Is the priesthood a superior calling to marriage?

Is being called to the priesthood a greater calling than being called to marry? Which is the greater vocation and why? Or are these equal callings?


There is nothing on the face of the earth that can equal the sacramental priesthood of Jesus Christ because it is his priesthood. No human being is worthy of the supreme honor of changing bread and wine into his precious body and blood. No one is worthy to absolve the sins of others. In short; no one is worthy to minister in the Person of Christ.

Nevertheless, he chooses weak, sinful human beings to be his priests. In calling God down upon our altars, there is nothing in the world that can compare with the ministry of the priest—nothing.

But it must be remembered that without marriage there would be no priests. Blessed John Paul wrote that matrimony is the primordial sacrament because it peoples all the other sacraments. Christian marriage remains the great sign of Christ’s intimate relationship with his people. Every vocation is special because it leads us to God. In fact, the goal of religious life and the priesthood and marriage is the same: union with God.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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