A university lecturer asks St Josemaria about the role of priests in today's world. This was in the setting of a gathering in Brazil, June 1, 1974, when St Josemaria was in the fiftieth year of his own priesthood.
- Father, I'm a university lecturer. We know that you, Father, are in the fiftieth year of your priesthood. We are giving thanks to God for the immense fruitfulness of your work. Father, could you please talk to us briefly about your life as a priest and also a little about the mission priests have in today's world?
- My son, I am very happy to reply to a university man, a colleague.
Ever since I was sixteen I've been in contact with the university world. And... you didn't say I was old, but you said that I'm in the fiftieth year of my priesthood; you were very cautious. And it's true. In the first place, I have to thank God our Lord for these fifty years of work. I have worked, -- shall I say it the way I usually do, because you'll understand me very well? -- "ut iumentum factus sum apud te..." don't worry, I'll translate: like a little donkey, do you get it?
My job is serving God, and, in God's service, serving all souls without distinction. And how do I serve our Lord? By talking to souls about God and only about God.
- Yes, Father.
- Before God, I'm like a little donkey, pulling the cart. That has been the job I have dedicated myself to. My job is serving God, and, in God's service, serving all souls without distinction. That's the answer to part of your question. And how do I serve our Lord? By talking to souls about God and only about God.
I forget that I'm a lawyer, I forget that I have three doctorates, they are no use to me. I only want to remember that I am Christ, and Christ speaks about peace and war, Christ speaks about giving, and giving ourselves, and Christ always speaks about love. So, my son, I've given you your answer. I only know how to talk about God; I can only talk about God; if I talked about anything else except God, I'd get it wrong. And I think that is the mission of a priest: to talk about God, to repeat again and again the words of Christ our Lord, the saving teachings of the Redeemer, and to administer the holy sacraments..., without distinction, with love for everyone equally.