‘What more do we need to know?’

“Mother Emmanuel returned the envelope to the pocket of her tunic. ‘I agree that things have moved quicly for her, but I like the fact that she admits to having doubts. I tend to be more skeptical of those who say they are absolutely certain. Would anyone else like to share their thoughts?’

“‘God is calling her,’ declared Sister Angelica, who was rarely equivocal about anything. ‘What more do we need to know?'”


Mark Salzman

Lying Awake
p 29

The priest as a source of strength

“He can be joyous with the joyful, can weep with those who weep, but he is never permitted to falter in solidarity with the faltering and uncertain. His experience with God has taught him what that darkness is in which one can only grope one’s way along the walls, and even these walls will occasionally recede in the darkness, leaving one to founder in the empty void. Such experience is granted to the priest so that he can endure, humbly, but as a source of strength for his brother.”

Hans Urs von Balthasar

Priestly Spirituality

“The Priest I Seek”

The miracle we are looking out for in a priest

“We spoke just now of a miracle. That a priest should succeed is always a miracle of grace. More often it happens that the Churches suffer the results of failure. There are too many who speak from lectern or pulpit imagining themselves to be the light. They are to be avoided. They speak of God but mean themselves; God does not actually make an appearance….

“The miracle we are looking out for would perhaps be nothing other than holiness–the holiness of the man who in God has become so insignificant to himself that for him only God maters. Who he himself is no longer concerns him. That is why he is ordinary and nourishing as a loaf of bread, from which anyone can break off a piece for himself.”


Hans Urs von Balthasar

Priestly Spirituality

“The Priest I Seek”