St. Nektarios on the Priesthood

St. Nektarios of Aegina 1846-1920

What can we say concerning the priesthood, this exalted divine order and ministry? Through this mystery, one is chosen amongst men and elevated above them in relation to God. As a sacrament, ordination renders the priest an initiator of Divine Grace, a minister of the divine mysteries, a teacher of piety, and a welcome mediator between God and men; so that, as an angel of God, he may send up to God the prayers and supplicaton of the faithful and bring down from heaven the Divine Gifts. St. Dionysios the Areopagite calls the priesthood a holy ministry, a typology of the supernatural hierarchy, and a holy and sacred kingdom, for it takes place on the earth but lies within the order of the heavenly ranks. Our holy father Chrysostom also advises us concerning the effective power of the priesthood: “Take note how much power priests possess. Consider baptism, the forgiveness of sins, sonship the sacraments, and thousands of other good things that you receive through the invocation and laying of these priests’ hands. Through the priesthood God is worshipped, and things of the earth are adorned as if in heaven.” (Saint Nektarios the Wonderworker, Bishop of Pentapolis: Christology pg. 258)