â€“ emphasized by his clothes, hair, e.g., the bishop in full regalia!), the more the Church itself becomes more worldly; spiritually submits itself to this world. In the New Testament, the priest is presented as the ideal layman. But almost immediately there begins his increasingly radical separation from the lay people; and not only separation, but opposition to lazy people, contrast to them. The tragedy of theological education lies in the fact that young people who seek priesthood are â€“ consciously or unconsciously â€“ seeking this separation, power, this rising above the laity. Their thirst is strengthened and generated by the whole system of theological education, of clericalism.â€ ~Fr. Alexander Schmemann [Journals, pp. 310 & 311]
Have I ever really heard a call to serve, or have I just always tried to please those whom I admire? Have I ever really wanted to be a truly humble servant, or do I simply want to be admired myself, recognized, and well thought of? Is it “me as Christ,” or “Christ in me?” Have others actually seen a â€œcallâ€ on my life, or have they simply seen good leadership qualities?
~And so I begin yet another period of reflection on why I ever wanted to seek the priesthood in the first place. Lord have mercy.~