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Anonymous Martin wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been taught that the priesthood or consecrated life is objectively a higher state or a higher vocation.

  • Since it is a higher vocation, for those who are called, does it mean that those who are priests and religious would attain a higher degree of sanctity in Heaven?

I have read, though I don't recall the words verbatim, that our happiness in Heaven is full. However, there are differences in degree. The book The Faith Explained used the analogy of different shapes and sizes of cups. While all the cups were full (fully happy), there were different capacities (sizes) of receiving happiness: some with more capacities than others.

My question revolves around:

  • Whether those who are priests or religious would have a higher capacity to receive God, or
  • Does the unique vocation given to each one of us lead us better to the highest degree of happiness that God wants us have?

Thank you!


  { Since it is a higher vocation, will those who are priests and religious get a higher level of sanctity? }

Bob replied:

Dear Martin,

While the priesthood allows for a greater capacity for grace, and therefore reward, it is still contingent on the individual to make use of that capacity. A priest who ends up in Hell is far worse off than any average saved soul in Heaven.

  • So each person's response to grace is just as important, for even if your vocational state allows for great grace, if you don't avail yourself of that grace how does it profit the person?

Think of it this way, a priest is given a Ferrari, but he is tottering along in the breakdown lane, while little old ladies are passing him in their old Fords from yesteryear. The parable of the talents teaches us the same lesson: To whom much is given, much is expected, (Luke 12:48) so, accordingly the responsibility is great.

So in the end, we ought to maximize our response to grace for that will assure the highest state of perfection, and help to even expand our capacity for more.


Bob Kirby

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