I have often noted these amazing words:
When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.
Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man, not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.
Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vice-gerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ: he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another Christ. (O’Brien, The Faith of Millions, 255-256)
Which is why I find “Protestants” who toss out Chesterton quotes so amazingly inconsistent, like this one:
“The Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar.”
Really? Well, if so, then the steak will give you Mad Cow, the glass of wine contains just a few drops of cyanide, and the cigar is laced with radioactive materials.
When we have brilliant, godly, Scripturally sound men like Edwards, or Spurgeon, or Warfield to read, who never once profaned the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ with words and beliefs like those expressed above by O’Brien, and whose insights to this day are compelling and convicting, why do we play games with quotes like Chesterton’s? Play with a loaded gun long enough, and it may well go off.