Upon Ordination


Hello everyone. I was recently listening to Catholic Radio. They said upon ordination the whole person is changed. The person being ordained a priests whole physiology is changed. Pleas explain.


From what I understand, the change which occurs upon ordination to the priesthood is the man’s soul is configured to the priesthood of Christ. The rest is beyond human comprehension.


Ordination leaves an indelible (i.e. unremovable) mark on the priest’s soul.The change referred to is what’s called ontological, meaning a change in the nature of the priest’s being, rather than physiological.


Consistent with another thread on this forum, the indelible mark left on the ordinand applies equally to deacons upon ordination. All bishops are priests, all priests are deacons and all deacons are the entrance to the ordained clergy.


The easiest way for me to portray the meaning in a simple way is this; the Grace of the sacraments is a very real and present truth. The grace of Holy Orders is real, the actions taken during ordination during the ceremony are the visible signs of the invisible truth as in every sacrament.

In baptism, we see a minister poor water and hear him say some words; and this action and these words are real meaning, but they are the visible signs of the invisible truth that God is removing the stains of sin from a soul and marking indelibly that soul, and infusing the Holy Spirit upon that soul. You can’t see these changes, they are God’s work, super natural work.

Holy orders like baptism and confirmation mark the soul by God indelibly; it cannot be removed. We can lose our “connection with grace” through sin, but never our connection to God as His children.

The Grace of Holy Orders, whatever the level of hierarchy bring with it charisms each distinct to the level of rank. This Grace is real and noticeable. When I need His grace in ministry, He blesses me abundantly with that Grace.

I think this is how person is changed, especially a priest or bishop. They stand in the person of Christ the High Priest, without relying totally on His Grace mere men will fail. The deacon does stand in the person of Christ, but in a different sense, Christ the Servant. But the same applies, to rely on me is to accept failure in ministry. Simple as that.

These words are from my experience in ordained ministry as compared to before ordination, there is an obvious and distinct difference.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.