The Strength Afforded by the Priestly Habit
David Martin | The Daily Knight
A marked feature of the post-Vatican II Church is that priests have lost their spiritual strength and have been lured into a host of silly endeavors, a principal reason being that they’ve allowed women to influence their vocation. Instead of admonishing them to remain off the altar and out of the sacristy they’ve buckled to their demands to come in and undermine the sanctuary with silliness. The prophet Isaias spoke of these times when he said, “As for my people, their oppressors have stripped them, and women have ruled over them.” (Isaias 3:11)
In Holy Scripture we read how the harlot Dalila gained the advantage over Samson, who was a judge of Israel. Prior to his birth an angel appeared to his mother who was barren and told her: “Thou shalt conceive and bear a son, and no razor shall touch his head: for he shall be a Nazarite of God, from his infancy, and from his mother’s womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” (Judges 13:5)
The Lesson of Samson
Samson’s hair was a sign of his consecration to God. As long as he was loyal to that consecration by keeping his hair long, God vested him with great strength to perform unbelievable feats before his enemies, like catching three hundred foxes and tying them tail to tail and then placing torches between their tails so that when he let them go they ran through the corn fields of the Philistines and caught them on fire. (Judges 15:4,5) There is also the Biblical account of how Samson slew one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass to the utter amazement of all. (Judges 15:15)
But then we read how Samson grew fond of this Philistine woman Dalila, who on behalf of the Philistines continually pressed him as to where he received his strength. As long as he withheld this secret from her there was nothing the Philistines could do against him, but when he finally disclosed to her that his strength consisted in remaining true to his consecration by not cutting his hair, she shaved the *seven locks of his head while he was sleeping, after which the strength of God completely left him so that his enemies were able to seize him and pluck his eyes out. (Judges 16:17-21)
A Lesson For Our Time
A valuable lesson for our time can be gleaned from this Biblical account of Samson, for the Philistines were a figure of the infidels that would war against Christ’s Church of the future, especially in the latter days. Samson’s strength over the Philistines was a reward for remaining loyal to his consecration, but this prefigured the strength of spirit that would be conferred on priests who honor their consecration and wear the habit so that they too could prevail over the Church’s enemies (heretics).
For a priest’s habit is a sign of his consecration to God so that if he is loyal to that consecration God vests him with spiritual strength to rescue souls from Satan. If the priest wears the habit with true, pastoral purpose the strength of Heaven rests upon him and enables him to triumph over evil.
But if a priest discards his habit he loses his strength and becomes useless, this especially being the case if he discloses his secrets to a woman. A priest out of habit is out of commission and good for nothing because he has broken the rule of obedience and has followed the drift of the world and not the drift of the Holy Spirit. His words to his listeners are ineffective because the grace of God no longer rests upon him.
And too, he loses credibility so that people don’t take him seriously. A priest above all others has an obligation to witness for Christ in the world. By always wearing his habit he professes to all that he stands apart from the world as a representative of Christ and thus reaps eternal rewards in keeping with Christ’s promise: “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God." (Luke 12: 8)
But a priest who goes around in lay clothes, or worse yet in sports attire, will not be recognized by Christ when he passes on for judgment, but the Just Judge will rather declare to him, “I don’t know you” and will bring to his mind the words of Holy Scripture: “He that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.” (Luke 12: 9) After all, if people can’t recognize a priest as a priest how could he ever expect Christ to recognize him over the veil?
Hence wearing the priestly habit is a good habit for priests to get into! It doesn’t necessarily mean they will do good (since there is much more they must do other than just wearing the habit) but it most certainly means that they will never do good if they don’t wear their habit.
Let us pray that priests will be spiritual Samsons who honor their consecration so that they can effectively smite the latter-day Philistines who war against tradition and pollute the Church with their idols of change and novelty.
*The number 7 symbolizing perfection.