I did not know there is such a priest ordained as a “simplex priest” until I read about Father Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan who was beatified in Detroit, Michigan last November 18. Because of his academic struggles in theology, his superiors thought he was not qualified to hear confessions and to preach, both priestly faculties, but they had him ordained priest anyway but did not give him these two faculties. His assignment all his life, which he accepted humbly, was to be the gatekeeper of his monastery and it was here that he helped thousands of people with his spiritual counseling and his gift of healing.
Blessed Solanus reminds me of another holy priest who also had difficulty in his seminary studies: Father John Vianney, the Cure d’Ars in France (incidentally my favorite priest saint).
Fr. Solanus and Fr. John had many other things in common.
Both had long lines of people waiting to meet them: For Fr. Solanus -- outside the door of his monastery to get spiritual counselling. For Fr. John -- in church waiting to have him hear their confession. Both had fervent love of God and deep, authentic humility. That is why the Church recognized their holiness of life.
Each one of us is called to be a saint. That is our vocation as children of God.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . .” (1 Thes 4:3)
"You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy." (Lev 9:2)
This is the purpose of our life. This is what gives life meaning.
Blessed Solanus and St. John Vianney lived lives of holiness, striving to know and do God’s will in all things.
Each of us in our own state of life can be saints. We are all called to be that. God's grace will make it possible. God's grace is sufficient for us.
May we all respond to that call. It will give us joy and peace. #
"Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (Lev 9:2)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2Cor 12:9)