The Soul's Mirror

A priest serves as a communal conscience. 

If one is required. They remind us that if our contracts with our deities are to be honored and preserved, we have specific duties as individuals and as a collective of whatever size. 

Should we wander too far from recognizing that our souls are assessed by our finest achievements rather than the depths to which we may go in our specific tradition? 

A priest might remind us that it is the purpose for an action – not the deed itself – that our souls are evaluated against. 

A "good" action, for example, might be carried out for the wrong motives - selfishness, manipulation, and so on. 

A priest or priestess is essentially a servant of the god to whom they are sworn. This implies that what is communicated to members of that faith or tradition may not always be popular — we all resent constraints, especially if they serve as a reminder that we are not up to par. 

We should try to listen to the message rather than shooting the messenger merely because we don't agree with what they're saying. 

If we are unwilling to listen to a religious priest, it may be a good idea to consider why we are shutting our ears and thoughts to them; perhaps our own hubris tells us that we know more about our lives than they do. 

However, like a mirror, they may be able to see something that we cannot. We don't smash a mirror just because it reveals our grey hairs! We either learn to live with them, color them, or remove them - in other words, we deal with the problem, good or bad. 

The priesthood is also the servant of people for whom they assume responsibility - whether it be a parish, a coven, a grove, or a hearth. 

They are, however, simply servants of that organization as long as it keeps its end of the contract with the deity it purports to worship. 

This isn't something that can be negotiated. 

Why should the priest reject their God's desires in order to pander to the contract defaulter if the god has indicated a preference for a specific form of behavior and that wish is continuously and purposefully ignored? 

So, what is the priesthood's function? 

In short, a priest serves as a mirror to the soul, as a facilitator and conductor of particular rites of passage, and as a piton in climbing, ensuring that any fall is limited to the distance between the piton and the ground. arating as a rib prod to remind us to speak out and ask for an explanation, or a tap on the skull to remind us to think for ourselves. 

While we are concerned with physical and material issues, as a mentor and (in the Celtic language, anam chara), a soul-friend. Or, to put it another way, a help-meet. We all need a sounding board now and then, but none more so than when we're going through a spiritual crisis. 

Is there somebody you can talk to about spiritual matters? 

Is it tough for you to talk about your spirituality? 

Do you feel vulnerable and alone due to a lack of personal support? 

Doubts and periodic lapses of faith are more widespread than the priests would like to acknowledge, as we've already covered. 

For fear of the doubts spreading to the rest of the flock, the wandering lamb is frequently sent out, and the 'doubting Thomas' is made to feel as if they've performed some terrible act of faith. 

In actuality, Thomas was the sole disciple who wanted proof rather than accepting Jesus' return on the basis of faith.

You may also want to read more about Spirituality here.

Be sure to check out my writings on Religion here.