23rd November 2011
It may be worth while to make a distinction between the young priest and the elderly one. One lady with whom the subject of this article was discussed remarked, “All young priests are shy, but they get over it quickly.” A seminarian expressed the same view in the same words. The young priest is very formal. Doctrine has more influence with him than experience. He has only the book terms, not the human terms in which doctrines may be understood. His timidity before the dangers of the world is intensified because of the keen and admirable hold that he has on priestly ideals. He recoils against what he calls worldliness. Again, this worldliness is one of definition, not of observation. His timidity in the presence of general social contacts rests rather on the memory of lessons studied than upon conviction of the truth of them. Young priests who are intelligent will work out an intelligent attitude. Some of those who fail to do so will unconsciously resort to shyness as their final solution of the problem.